Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Expectation of privacy in the public realm?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
Many people, especially in the younger demographic, really have no idea of the possible repercussions of sharing the intimate details of their life on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. It seems like every week a case comes across my desk involving evidence from social networking sites.

The following is an except from New York Times online, from the article A Facebook Teaching Moment by Randy Cohen. It illustrates a real lack of discernment as students give full disclosure of deviant behavior on their Facebook page:

Image representing MySpace as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

"Strictly speaking, when these students gave her access to their Facebook pages, they waived their right to privacy. But that’s not how many kids see it. To them, Facebook and the like occupy some weird twilight zone between public and private information, rather like a diary left on the kitchen table. That a photo of drunken antics might thwart a chance at a job or a scholarship is not something all kids seriously consider. This teacher can get them to think about that."

 These days social media sites are a excellent source of easily gathered evidence. If you put information on social networking sites your expectations of privacy should be minimal at best, and it definitely could come back to haunt you.

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