Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
The Right to Privacy in Light of Social Media

Arun Mal and Jenisha Parikh, Facebook and the Right To Privacy: Walking A Tight Rope (2011) 4 NUJS L Rev 299

This article addresses the various instances of violation of right to privacy that have taken place over social networking websites. It seeks to provide solutions to such violations by suggesting remedies under the law of tort, users’ protest and industry self-regulation. Since these alternatives only allow for a limited protection, the article stressed on the need to broaden the theoretical paradigm within which the right to privacy has traditionally been viewed in order to adapt it to the newer issues arising with respect to social networking websites.

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Bryce Clayton Newell, ‘Rethinking Reasonable Expectations of Privacy in Online Social Networks‘ (2011) 17 Richmond J L & Tech 12

Present U.S. privacy law is predominantly based on the ideals of individual control, autonomy, and liberty from governmental intrusion, despite the fact that its inspiration was an idea grounded on the importance of protecting human dignity and an “inviolate personality.” On the other hand, Europe has predominantly taken the position that privacy protects human dignity and fosters personal relationships. Privacy laws based on the right to a private life, such as those generally found in European jurisdictions, more accurately reflect the realities of the digital age and properly protect individual privacy online. In combination, protecting autonomy through principles based on human dignity and recognizing that reasonable expectations can have their place in the context of online communities and digital communication – albeit often mediated and less private than some forms of offline communication – would result in more effective individual safeguards and more satisfactory results.

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Daniel Solove, ‘A Tale of Two Bloggers, Free Speech and Privacy in the Blogosphere‘ (2006) 84 Wash U L Rev 1195.

Existing law lacks nimble ways to resolve disputes about speech and privacy on the Internet. Lawsuits are costly to litigate, and being sued can saddle a blogger with massive expenses. Bloggers often don’t have deep pockets, and therefore it might be difficult for plaintiffs to find lawyers willing to take their cases. People seeking to protect their privacy must risk further publicity in bringing suit. These are certainly serious problems, but the solution shouldn’t be to insulate bloggers from the law. The author argues that the law should hold bloggers to a reasonable standard of care to avoid revealing private information about others.

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Haley Plourde-Cole, ‘Back to Katz: Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in the Facebook Age‘ (2010) Fordham Urn L J 571

This note examines the change in the reasonable expectation of privacy in light of the greater presence of social media. It also deals with whether government surveillance of Global Positioning System (“GPS”) devices attached to suspects’ vehicles constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure. This note argues for the adoption of a rule that GPS surveillance constitutes a search and seizure and should require a warrant, because the public’s growing awareness and/or consent to use of personal information by private companies has not translated into a shift in an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy in their movement twenty-four hours per day.

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