Ricochet News

Are social media posts private?

By Tracey Mouton - May 25, 2018
Are social media posts private?

In employment, it is important to understand whether an employer may lawfully access Facebook or other Social media platforms of their employees.

If so, the further question arises as to whether the Regulation and Interception of Communications Act (the Act) applies to social media?

The trend in case law is that there is nothing private about anything said on any social media pages.  If you are tagged in or if your post is shared, privacy does not exist and in essence your post has the potential to go viral.

In the case of Sedick & Another vs Krisray (Pty) Ltd [2011] 8 BALR 879 (CCMA), THE COURT FOUND THAT THE ABOVEMENTIONED Act does not apply.  The case explained that the Act only applies to private communications.  

As the employee had not restricted the privacy settings the employee’s Facebook pages were open to all to see.

By not setting their privacy settings, the employees had abandoned their respective right to privacy.

The employees in this case were dismissed.

For advice and professional legal information, contact Tracey Mouton at Goldberg & de Villiers Inc on 041 501 9800.