Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Anyone who uses Facebook does so at his or her peril"

Lawyers: Angry that former clients are suing you over failed investments? Apparently the correct response is not to post on Facebook "They thought they knocked me down, now they will see the full scale of my reaction. F*** them, just f*** them. They will be left with nothing."

Turns out that Facebook posts are not automatically confidential, and will be admissible in evidence against you in proceedings to stop you dissipating the money you owe. Whodathunkit?

The key passage is at para. 4 of the judgment and neatly summarises why very few posts will attract a duty of confidence:
[A]nyone who uses Facebook  does so at his or her peril. There is no guarantee that any comments posted to be viewed by friends will only be seen by those friends. Furthermore it is difficult to see how information can remain confidential if a Facebook user shares it with all his friends and yet no control is placed on the further dissemination of that information by those friends. No evidence was adduced as to how many friends the defendant had and what his relationship was with each of them. It was certainly not suggested that those friends were in anyway restricted as to how they used any information given to them by the defendant. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not consider that any of the friends viewing that information would necessarily have concluded that the information was confidential and could not be disclosed. I have received no evidence as to why those friends were in any way restricted as to how they can use information received from the defendant and why they would have known this information was confidential or private

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