Thursday, March 27, 2014

Could a FaceBook post or an innocent Twitter comment come back to haunt you?

Unfortunately, if you find yourself involved in the legal system the answer to that question is YES.

I joined the justice system as a court reporter many, many years ago. When I became a court reporter the courts were keepers of the record, and in most instances those records were protected. Times have changed. In 1999 many insurance companies joined with nationwide court reporting services to provide court reporting services for defense and in some instances plaintiff depositions. Up until this time it was mandatory that court reporters be totally neutral. We could NOT share what we heard in a deposition with anyone outside the room. We could NOT share the deposition transcript with anyone other than the attorneys and the courts. We could NOT have any relationship with anyone involved in the deposition that gave the appearance of impropriety. Kentucky court reporters fought long and hard to make contracting illegal in Kentucky.  It is, but unfortunately the law is not followed by everyone, nor is it enforced in a way that would stop it.

Over the years we jumped from just court reporting services to legal consulting services and trial preparation services and national data banks were set up to store the depositions taken, including medical records of the deponents.

Something sent to me today, both frustrates and terrifies me, as the corporations are once again moving in a direction that clearly will harm citizens.  They are now getting access to your personal data which includes according to the following information and statement:

"Using proprietary methodology...which means, A methodology that a trader keeps to himself because (1) he doesn’t want to share its secrets or (2) he doesn’t want to answer questions about what he does.

Claimscout monitors: Facebook, Myspace and other social networks. Blogs and journals, online communities, twitter, message boards, Reddit, Digg and social sites. Personal websites and much more.

They state they can: Scout out whether a person's claim is in fact valid.

Imagine this:  You're talking to your mother online or facebook and you say something like, I fell this morning and my back is hurting.  You're injured in a car wreck and it hurts your back.  They're going to bring up your comment to your mother stating--your back was already hurt.

Or you tweet, "On vacation, having a great time."  Humm....doesn't sound like you're too injured if you're on vacation and having a great time.  You don't say in your tweet that you're having a great time watching the kids because your leg is broke and you can't get involved with them.  But no one is going to care about that.

We're often warned to watch what we say because it's out there forever.  You may think you're never going to be involved in an accident or that your comments are too innocent to hurt you.  No comment now is too innocent to hurt you.  Someone who has no right to those comments is monitoring you.

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