Thursday, September 12, 2013
In Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hosp. Serv. Corp., the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that the Stored Communications Act (SCA) protects private Facebook wall posts from unauthorized user access.
The SCA is a pre-Internet statute that “generally prohibits unauthorized access to non-public electronic communications that were transmitted by an electronic communication system and are in electronic storage.”
Despite the court’s holding that the plaintiff’s private Facebook wall posts were protected, the court still granted summary judgment against the plaintiff because she had authorized a “friend” to see the posts. The friend then sent screenshots to her employer, which led to her suspension. The court held the suspension was permissible under the SCA’s “authorized user” exception.
See John Connelly, United States: District Court Holds That Stored Communications Act Protects Private Facebook Posts, Mondaq, Sept. 12, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.