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Supreme Court: ‘Friends Only’ privacy on Facebook not private at all




The Supreme Court has recently ruled that a ‘friends only’ privacy at social networking site Facebook does not entitle a user to total or absolute privacy, according to an 18-page decision it released a few days ago.

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This comes with the court’s third division denying a petition for writ of habeas data filed by the parents of two Cebu City students against the school who banned their children from their graduation ceremonies in March 2012. The photos in question: five students wearing bikinis that were uploaded on their personal facebook accounts.


Officials representing the school the students were studying at described the photos as being “lewd, obscene, and immoral.” Parents, however, insisted that these photos were only disclosed to a number of friends within the ‘very private’ confines of their facebook walls; away from prying eyes of the public, even the school officials.

However, the Supreme Court upheld the local Cebu trial court’s decision that the school did not violate any privacy issues, as the complainants were not able to provide sufficient and concrete evidence. The court also replied that the school is not liable for any privacy-related complaints, as they were only the recepients and these were voluntary shown and submitted to the school by those who saw the photos in question.

The High court reminded social network users on its resolution to be very careful on what they post on their accounts, as these “can be opened, read, or copied by third parties who may or may not be allowed access to such,” it said.

Source: GMA News Online



Get in touch with Carl at @lamielcarl on Twitter or visit his website for more updates!

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3 Responses

  1. ButButBut says:

    Isn’t there a CUSTOM privacy settings part when choosing who would see the post(s)? They could just set it to FRIENDS, EXCLUDING . Hahahaha takte english pa more xD pero seryoso may ganoong settings naman ah :P

    • Carl Lamiel says:

      The problem wasn’t the privacy settings, but rather who can see the posts. They may be seen by onlookers or like what the article said: The students who saw the pictures voluntary showed it to the school officials, hence the consequences. It may only be seen by a few, but those who can see it may have the tendency to share it to others. You might never know.

  2. no brainer says:

    its a no brainer really
    to assume that by sharing your content only to your known friends you will have privacy

    your friends have other friends w/c are not your friend, so goes privacy

    it only takes a screenshot to capture your presumed private content, then they can repost it for the world to see

    on the issue of the school’s policy, the girls violated it, because there was proof, seen by the school authorities.

    adventurism sometimes can have dire consequences

    the school should implement the penalties so lessons will be learned

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