back to article Roses are red, Facebook is blue. Think private means private? More fool you

Privacy settings on Facebook do not protect users from handing over photos, posts or metadata that is relevant to a court case, a New York judge has ruled. In a decision (PDF) handed down yesterday, chief judge Janet DiFiore said that a court could ask someone to hand over any relevant materials as part of discovery ahead of a …

  1. Lysenko


    If you're bringing a tort action and you are dumb enough to create evidentiary material that undermines your case then it is discoverable and admissible. It could be hard copy photos that have never been near a computer or handwriting from someone claiming for RSI. A claimant cannot be allowed to prevail simply by suppressing material evidence on the grounds of "privacy". The scope for abuse would be catastrophic and virtually guarantee reversal on appeal.

  2. Richard Jones 1

    The Ruling Sounded Balanced to Me

    I am not clear why social media evidence should really be any different to any other evidence. Unless the defendant objects that it is not contributing or supporting their claim in which case was the claim really valid?

    Perhaps people should think about what claims make sense and are supportable with evidence. A claim that you cannot walk swim, pilot an aircraft or whatever after an accident needs to show that there was some capability to perform those activities that has now been lost.

    Otherwise it will become like the old joke about a man with a broken arm,

    Man 'Will I be able to play the piano when I am repaired?'

    Surgeon: 'Should think so.'

    Man: 'Wow, remarkable, I could not play the damned thing before the accident'

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's my entry for the most obvious blanked out word competition,

    Roses are red, Facebook is blue, when they think of your privacy, their first thought is ____ you.

    1. John G Imrie

      possible words





      any more?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: possible words

        any more?


        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: possible words

          It has to be 'fuck'.

          What? Someone had to say it! :P

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: possible words

            And the winner is Sir Runcible Spoon.

            Your comment tickled me.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge

              Re: possible words

              I was thinking 'Feel'

              (/me escapes, with coat)

  4. MrKrotos

    Faces are red, your privacy is poo, all the information is out there on you!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do people really think that anything they post to social media is private?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I think we'd all be surprised at what the average person does thing. I suspect they do think it's private even though world+dog (or at least in this case FB) can generally see everything. Much like some think that once email is sent, and read it magically disappears except on their computer or mobile.

    2. ratfox Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      This reminds me of a student colleague of mine who requested more disk quota, arguing he needed it for his project.

      He discovered that "chmod 700 project_data/" doesn't prevent sysadmins from finding the project_data/p0rn/ directory.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      "Do people really think that anything they post to social media is private"

      "social media" is to "think" as {no possible comparison}

      It's not private. It effectively belongs to the entity that owns the hard drive it's stored on. So if FB gets a subpoena shoved at it, guess what they'll do? At least Micro-shaft made an effort at looking like they'd protect user privacy. Apple went a step further. FB just bends over and caves, no apparent opposition.

      (found it)

      basically if it's a warrant or subpoena, if they have no legit reason to object, they'll do it. AFAIK

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Netlaw: An entirely appropriate ruling

    Refreshing to see a 7-0 ruling because it is entirely correct that if social media contains evidence that undermines the Claimant's case then it is part of discovery and should be disclosed. It is only privileged material that is not disclosable and discoverable.

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