Anti-social media? Networking and the power of privacy

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Love it or loath it, no one can deny the influence of social media on our lives. Whether it is posting a comment on a blog or forum, sending holiday updates to friends and family or connecting with professional associates, these online communities and networks enable us to reach out, link to and share information with others.

In many cases the information relating to ourselves or those we post about will be subject to data protection laws. In Europe these laws derive from EC Directives, with the core implementing legislation in the UK being the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The DPA provides rights to individuals in respect of personal data processed about them and places obligations on those who process personal data.

The implications of the DPA to social media will vary depending on the user, the service and the use to which social media is put. Sometimes the distinctions between these uses may not always be apparent…

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