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What Posts Are Private, and What Is Discoverable?

SOCIAL NETWORKING—U.S.

August 26, 2010

A U.S. district court opinion appears to offer the first in-depth analysis on social network privacy settings and whether user information is protected from discovery by the Stored Communications Act (SCA) of 1986, Law Technology News reports. The court's decision determined that "the SCA's protections reach at least some of the content" on social networks and suggested that users' privacy settings do matter. It found that "private messages as well as comments visible to a restricted set of Facebook or MySpace users were held in 'electronic storage,' but its analysis was complicated by novel features of these technologies," the report states. Questions remain related to what forms of content the SCA protects and how much users need to restrict their content for it to be designated as private.
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