Privacy of social media accounts now at risk after court ruling

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New York, New York - (July 24, 2015) – Your private information is not so private anymore. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been fighting over personal information.

“It may shock us all to learn that our private information is owned by a company, but that is something people in this country need to understand,” says Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

This week a New York state appeals court ruled that Facebook and all other social media companies including Google, Pinterest, Microsoft, and Yelp must comply with search warrants and allow the government to access users pictures, messages, and personal account information.

Privacy advocates worry about the broad scope of what a search warrant by the government could mean for individuals personal information. That private information you post now belongs to those companies. Every picture, every message, every detail online, can now be seized by a government search warrant.

“These companies that collect and maintain large amounts of data, we have essentially voluntarily given that to their possession and it is something a lot of people just don’t understand,” says Attorney General Zoeller.

This court ruling could drastically change how millions of users use the social media sites.

Facebook and other tech companies say they will continue to fight for their users. Though the government insists, this move is necessary to protect from wrongdoing.

“People need to be a little bit more sensitive to how this stuff works, but on the other side I’m not trying to get everyone to be afraid of it, when your children post and you post and you send out info. You at least need to protect yourself against the misuse of that data,” says Attorney General Zoeller.

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