Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!

Who Else Is Looking At Your Personal Words And Pictures?

"There are no forms to discuss here. No real legal issues. Just my thoughts on who can look at and get your personal information and what it may mean to you. Facebook and MySpace are great examples of showing the world your true self ...or maybe not. Point is, people will judge you by the information you post and the pictures you provide the world to see. Remember that people may even judge you. by the friends you keep. I have always suggested to people that they should never show their address or phone numbers on their pages. If your friends want to see you or talk to you, shouldn't they already have your address and phone number? I just wanted to show a few examples of how Facebook / MySpace sites may be used by different Organizations."

If the Police need to find someone, chances are they also look on Facebook and MySpace. The Police may start here in their effort to locate people they are interested in. OK, so there are 300 "Sam Jones" listed. They could never find the right one, could they? The Police don't necessarily have to be looking for you to end up on your page. All they need is a name. That name could lead them to your page, which may lead them onto your friend's page. The "friend" they were looking for. All they need is a place to start. The internet sure has made it a little more easy to find someone quickly. Providing your address and cell phone number on a personal page makes it even easier.

How about your school? Do you have a school Police Officer? Do you think they may check a student's Facebook / MySpace page if that student is known to visit the Principal's office a little more than most? Perhaps that student's friends as well?

If your looking for a job and your posting how great it is to party all the time and providing pictures to prove it. You may be providing a personal resume you may not want your prospective employer to look up. If you don't think some Employers seek out your personal pages before deciding to hire you, think again. Getting information on you that way could be faster than running a background check. Maybe a little change in your page may be necessary, at least until the job is yours.

Have you just applied for a rental apartment? Then you made out an application. The information on that application will also ensure they get the right "Sam Jones" on their search on Facebook / MySpace. Wouldn't you check, if you were a landlord who owned an apartment building?

Remember that bill you didn't pay? They can't find you now because you have moved and you have a cell phone instead of a land line phone. The land line phone number was always listed in the phonebook. The cell phone number is not. However, companies have 7 years to pursue claims against you. If you list the number of your cell phone on your page or your address, they will contact you sooner or later.

Are you...

Going through a Divorce or fighting for Parental Rights?
Trying to regain Custody of your children?
Being Investigated by Child Protective Services?

Need I say more?

Cleaning up your Personal Pages may be a good idea. You may not want to see your printed out Personal Pages as "evidence" in court. Maybe you will even "lose" that job you had your eye on. My point is, remember who may be searching for you and looking at your personal pages!

My Final Thought...

"The internet does a lot of great things. The knowledge and information it provides has made finding answers quick and easy. As I mentioned, I have been on the internet since 1993. I have always made it a point to keep a low profile. However, with the arrival of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, I have found that keeping a low profile these days, is close to impossible. We do have control over what is seen by others though. Listing your favorite books or movies is fine. Where you go to school, where you live, your phone number or when you leaving your house unattended for a week to go on vacation, probably not a good idea. I invite you all to go Google your name and see how much information the world sees about you."

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