Facebook: Are Your Protected Post Protected From the Courts?
Turns out that post you made on Facebook for only a few to see just might be protected from the courts. In a case, a hospital off all places made this ruling by a NJ Federal Court. The turnover of passwords and users names and other date required to access accounts has long been battled over when it comes to “the boss” wanting to get into their employees accounts. The courts ruling in a case that involved discipline also included the following statement:
“The Court finds that, when users make their Facebook wall posts inaccessible to the general public, the wall posts are “configured to be private” for purposes of the SCA. The Court notes that when it comes to privacy protection, the critical inquiry is whether Facebook users took steps to limit access to the information on their Facebook walls. Privacy protection provided by the SCA does not depend on the number of Facebook friends that a user has.”
The interesting part of this is that the hospital won, BUT it also in the end is a win for the privacy of the user. So the snoop or hall monitor, in this case the Net monitor may be more trouble for the workplace, school, or anywhere especially if its not a public post. The court case, Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean HospitalService Corp. is where this all went down.
In the courts words, the most interesting to me is that it does not matter how many “friends” one has, but that the “limited post” is the key. I am sure more will follow from this, as we tend to post away on things we feel strongly about. And again, this also comes back to “policy” and what you can, should or be able to post.