Social Media website Facebook was recently sued along with Blockbuster for breaking the Video Privacy Protection Act (USC Title 18 Section 2710) because Facebook was making some type of public notation every time a Texas woman was renting a video from Blockbuster. Apparently, Facebook and Blockbuster had or have some type of partnership that involves an information sharing agreement that allowed video rental information to be shared without the Facebook user's authorization or ability to opt out.
Facebook's information sharing problem was partly due to its Beacon Advertising System that is supposedly being discontinued. Beacon was initially designed as an opt out instead of an opt in system. Therefore, Facebook users needed to be extremely vigilant to keep their personal information private.
The proliferation of social media and social networking sites has made it difficult to keep one's personal details private. Unfortunately, unless there is some type of consumer backlash that forces Congress to pass strong legislation that sets an enforcement mechanism that includes stiff penalties, this type of information sharing will dramatically increase in the near future.
Copyright 2009 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.