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Expectations of Privacy in Social Media

Mississippi College Law Review, Vol. 31, 2012

22 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2012 Last revised: 13 Mar 2014

Stephen E. Henderson

University of Oklahoma College of Law

Date Written: March 8, 2012

Abstract

This article, which largely tracks my remarks at Mississippi College's Social Media Symposium, examines expectations of privacy in social media such as weblogs (blogs), Facebook pages, and Twitter tweets. Social media is diverse and ever-diversifying, and while I address some of that complexity, I focus on the core functionality, which provides the groundwork for further conversation as the technology and related social norms develop. As one would expect, just as with our offline communications and other online communications, in some we have an expectation of privacy that is recognized by current law, in some we have an expectation of privacy that should be recognized by current law, and in some we have no legitimate expectation of privacy. The article begins with a short (and personal) history of social media and then discusses the theory of information privacy, after which follows an explanation of, and then application of, the governing constitutional law. This is an area in which statutes should, and to some extent do, expand upon the constitutional floor, and the article ends with a consideration of those statutes and needs for improvements therein, including via statutory frameworks like that recently adopted by the American Bar Association.

Keywords: social media, fourth amendment, expectation of privacy, search, seizure, facebook, privacy, information privacy

JEL Classification: K14, K19

Suggested Citation

Henderson, Stephen E., Expectations of Privacy in Social Media (March 8, 2012). Mississippi College Law Review, Vol. 31, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2018425

Stephen E. Henderson (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405.325.7127 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ou.edu/directory/stephen-e-henderson

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