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Navigating collections rules in social media world is complex

On Behalf of | May 9, 2011 | Credit Card Debt, Firm News

How many times have you been on Facebook or Twitter already today? Maybe you have posted pictures, commented on your weekend purchases or simply tweeted about where you are. For many of us, using social media has become more common than making a simple phone call.

That reality is making for some complex questions regarding right and wrong in many different legal matters. For example, should debt collectors be able to use the information they gather about debtors from social media sites as means of targeting and contacting those who owe money?

What do you think? If you are like a lot of social media users, you probably perceive that the information you post about yourself or others is in some way private. Sure, you are sharing it with your chosen friends or followers, but who is viewing your information is still somehow under your control and, therefore, relatively private.

That perception of privacy, however, is dangerous, according to at least one legal source: “Consumers have no more an expectation of privacy when they put their personal information on public Web sites than when they take that same information and publish it on an interstate highway bill board.”

Based on that point, some think that debt collectors shouldn’t be scrutinized for using debtor information gathered from social media sites for their gain. The Federal Trade Commission recently held a panel discussion devoted to the ethics of using social media in the collections field.

Check back in to read our next post, wherein we will present more details that came out of that necessary yet unfinished discussion.


Collections& “The Debate Over Social Media In Collections Heats Up,” Peter Lucas, 9 May 2011

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