Are on-line activities private, even if between two people?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 23, 2011

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Here the courts are struggling to determine what a “reasonable” expectation of privacy is, and the legislatures are working hard to define the rules of behavior. The process is almost more important than the content. Your safest rule of thumb is to presume that your on-line activity is not private. Too many times, the information flows through too many computers, each with the potential to duplicate, trace, or otherwise review what you’re doing, for you to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. You aren’t protected by probabilities when what you’re doing is otherwise questionable. Also, if you’re supposed to be at work, or are in a public place, you aren’t really “private.”

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