Insurance companies' surveillance of social networking site

Posted on Nov 12, 2010

Persons who belong to a public social networking account such as FaceBook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Google Buzz, etc.,  should close that account until their case is resolved.

If a person is unwilling to do so, he or she has to be aware that whatever is written and posted may fall into the hands of the insurance company defending the claim. Most insurance companies are obtaining this information and usually without the accountholder's knowledge or permission. Persons who have such sites should immediately verify that all the settings are on PRIVATE (the highest setting possible) and nothing is public. Even at the highest privacy settings, claimants should not post anything that they would not want to be public. It is wise not to allow anyone to become a "friend" on any of these accounts unless the accountholder absolutely knows that person.

Insurance companies get access to these accounts and sites and then use that information to claim that the person's injuries were exaggerated or even caused by something other than the incident that is the basis of the claim. Insurance companies have successfully used such information; even posts that were considered innocent, harmless joking between private "friends," to convince a judge and juries that the plaintiffs have been dishonest. Persons have to be aware that whatever is posted is fair game to be used in litigation.