Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Facebook Refuses Virginia Data Disclosure Demand

Virgina Workers Compensation Commission request denied - score one for privacy protection:

Shana Hensley hurt her back while working for Colgan Airlines and began to collect disability benefits. Then, as Declan McCullagh reports, "After about 18 months . . . Colgan Air claimed that Hensley was not cooperating with its efforts to find her a desk job and appears to have concluded that Hensley's holiday vacation photos posted on her Facebook account would demonstrate that any back problems were not severe."

Hensley's Facebook info was subpoenaed, Facebook stood its ground, the Workers' Compensation Commission enacted a $200-per-day fine, and when Facebook cited the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, everybody backed down.

Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt explained his company's actions... "Facebook is built on trust and users rely on us to enforce their privacy settings."

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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