In my post earlier today, I noted that courts have been all over the map on whether someone’s Facebook page info was discoverable.
This afternoon, Facebook announced a new feature that will allow individuals to download all of their own data onto their computers (or into a file.) According to TechCrunch:
Facebook Product Manager David Recordon explains that you can access the “Download Your Information” feature from your account settings, hit the download button and Facebook will allow you to download everything off your profile, including all of your messages, wall posts and all of your photos, into a zip file.
Recordon emphasizes that the product will be simple enough for laymen to use, a one click process.
As the article says: Whoa. So much for the argument that such information is too difficult to compile or not readily accessible anymore. With one-click — it’s done.
Of course, it remains to be seen how courts will treat this change and whether courts will preserve the privacy that some believe that they have. But the change could potentially remove one huge obstacle that existed before. Suddenly, information is one click away.
Another potential issue: Suppose an employee has already downloaded the information to his or her computer, would the Stored Communications Act even still apply?
For employers caught up in litigation, this is one development worth following.