A recent revelation that detailed how Facebook had ultimately failed in its legal battle to prevent the U.S Government from taking and analyzing the private data of hundreds of its users, will certainly change the meaning of privacy protection on the world’s leading social network.
In an unprecedented ruling by a Federal Judge in New York, the court agreed that Facebook is a “Digital Landlord’; and must comply with U.S Government search warrants whenever the digital files and other related information pertaining to its users are appropriately requested.
The ruling came after the social networking giant had moved to the courts to challenge an earlier request by the Federal Government for Facebook to hand over the private data and other information that is related to 381 accounts without notifying the owners.
The U.S Government was at the time investigating a network of alleged fraudsters that were bilking millions of dollars out of the treasuring by making disability claims which had seemed contradictory to the evidence of their revealed lifestyles on Facebook.
According to investigators, the information from Facebook would help them to determine whether there was any apparent act of fraud, since a fair inference can be drawn from the account holders photographs (both private and public), in addition to their wall postings, and private messages.
But Facebook was initially reluctant to hand the data over to the authorities, hence attorneys for the company had moved to the courts to challenge the constitutionality of the request.
However, the judge disagreed with Facebook’s claims that the covert handing over of its user’s data would amount to a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S Constitution, and direct Facebook to hand over the requested information.
The proceedings and initial ruling against Facebook which began last year, was kept private until a recent appeal by the company, and the decision of the appeal Judge to make the new proceedings public.