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Social media changes legal landscape

Rochester, N.Y.-- Terry Flynn spent three years as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York.

He's now a partner at Harris Beach where his client list includes companies, government entities, and citizens.

Flynn says that the rise of technology and social media has drastically changed the legal landscape.

You'll come to a meeting or a deposition and already the lawyers have it in front of them, your social media page, they've learned as much as they can about you ahead of time, Flynn said. "The days of just expecting full privacy don't exist in today's computer world and a lot of people are very well educated in how to use it."

Despite privacy controls or security settings, protecting your online profile from a company or the government is an unrealistic expectation.

"The courts are going to look at what you did, Flynn said. Did you have enough notice in the dangers of sharing that information? The argument will be: you did."

While prosecuting criminals for the federal government, Flynn and investigators used a variety of tactics.

F.B.I. agents go online and go undercover to catch predators preying on children. In addition, wire-tap technology is deployed when investigating violent crimes.

"It's your government, it's your money, you can't stand back because at the end of the day it does affect you, Flynn said.


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Washington Times