Private Facebook posts are protected by the SCA unless voluntarily provided by friends with access

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There may be some notion of privacy in your private Facebook wall but it is at the whim of your 498 friends — is it really?

A district court recently determined that Facebook wall posts are covered by the Stored Communications Act if the privacy settings are set to limit access to only friends. However, where a Facebook friend is authorized to access those posts and voluntarily provides them to others, the authorized user exception to the SCA applies and there is no violation. For a more complete discussion of these issues see Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hosp. Service Corp., 2013 WL 4436539 (D.N.J. Aug. 20, 2013).

Takeaway: Social media is just like the real world except there is a permanent record of everything you say or do. Do not post something on social media that you would not want publicly broadcast in the real world.

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