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Facebook reveals fight over data collection request: CNET Update

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CNET Update: Facebook reveals fight over data collection request

2:53 /

The social network challenged a search warrant for personal info on hundreds of users. The move suggests more privacy awareness, at a time when the Supreme Court has ruled against warrantless cell phone searches.

It's time for a reminder that nothing you post online is truly private. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] We are living in a time where anything you do on Facebook can be shared with law enforcement. And you won't even know when your digital life is being searched. A recent statement by Facebook is shining a light on how government agencies can make broad requests for user data. And there's little Facebook can do to fight those requests. It's no secret that law enforcement agencies will collect user data from tech companies with a court order or a subpoena. But Facebook fought back against one request last year from a New York court. It required the network to hand over all the data of 381 people that included their messages, photos, everything. Now Facebook saw this request as unconstitutional for being so broad. Arguing that it went against the fourth amendments as an unreasonable search and seizure. The court said Facebook had no legal standing to fight back. And Facebook eventually handed everything over. Now Facebook couldn't notify the affected users or speak of this, because of the gag order. That is, until now. Out of those 381 accounts, only 62 people were charged with disability fraud. In this case, people who were collecting disability benefits were posting photos on Facebook of them doing various activities that went against their disability claims. But here we have a situation where more than 300 Facebook accounts were not involved in fraud, and yet all their information was handed over to law enforcement. And it raises some concerns over data privacy and how the rights differ from the physical world. For example, why are there different standards regarding searching email and searching postal mail. The laws over digital data are slowly evolving. This week the Supreme Court ruled that a warrant is required to search a cell phone or any mobile device. The court opinion stated that just because it's easy for a phone to store personal information in your pocket, doesn't make it any less worthy of Fourth Amendment protections. Now, for those of you not so worried about storing your personal data on the Internet, you'll find this next story to be good news. Microsoft is offering more free online storage with OneDrive. It boosted the free amount to 15 Gigs, which is what Google Drive also offers for free. Before Microsoft only gave away 7 gigs. Now there's growing competition in the world of online cloud storage. Microsoft also hopes to learn more paying customers by dropping prices on additional storage. So 100 gigs on one drive now costs $2 a month before it was 750. That's your tech news update you can get more details on these stories at Cnet.com from our studios in New York I'm Bridget Carey.

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