Facebook privacy faceoff: Court orders password swapping

Chicago, November 20, 2011— Oh, the possibilities! Imagine a world where your ex-spouse is ordered by a judge to give you his facebook password! There would be such great creative status updates to post, intriguing apps to download, and what was the name of that drug kingpin you read about yesterday? He definitely needs a friend request.

There are reasons we do not share our passwords, although there are exceptions. Parents of teens and tweens often allow their children to have a facebook account on one condition: Mom and Dad get the password. The kids cry out about their rights to privacy and free speech and eventually, because Mom and Dad are the authority figures, they hand over the password.

Now let’s put Mom and Dad in the middle of a court case. Maybe a personal injury claim, maybe even divorce. Imagine their surprise when the judge orders that they must hand over their facebook passwords.

Increasingly, judges are doing just that. Simply perusing pages for evidence is giving way to full, unrestricted access.


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