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Are Postings on Facebook Private?

DFields@fishbeinpa.com,   Family Law   Leave a Comment

People post all kinds of information on Facebook with the expectation that their postings are private because they are limited by the person posting the information to the privacy setting on Facebook. A recent appellate case in Florida demonstrates the fallacy of this belief. In Maria F. Leon Nucci v. Target Corporation, the Fourth District Court of Appeals of the State of Florida ruled that photographs posted on a social networking site are neither privileged nor protected by any right of privacy regarding of any privacy settings that the user may have established. The Court in Nucci ruled that the expectation that such information is private in the traditional sense of the word is not a reasonable on. In Nucci a woman slipped and fell on a foreign substance on a floor in a Target store. Ms. Nucci refused to produce her postings and photographs on Facebook claiming that she had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Court in Nucci discussed the right of privacy asserted by Ms. Nucci but found that the relevance of the photographs overwhelmed her claim of privacy. The Court in Nucci noted that social networking sites can provide a treasure trove of information in litigation. The Court ruled by creating a Facebook account the user acknowledged that the personal information would be shared with others and that there was no expectation that the information would be private even if restricted to her “friends” on Facebook. Thus before one posts any information on social media sites, one should be concerned about the possible use by others of the information contained on Facebook or other social media sites.

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