An Ontario judge has ordered a party to a civil litigation case arising from a motor vehicle accident to hand over the contents of their private Facebook profile. Importantly, the judge ruled that "a party who maintains a private, or limited access, Facebook profile stands in no different position than one who sets up a publicly-available profile." The judge seems to have arrived at that conclusion based on her understanding of Facebook:
a court can infer from the social networking purpose of Facebook, and the applications it offers to users such as the posting of photographs, that users intend to take advantage of Facebook’s applications to make personal information available to others. From the general evidence about Facebook filed on this motion it is clear that Facebook is not used as a means by which account holders carry on monologues with themselves; it is a device by which users share with others information about who they are, what they like, what they do, and where they go, in varying degrees of detail. Facebook profiles are not designed to function as diaries; they enable users to construct personal networks or communities of “friends” with whom they can share information about themselves, and on which “friends” can post information about the user.
Case name is Leduc v. Roman.