D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declines to extend Carpenter to the sharing of Facebook information with a third party

This case arises from a lawsuit over the loss of employment after the plaintiff was stripped of his security clearance. The Government moved for dismissal/summary judgment, which was mostly granted. This became the subject of this appeal.

The Court held that where the plaintiff “knowingly and voluntarily shared (information) with his Facebook friends is not a search,” citing Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 743-44, 99 S. Ct. 2577, 61 L. Ed. 2d 220 (1979). The fact that this “Facebook friend” learned information and gave it up to others brings this under the third-party doctrine of voluntarily sharing information negating any expectation of privacy.

The case is Palmieri v. United States, 896 F.3d 579, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20477, 2018 WL 3542634 (D.C. Cir.) (July 24)

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