Skip to content
Technology & Innovation

Will Facebook Undo Privacy Laws?

Sharing so much information online may have knock on effects when its comes to government search and seizure law, expanding government power, says Yale’s Information Society Project.

What’s the Latest Development?

The trend called ‘frictionless sharing’, in which the newspaper articles you read and songs you listen to on third party sites is automatically posted to your Facebook profile, may create some troubling legal precedents, expanding the government’s rights to monitor your information, says Yale’s Information Society Project. The group’s director, Margot Kaminski, has penned an article in the Wake Forest Law review explaining how anonymity has become increasingly decoupled from the Internet, due largely to Facebook’s policy of using your real name. 

What’s the Big Idea?

When it comes to the 4th Amendment, which protects civilians from unreasonable government search and seizure, the Supreme Court has consistently asked whether there is a ‘reasonable expectation to privacy’. Currently, precedent on what you read has upheld that expectation of privacy when one checks out reading material at public libraries. But sharing information on Facebook ‘voluntarily’ may erode that protection. Government investigators are already allowed to go undercover on social media sites, posing as someone they are not. And the government need not necessarily obtain a warrant if Facebook decides to hand over your data for you. 

Photo credit:


Up Next