Another story has hit the media about privacy in the social media sphere. GigaOm and others are reporting about a recent decision by a California probate court in which the court refused to require Facebook to turn over the contents of a deceased woman’s account to her parents (who were the named executors of her estate).
The Court found that federal Stored Communications Act forbids companies not just from sharing user’s e-mails without their permission, but also social media communications, as well. The GigOm article above links to an interesting artificial by Venkat Balasumbramani which was posted on Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law blog which discusses in greater detail a number of the recent court cases across the country dealing with privacy and social media issues and some of the landscape which they are beginning to carve out.
It is clear, however, that they law has a lot of catching up to do on this issue of privacy in a world of electronic communications. Eventually the law will catch up on this subject, whether through new legislation or court interpretation of existing legislation.In the meantime, there will be a great deal of uncertainty and inconsistency in the law, leaving rocky shoals to navigate.