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Social media is helping solve crime.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Although Facebook has allowed its users extensive privacy settings, like limiting access to their information and photographs to their friends, this privacy cannot always be guaranteed.

Because of its growing popularity, internet services like Facebook are being used to solve crimes by the law enforcement department. Recently, a Detroit resident was indicted on bank robbery charges, partly because his photos from Facebook were matched to footage on the surveillance tape. Agreeing with the benefits social media can bring, FBI Crime Specialist E.J.Hilbert says,

"The use of social media or online searches is absolutely crucial. It is free information. It's there. People should absolutely be utilizing this."

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But while such services can help battle crime, concerns to exercise control over these privileges have been voiced. According to a statement given to CNN, the site stated,

"We never turn over "content" records in response to US Legal process unless that process is a search warrant reviewed by a judge. We are required to regularly push back against overbroad requests..."

While this may not be convenient for the law enforcement department, civil liberties groups say Facebook has adopted the correct position. At the same time, they are worried that other internet services may not impose similar stringent privacy requirements.

"I think what we need to have written clearly into the law is a requirement that when the government wants sensitive information, e-mails, cell phone tracking information, photos that you've only shared with friends, they need to go to a judge, make their case and get a warrant", confirmed a representative.

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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