22 Jan Facebook and the Expectation of Privacy
In 2012, news came out involving the case of students who were not able to attend their high school commencement exercises after the school found out that photos where they were wearing bikinis and drinking alcohol were posted on Facebook. Aggrieved, the parents of the children filed a petition for a writ of habeas data which the Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed in July 2012. Two years hence, the Supreme Court (Court) affirmed the decision of the RTC and found that there is no violation of the privacy rights of the minors.
The facts, as narrated by the Supreme Court are as follows. Sometime in January 2012, during a birthday party and while changing into their swimsuits, they, along with several others, took photos of themselves clad only in their undergarments. Other photos were also taken of the children drinking hard liquor and smoking cigarettes inside a bar and along the streets of Cebu wearing clothes that show virtually the entirety of their black brassieres. The said photos are then uploaded by Angela Tan on her Facebook profile.
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