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Digital Surveillance & Your Case

By: Brianna Carmichael, Associate Lawyer

In many legal and police drama TV shows, it’s common to see someone “tailing” a vehicle, usually driving a big black SUV with tinted windows and using huge cameras to take pictures and videos. As with most things, this is a sensationalized version of something that really does happen in the real world.

There is no law against someone surveilling you, even though it feels very invasive. Unfortunately, the surveillance can also be digital, of your social media accounts.

In the last few years, whole businesses have opened up to conduct online surveillance as their full-time job. This involves searching for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts, and seeing what posts you have made. They aggregate all the posts into a digital file and draw conclusions based on photos, “likes”, events you have said you may attend, and comments. For example, if you post a photo of yourself doing a physical activity, they will say “this person can do this activity”.

The main issue with this kind of digital surveillance is that it allows the insurance company to take you out of context. In the above example, they will conclude that you are able to go for a bike ride or go canoeing or camping, or any kind of activity – they do not see that you needed to take two days off afterward to recover, or that you needed medication to be able to do the activity pain-free.

The best thing you can do is avoid posting anything about your car accident or injuries on social media if you are actively involved in litigation. It is especially important to avoid posting publicly – you can change your privacy settings to prevent people you are not friends with or people who don’t follow you from seeing your posts. This is a good secondary line of defence.

It is important to be very aware of what you are posting on social media, and to try to see how it can be taken out of context or misunderstood. Avoiding social media posts about your accident or injuries is your best defence to these kinds of questions.

DISCLAIMER: The publications on this website are intended to provide information of a general nature and not legal advice. The information contained in this publication is current to the date of the publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.

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