Do You Have Privacy Rights On Social Media?

The fact that most social media sites collect our data and store it for future use is no new news. But what most internet users are not aware of is that there are some privacy policies and laws which, when known and used correctly, can help us protect the data we supply, the places we visit online, and the apps we use.

Social networking sites usage has boomed in the past decade. Today, millions of people use social networks and take advantage of the excellent opportunity these online mediums offer. Most of us are using at least one social media site to keep in touch with friends and family or to grow our business. With all these, many users have conflicting feelings about how social media companies have changed their lives. 

Some extolled the Internet’s virtue and how it has changed the landscape of communication, business, and education. And then, there’s also a significant majority that is feeling worried. Blamed for their negative effect on our mental state, especially in younger individuals, or alienating us from reality, social media have other risks. Internet experts warn us about: oversharing can put our privacy at risk and leave us exposed to identity theft or data breach.

If you want to keep your privacy as safe as possible when online, and you wish to know how protected you are by legislation, here’s what you should know about social media laws.

What Are The Social Media Privacy Laws?

When it comes to social media privacy laws, most users are worried that third parties collect data about us, like our age, relationship status, or where you live, and use it to sell us personalized advertisements. But the risks go beyond advertising. Your social media account can also lead to privacy violations and even workplace privacy trespassing.

But what are consumers’ privacy protection and rights in the context of the critical relationships they develop with social media providers, other users, and even their employer?

When it comes to online privacy, the following privacy laws can significantly impact the use of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, both at home and in the workplace.

Federal And State Social Media Privacy Laws

As social media sites have grown in popularity and become increasingly central to the lives of individuals all over the world, several legal lines have also been drawn concerning privacy on these platforms. Unfortunately, the privacy laws relating to social media usage are decades behind the developments these platforms have been witnessing.

Until recently, there has been very little in the United States to protect those who intentionally or accidentally share too much on social media. But although certain laws exist nowadays, they generally relate to things like financial transactions, health care records, and information about kids under 13. And although individual states, with smaller legislatures, lead the way to create new regulations to protect users’ privacy, real privacy on social media is not likely soon. 

The Right To Be Forgotten 

The best way to avoid privacy concerns when using social media sites is to avoid using them altogether or share as little personal information as possible on internet accounts. But since keeping away entirely from social media rarely happens, there’s one privacy law EU citizens can take advantage of. The right to be forgotten states that a person has the right to have individual private information removed from internet searches and other directories under certain circumstances.


COPPA is the governing privacy policy concerning the disclosure of online data for children under 13. This law does not impose specific requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.

young kid’s opinion about social media


Social Media Privacy Laws In The Workplace

A handful of states have adopted privacy laws that prohibit employers from requiring that employees and job applicants provide access to personal internet accounts or social media pages. This legislation’s underlying purpose is to prevent employers from obtaining information about individuals’ private and confidential off-duty activities and associations, which could form the basis for an adverse employment action and lead to discrimination or harassment claims.

Can Social Media Laws Protect Our Online Privacy?

The social media law space is continuously evolving. To make sure you do your most to keep protected, read carefully the privacy settings for each social networking site you use, and make all of your pages as private as possible.

But suppose you want to have clear and concise information regarding existing privacy laws and wish to clear all security concerns. In that case, it is best to discuss with internet privacy experts. They can tell you all you need to know about social media cyber security, how to protect your identity online or how to erase your digital footprint.