A picture is worth a thousand words… especially to a Jury… especially when you posted it on Facebook yourself.
A recent decision from the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals regarding a personal injury cases states, “If a photograph is worth a thousand words, there is no better portrayal of what an individual’s life was like than those photographs the individual has chosen to share through social media before the existence of any motive to manipulate reality. The photographs sought here are thus powerfully relevant to the damage issues in the lawsuit.”
Even if you have your privacy setting set to the maximum privacy available, nothing you put on Facebook or the internet is ever 100% private.
The Court opinion in this matter said, “By creating a Facebook account, a user acknowledges personal information will be shared with others, the court said, as that is the very purpose of social networking. Facebook itself does not guarantee privacy.”
The Plaintiff in the above matter claimed that she had a reasonable expectation of privacy for Facebook photos and that they were not “discoverable” (meaning that they should be provided to Opposing Counsel during the “Discovery Process” of litigation).
The Court disagreed and allowed them into evidence.
This lesson on expectation of privacy for Facebook photos is no longer just for teenagers and children. Adults, especially professional adults, must realize that there is very little, if any, expectation of privacy on the internet.
If you do not want someone to read or see something, then do not post it.