Protecting Online Privacy for Legal Purposes
Facebook and Social media are not forums for sharing private information
It’s human nature to share what’s going on in our lives. The good, the bad and the ugly. People going through a divorce, criminal matter or other trauma, want to vent, rant and rave. In today’s world that usually means online. Tell everyone on Facebook or Twitter or Google+ what a rotten no good skunk the spouse is, or how the police are railroading you!!! That is the last thing a person should do. Facebook and social media forums are NOT private and not confidential. Doing this is the same as going to a crowded mall and using a loudspeaker to air your dirty laundry. Whoever sees your online post had just become a witness against you. This often includes coworkers and bosses of yours or your spouse. Protect privileged communication by not disclosing it to the virtual world. The United States Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case relating to privacy rights on Facebook. This case involves an estranged husband’s post which was taken as a threat to his wife. Was he permitted to “vent” and preserve privacy?
Email Communications at Work are not Private
Although the legal ramifications are still open to a great deal of debate in the courts, it is becoming increasingly clear that electronic mail – email – is owned by the employer not the employee. Several courts have held that the company owns the communication transmitted through its network and using its devices. This could even include your own personal email addresses. This also includes emails between the employee and an attorney or doctor.
Attorneys and other legal professionals use email to communicate with clients. This communication is protected by attorney-client privilege. However, the client may waive this privilege by using devices not owned by the client. Be sure to discuss email communication practices with your attorney and never communicate privileged information via email especially if it is not your personal device and not on a protected network.
Know your legal rights related to online privacy
In order to protect your privacy and confidential communication avoid sharing such issues on social media and avoid communicating such matters through employer owned networks and devices. For more information about privacy and your legal rights consult with a legal professional.