Social Media

An uptick in concern about digital privacy is sweeping the nation. Incidents such as injury law firm advertisements targeting emergency room patients based on location, smart home assistants recording conversations unbeknown to their owners, and Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal have all contributed to concerns about digital privacy.

In an age when people tweet and post on Facebook or other social media their every thought, feeling or observation, or check Wikipedia, fulfilling civic responsibility and following the judge’s admonition not to discuss or research a case while serving on a jury can be a challenge.

The state of Washington was the first state to offer online voter registration in 2008.  The state's website features an online portal called MyVote, which helped get the state's residents registered online.   Washington is now, in 2012, taking that functionality to the next level by incorporating the same online registration functionality into Facebook, using the site's social capital to get more voters registered.

House Rep. Jeffrey Thompson of Louisiana's District 8 recently sponsored House Bill 249, the first bill in the nation to require sex offenders and child predators to identify themselves as such on any social networking site they use.

An important rule of thumb when communicating online is that nothing is ever truly private.  Anything you post, such as private message or emails, can be screen-captured and posted online as images.  Anything you put online could live forever even if you try to delete it.  The Anthony Weiner case is a classic example