Volume 36:3 (Spring 2013)

With “Friends” Like These, Who Needs Enemies? Passwords, Privacy, and the Discovery of Social Media Content


John G. Browning


The emergence of social media has expanded the bounds of discovery and the information sought by parties. Yet there is no unanimity in opinion among the courts when determining whether to compel production of a party’s social media login and password credentials. This Article examines the differing categories of treatment by the courts in making this determination and offers suggestions for counsel when deciding whether to request unfettered access to an opposing party’s social media accounts and how to respond to such requests.