Goldman Sachs is going to court to try to force Google to delete an e-mail that one of its contractors sent to the wrong e-mail address. This type of incident might be more common than we would like. In fact, less than 2 months ago, I received an e-mail from one of the people I had recently communicated with that was not intended for me, but for someone with the same first name, leading me to speculate that the auto-complete feature may have suggested the wrong e-mail to the sender. As soon as I realized that the message was not intended for me, I immediately deleted the e-mail.
Today, the ABA gave the go-ahead to attorneys to look at “publicly available musings” of citizens called for jury service and in deliberations, but stopped short of allowing them to “follow or friend” jurors. Such “musings” may even impact the outcomes of legal proceedings; the article cites a case in which a defense attorney asked for a new trial on the basis of a juror’s post. There is a clear tension here between the privacy of jurors and the right of defendants to have their case heard by impartial jurors, but it is certainly not the first time an online user’s digital footprint has led to repercussions in the real world.