As social and business networking sites have taken off, the privacy of data has become increasingly more vulnerable. With legions of online users uploading and posting huge volumes of both personal and business information, the demarcation between business and personal content is becoming more blurry with every passing day. The deployment of business-related information to these social networking sites has created a whole new set of issues regarding the use and privacy of information posted online, particularly on social networking sites.
For example, in a recent decision, a federal judge ruled on the legitimacy of subpoenas seeking online messages and user-posted information from four different networking sites in connection with a business dispute. While the judge ended up quashing the subpoenas in question and ruling that third party networking sites did not have to disclose private messages between their users, the decision did not resolve the issue of whether wall postings on such sites would have to be disclosed under the subpoenas. According to the ruling, such a decision would have to hinge upon the privacy settings opted for by the user.
This article also appeared in The National Law Review (September 7, 2010).