Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Social networking and litigation

When litigation happens and it always does, litigants will seek all potentially relevant evidence no matter where it is. Does that include social networking content? Of course. Will they be entitled to it? It depends. But could it be discoverable even if it’s embarrassing? The more the merrier. OK got it. But what if I use Facebook for work and part of my Facebook is personal and the other part is for business. [Message for businesses letting their employees use social networking sites for business. You need to deal with this NOW. Just consulted with a client last week on these issues.] Back to the discovery problem.

In Crispin v. Christian Audigier, Inc. a litigant subpoenaed a few social networking sites for info. While initially the court said they could not get the info from the social networking company because it violated the Stored Communications Act, eventually the court said it was allowed to the extent the information was “not private” but needed to find out what was posted on a wall (thus sort of public) vs. what was private information. The court also looked into privacy settings.

Companies and organizations need rules of the road. Driving without them is stooopid.

Are you kidding me.