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Tagged Facebook Photos Admissible as Evidence

gavelLast week, we learned not to post incriminating photos on Facebook. This week? Don't let your friends post them either. The Court of Appeals in Kentucky upheld a lower court custody decision made in part on the basis of tagged photos. In Lalonde vs. Lalonde, the father was awarded custody based on evidence that the child's mother had been drinking -- something her psychiatrists warned could adversely interfere with her medication.

That evidence (of course) came from Facebook photos. The court didn't buy her argument that since the photos weren't hers, and were tagged without her permission, they shouldn't have been admissible. In the opinion last month, the court noted: "There is nothing that requires her permission when she was 'tagged' or identified as a person in those pictures."

This is hardly the final word on tagging. Technology attorney Evan Brown, points out on his blog that there are still likely any number of instances in which tagged items would not be admissible:

Some instances of tagging might be part of something actionable. For example, the posting and tagging of photos in the right context might constitute harassment, infliction of emotional distress, or invasion of privacy. Use of another's photo on the web without permission for commercial purposes might violate that person's right of publicity. And of course there is the question of copyright . . . .

But the decision is certainly an interesting turn of events, as well as a reminder (apparently still needed) that Facebook isn't invisible.

Tags: facebook, lalonde vs lalonde, LalondeVsLalonde, law, newsmain, SocialNetworking, tagging, top

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