Many Facebook users are confused about Facebook’s privacy settings, and as revealed this week, some of those users include members of the United States Supreme Court.
The subject of Facebook’s privacy settings came up in Riley v. California, a case involving a California man who was pulled over for expired tags but had photos pulled from his phone by police that were ultimately used to convict him for a drive-by shooting. The man’s lawyer argued that even flipping through photos on someone’s phone could violate the Fourth Amendment, but Chief Justice John Roberts went on to ask about how Facebook’s privacy policies worked, and whether or not anything posted on the site could be considered private at all.
“I mean, you know, maybe it’s a hundred people,” he said. “But it’s certainly not private in the sense that many of the other applications are.” Roberts also said that there isn’t any “privacy interest” in a Facebook profile because users fundamentally want to share things that they post on the site.
However, he seemed to be confused about the nature of users’ privacy settings, and wasn’t grasping the fact that any user can severely limit what audiences see which content on their profiles. The fact is that Facebook changes their privacy policies often enough that even well-informed users can have a hard time keeping up.
For a complete guide on Facebook’s privacy and security settings, be sure to check out: