This article begins by considering the emergence of social networks as a major medium of communication and posits that the success of social networks is attributable to their users' willingness to share their information. Next, the article considers the expectation of privacy for users of social networks and whether such expectation is reasonable. In particular, the article discusses the privacy policies and legal terms governing the use of social networks, and tracks the evolution of such terms and policies as they slowly whittle away user control over time. The article then discusses public outcry regarding the disclosure of information contrary to users' expectations of privacy. Specifically, the article posits that constantly changing privacy controls has resulted in users inadvertently transforming information which they meant to keep private into publicly available information.
The article thereafter examines recognition of privacy issues arising from social network sites by privacy advocates and Congress alike as a result of social media becoming a primary method of communication. While the author commends such efforts, the article posits they do not address many loopholes with respect to regulating behavior of social network sites. These loopholes would be adequately addressed by tort because liability in tort would provide incentives to discontinue their policy change practices through liability for behavior and compensation for ensuing harm.
Connie Davis Powell,
Privacy for Social Networking,
34 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 689
Available at: http://lawrepository.ualr.edu/lawreview/vol34/iss4/3