Monthly Archives: February 2013

Judge Rules Use of Social Media Waives Expectation of Privacy

February 23rd, 2013 by

Social media plaintiffs

 

In November of 2012, a judge in Pennsylvania ruled in the case Donna M. Mazzarella vs. Mount Airy Casino Resort, that those who elect to use social media waive an expectation of privacy with regard to that content. The judge ruled that the discovery for unspecified social media is permitted.

Plaintiff Social Media Account Ruled Relevant

February 15th, 2013 by

Social media plaintiffsIn the caseĀ Simms v. Lewis in October 2012, a judge allowed discovery of a plaintiff’s private myYearbook account.

The defendant claimed after a car accident that she was deprived of the ordinary pleasures of life; however, on the front of her myYearbook account was a post noting she had attended a Zumba fitness class. Because the defendant was able to provide this information which demonstrated that further access to her private account could contain relevant information to the case, the judge required her to provide access to her private account.

However, the judge denied access to her private Facebook and MySpace accounts since there was no indication that they may also provide relevant information.

The judge noted that “the plaintiff cannot maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy when she created the account and voluntarily posted this information, knowing that the information could become publicly available.”

Research of plaintiff’s social media by Step Ahead Social Research could have uncovered such information for the attorneys involved and continued to monitor it going forward.