Nowhere to hide on social networks?

An Australian court has agreed with a lawyer’s argument that the only way to serve repossession papers to a young couple was via their Facebook profile. It is the first time that the social network has been used in such a way, but after all traditional methods such as face to face visits, court summons and letters were exhausted, the lawyer resorted to more innovative means.

It is already accepted down under to serve repossession notices via email and text message, but this is the first reported use of Facebook. However, the condition is that the papers have to be served via a private message straight to the individual’s inbox, and not on their profile wall for all to see!

Facebook is still one of the most popular social networks in the world, with over 140 million users. Some are now using it as the primary way of communicating with their family and friends, or with people they have lost touch with. However, many will be surprised that the legal system has started to get in on the act.

This case will no doubt set a presidence in Australia, it could also be adopted by other countries, including the UK, in the future. This could add extra worry to people in fear of repossession due to the economic downturn of recent months.

But is Facebook at risk of losing members due to this publicity? I am certainly going to re-evaluate my profile, just for peace of mind, as it may be safer on Twitter!

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