The Facebook Graph Search and the Future of Internet Privacy

Since the days of its first appearance, Facebook has been a great place for people to freely share every aspect of their lives.  For most people, that means a picture of their dog and a few drunken profile photos. But, for others, that means an opportunity to share their enjoyment of the ill egal things in life.

As long as you’ve had privacy settings and restricted access to your profile, your criminal propensity was safe and sound.

You may have noticed a few trends however. Like if your friend got arrested or a DUI, their profile would be gone within a matter of days.  It can be very jarring.  Many people don’t understand the reasons people do this.

The primary reason to limit or delete a profile after an arrest is to limit an investigator’s ability to collect information relating to any past wrongdoing or incriminating statements. In the past it could take days to collect all of the data, but that’s not necessarily true any longer.

Facebook is preparing to introduce the “Graph Search.”  Unlike the typical search which links key words, the graph search provides the intersection information regarding people’s interests.  This means that the search pulls pages, pictures, and suggestions based upon the search words and prior interactions relating to that data.

Admittedly the system is far from perfected, but it would allow investigators to efficiently search through the mountain of data on Facebook to provide a wealth of information on a suspect. Much of the information could be brought in as statement of a suspect or because the information was publicly accessible. Further, it could provide the prosecution and or investigators access to potential witnesses that might be able to shed light onto a suspect’s propensity.

So what can you do?  Short of deleting your online life, we urge you to look over your privacy settings on all of your social media accounts.  If you have questions or may be concerned as to how your information may be accessed, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.  Our experienced Tucson DUI lawyers and Tucson criminal defense attorneys are on call 24/7 to answer your DUI & criminal law questions.