Legal issues with privacy in social media stem from the nature of social media – an inherently communicative and open medium. A cliché is that in social media there is no expectation of privacy because the very idea of privacy is inconsistent with a “social” medium. Scott McNealy from Sun Microsystems reportedly made this point with his famous aphorism of “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”
But in evidence law, there’s a rule barring assumption of facts not in evidence. In social media, by analogy: Where was it proven that we cannot find privacy in a new communications medium, even one as public as the internet and social media?
Let’s go back to basic principles. Everyone talks about how privacy has to “adapt” to a new technological paradigm. I agree that technology and custom require adaptation by a legal system steeped in common law principles with foundations from the 13th century. But I do not agree that the legal system isn’t up to the task.
All you really need to do is take a wider look at the law.
Privacy writers talk about the law of appropriation in privacy. The law of appropriation varies from state to state, though it is a fairly established aspect of privacy law. Continue reading