Privacy is simply a Fairy Tale. There is no such thing as privacy.

When you send an email or write a private message, there’s an expectation that we have privacy. We believe we have the right to total privacy. Our own thoughts, our own lives, choices and actions, to stand on their own and not be judged by others.

What protection does the 4th Amendment Really Provide you when you are online using a 3rd party social network website?

Our content and interactions on social media are also of concern. With so many companies relying upon cloud storage for work solutions, the information being stored there could be exposed. The risk that a competitor might obtain your confidential internal document is nearly non-existent, but having an understanding of what privacy means in the world of social networking and cloud computing in 2014 is essential.

There are a lot of factors and information to understand the basis of privacy and its relationship to the digital world but today the focus will be on the three basics you should know in order to understand privacy and social networking.

The 3 Things you MUST Know to Protect Your Privacy in the Era of Snowden

  1. Definition of Privacy is based on the 4th Amendment
    The US Constitution contains an amendment which specifically addresses privacy issues. The amendment was last revised in 1890. The standing definition of what privacy is has its origins in the idea of your own private space, meaning your home.When people talk about a right to privacy, they typically are referring to the right that anything contained within your private residence, which is not open to public visitation, is protected from unreasonable search and seizure. The amendment does not protect your digital rights because contained within the 4th Amendment is the “third party doctrine.”
  2. The Third Party Doctrine
    The third party doctrine establishes the right for the government to rightfully obtain information that has been disclosed to any third party. Once disclosed then the information is no longer considered private and does not retain the protection from unreasonable search and seizure.The simple truth is that Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat, and similar are all third parties by that definition and the government has been given the right to obtain any information contained, posted or stored, on those sites. ANY information.

    The same then holds true for Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and similar third party cloud storage platforms.

  3. Operate Under the Assumption of Full Disclosure
    The best way to not risk confidential information or private messages from becoming a risk to an individual or company is to control the manner in which information is shared.When you are aware of the definition and the risks involved it is much easier to contain the risk of exposure. Operating under the assumption that anything shared on a third party site such as Facebook could be exposed to other entities, is the safest approach to business and social media.

    Seek out alternative storage solutions which you, your company or client own. Keep important business and personal papers stored on portable storage devices that are kept within your home or office. Don’t share internal memos or confidential documents via email as the servers could be obtained via a warrant.

    Email and ISP’s are protected by the Electronic Communications Act of 1986 which established time frames and steps for the government to obtain access to information. Unfortunately it has not been looked at since 1986 and therefore is long overdue for a revision in the US judicial system.

    In 2010 the Lower Merion School District outside of Philadelphia was found guilty of violating privacy laws when they used webcams installed within laptops and devices provided to students to use at home. They captured thousands of images using the devices without the knowledge of the students or their families.

    Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor stated in her opinion for the court that it was due time for the laws to be reviewed. Until they are, it’s important to understand the meaning of privacy and how it applies to your everyday work and life, digitally or otherwise.

    What do you think, is it time to update the privacy laws in the United States? Join our Privacy and 4th Amendment Rights Community on Follr to share your thoughts and discuss topics like Snowden, NSA, Third Party Doctrine, and more.