Facebook lacks standing to challenge subpoenas of users' info in disability case, appeals court says

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A New York appeals court has sided with prosecutors in a closely watched Manhattan case, finding that Facebook lacked standing to challenge subpoenas requiring the social media company to turn over all information in the accounts of 381 people.

Only the individuals in question can challenge the subpoenas, but reportedly none have done so in the New York City disability-fraud case that resulted. It focused on more than 130 police officers and other public workers in New York City whose disability claims allegedly conflicted with information about life activities on their Facebook accounts, according to the New York Times (reg. req.) and Reuters. More than 100 have taken pleas.

Although Facebook has already provided the information to authorities, the Appellate Division, First Department case has proceeded to address what many perceive as an important privacy issue concerning online activities. In addition to other social media companies, the American Civil Liberties Union has supported Facebook in the case.

“We continue to believe that overly broad search warrants—granting the government the ability to keep hundreds of people’s account information indefinitely—are unconstitutional and raise important concerns about the privacy of people’s online information,” Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow said in an email to Bloomberg.

The company hasn’t yet decided whether to pursue a further appeal.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer and others face new charges in massive NYC disability fraud case, as dozens more are arrested”

ABAJournal.com: “Retired NYC cop takes plea in $27M disability-fraud case; ex-prosecutor is a claimed ringleader”

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