Social Media and eDiscovery - Is this even possible?

Every so often we hear of how people get busted on social media sites for things like posting pictures or videos of themselves dancing right after they filed a Worker’s compensation claim, or they entered a body building contest while on disability for a work injury. This leaves me with two questions; how often does this happen where people get away with it? And how often are companies searching social media sites for this evidence and how? Is this even legal? Don’t we have privacy laws? So I went up to the Facebook site and reviewed their privacy policy and I found this:

“While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don't share information we receive about you with others unless we have:

· received your permission;

· given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or

· removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it”

So based on this and the fact that I didn’t see a disclaimer anywhere stating that Facebook could share my information whenever they want (although the second bullet still remains questionable in my opinion) I couldn’t figure out how these people got caught. So I read a little bit further and unless these people were dim-witted enough to make these photos their profile picture then maybe their friends sold them out due to their own dim-wittedness?

Facebook Privacy Policy statement: When others share information about you, they can also choose to make it public.

Another possible explanation would be the result of the “I have more friends than you competition” where people accept friend request from people they don’t know possibly because of the person’s profile picture (which is most likely fake). I believe this is a strategy used by companies and the FBI when they want to investigate a particular person. Well whatever the case, we are seeing more and more social media content being entered as evidence in e-Discovery cases. I also found a few vendors who have a product with the ability to scan and search content on social media sites.

Due to the amount of evidence that shows up on Social Media sites, we are seeing more and more cases in court where social media information was used as evidence and it is believed this number will continue to grow. I am a bit torn because I still feel there should be some privacy to “Social Media Sites” as backwards as that sounds. But on the other hand I have no sympathy for these people who are either just too stupid or arrogant about their wrong doings so they deserve to be busted. It is morals vs. morals for me.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

About the Author
Keri.Farrell
Keri Farrell is a Senior Product Manager for Quest and has worked for Quest for 11 years but has been in the IT industry for 20 years. She specializes in Disaster Recovery for both Active Directory and...