Everett v. Delaware, No. 257. Supreme Court of Delaware, May 29, 2018.
Everett was indicted for unlawful firearm possession after a detective, using a false profile, became Everett’s Facebook “friend,” which enabled his observations of Everett’s posted media showing his nightstand displaying a gun. Everett moved to suppress the evidence, claiming that the detective’s monitoring of his Facebook page violated the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court of Delaware rejected this challenge, holding that a Facebook user has no reasonable expectation of privacy that Facebook information will not be passed along. False friendship, gossip, and unwanted sharing of information are recognized hazards of human social interaction. “Friends” are always free to pass information along, whether or not the disclosing party wishes. The Fourth Amendment does not protect information voluntarily disclosed to an accepted “friend,” whether in person or online.
Similarly, the court rejected the notion that there needed to be evidence of wrongdoing before the detective initiated the ruse: there is no constitutional protection against a misplaced belief that shared evidence of wrongdoing will not be disclosed.