Right to Publicity?


In this day in age, I feel as though I ask how far is too far on a day-to-day basis. It is often arduous to differentiate between personal and public. High school reunions are being cancelled because not only are people able to stay in contact with whomever they would like, but they can also know exactly what their childhood friends had for breakfast that morning via Facebook status updates. Undoubtedly, times are changing, but so too are our boundary lines.

Recently, Facebook changed their privacy settings. One company, more than 750 active users, and an immense amount of vulnerability. The company had automatically set each profile on a non-secure setting.  As the article highlights, this left millions of users susceptible to being hacked. Facebook also has the phone numbers of everyone in your contact list uploaded to your account. I understand that both circumstances are perhaps shocking, but each and every one of those 750 million users (myself included) checked a box that confirmed that we had read and understood the terms of use when we initially set up our accounts. We cannot yell foul when we already allowed interference.

LinkenIn used its members’ photos and information for their campaigns. “It’s indicative of the huge lure these free networks must experience when it comes to advertising dollars.” As much as this frustrates me, it does not surprise me. This “evasion” of privacy is a consequence of social media. Every picture you ever post on Facebook (even after you have deleted it) is property of the company. Think about that. Now think about that party you went to.

Would George W. Bush or Obama ever have been elected if Facebook would have been around during their college years? Can you imagine how much money a future running mate would be willing to spend to get his/her hands on the opponents’ photos? Our world has changed forever and we can argue about our rights, which inevitably we do still have, or we can protect ourselves by projecting the image we want people to see.

Would you hire you?