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Some advice needed guys - Please help if you can!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Eva_Smith, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    I typed a much longer post, but realised I would be certainly identifying myself, so I'll keep it brief.
    A few months ago, I had some accusations made against me (totally false). An investigation was held, statements taken, but no action was taken. I received no warning of any kind.
    I have since requested copies of all documents relating to this investigation, following it being mentioned in a reference.
    In the documents is a screen shot/print out from my (private) Facebook profile. The content of it is innocuous and very general, but could only have been obtained by asking a colleague to access my profile (one who is my friend on Facebook) and then printing out the page....unless anyone can think of another way my profile may be accessed by someone who is not a Facebook friend?
    What do you make of this and what action would you take if you were me? I believe that it's a gross invasion of privacy, especially since the content was never raised in any meeting I attended. I can see no reason to access and retain such information and I also consider it to be an unlawful invasion of my private life. There is absolutely no link between anything written on my profile and the school and/or pupil in question, but even if there was I'd consider it a breach of privacy to access it.
    What action do you suggest?
    Eva xx
     
  2. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    I typed a much longer post, but realised I would be certainly identifying myself, so I'll keep it brief.
    A few months ago, I had some accusations made against me (totally false). An investigation was held, statements taken, but no action was taken. I received no warning of any kind.
    I have since requested copies of all documents relating to this investigation, following it being mentioned in a reference.
    In the documents is a screen shot/print out from my (private) Facebook profile. The content of it is innocuous and very general, but could only have been obtained by asking a colleague to access my profile (one who is my friend on Facebook) and then printing out the page....unless anyone can think of another way my profile may be accessed by someone who is not a Facebook friend?
    What do you make of this and what action would you take if you were me? I believe that it's a gross invasion of privacy, especially since the content was never raised in any meeting I attended. I can see no reason to access and retain such information and I also consider it to be an unlawful invasion of my private life. There is absolutely no link between anything written on my profile and the school and/or pupil in question, but even if there was I'd consider it a breach of privacy to access it.
    What action do you suggest?
    Eva xx
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I feel I cannot reply to this as I am not a guy.
     
  4. When you say that an investigation was held, does this mean that the police were involved?
     
  5. Sorry Eva, i've realised how random my question may have been. It may explain where the print out came from, I was informed at a meeting with police that Facebook is now one of the first places they look for information in a lot of personal cases.
     
  6. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    Oh goodness, no! The DH went sniffing around a few kids and asked them to give statements. Luckily, other students came forward to give statements saying that the others were making it all up. Everything was dropped, although I was treated rather visciously at first, until the kids came forward and said it was all lies.
    Sorry if I'm a bit unclear. I've only just looked closely at the documents I've received. The print out of my page is on the back of another document and I didn't see it at first.
    I'm literally shaking with anger, frustrations, stress, anxiety...everything! I just want to run out and scream in the street like a lunatic.

     
  7. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    A Facebook profile that can be accessed by anyone else is NOT a private profile. Your privacy has NOT been invaded.
     
  8. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    The profile can be accessed by people who are my friends. If the SLT have asked a friend to allow them to look at my profile and then printed out pages from it, I consider that an invasion. For what reason did they need to see my profile? And why wasn't this acknowledged to me at the time?
     
  9. Firstly, put the documents down, go and get a glass of wine and put your feet up in front of the telly! Secondly, when you go in tomorrow CALMLY enquire - in writing (email) - as to how this particular document was obtained. Until you have this information you do not know what your next step could be.
     
  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Keep work and personal life very separate. Do not add colleagues to facebook - even if your settings are private you have then compromised your privacy.
     
  11. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    What you consider is irrelevant. Your Facebook profile is a public document, whatever else you feel about it.
     
  12. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    Thanks Jenny, I agreee but...I'd like to have some information to back me up.
    If the school HAVE asked a colleague who is my friend to show them my profile page is this allowed?
    Are they allowed to print out and keep a copy of my profile page, inclduing comments written by friends - has their privacy also been invaded?
    Should this have been acknowledged to me at the time?
    The accusations made against in no way had anything to do with my personal Facebook account, so I have no idea why they even felt the NEED to look at my profile in the first place.
     
  13. I understand you're angry, but please be careful not to jump to conclusions. It could lead you to make comments in anger that you can't take back later.
    You're assuming that SLT have asked someone to access your profile. Someone may have decided to do that off their own back. Are you friends with any pupils, or friends/relatives of pupils, or ex-pupils? Maybe someone else got access through someone who knows you?
    To an extent, I agree with a previous poster. You are on shakey ground describing information you make available via a website as 'private', whatever settings you put on it. Ragardless of how we use facebook, it is still a website, and people can get at it.
     
  14. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Yes
    Yes
    No
    No




     
  15. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    Commmon sense must be applied here. The school have obviously felt that a status update about the jog I did one Monday night is relevant to the investigation (it wasn't, I assure you). The point is, WHY have they gone looking for such information?
    If I'd asked a pupil to show me another pupils' Facebook profile, then printed out their statuses, what do you think would have been the consequences for me?
     
  16. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    They would not have known what was in your status until they had in their hands a print-out. Its content (and the absence of anything incriminatory) may have been a factor in their ultimate decision on teh investigation.
     
  17. That's the assumption you're making.
    Eva, you obviously feel that your privacy has been invaded. Even if others on here disagree with you, that isn't going to change your mind.
    I would suggest that you ask about the relevance, and how they obtained the print out.
    I do think though, that a claim of privacy invasion won't get you anywhere.
     
  18. Personally, I would also feel this is a little underhand, in the same way that I would if they asked the IT department to hack into my email account. As to whether it is 'allowed'? I think you may need to speak to HR and your union about. At this stage policies on Facebook, their use and problems they cause are forever changing. I would imagine any policy currently placed is very blurred in a situation such as yours. Either way, it's not illegal, evidence has been brought to the table when a 3rd party has been questioned. If their evidence (your Facebook profile) has resulted in backing up your case then it has in fact been helpful.
    Again, I think it would have been polite for them to let you know but not necessary in the process.

    They may not have, it might have come from a 3rd party defending your corner. The most important thing is that you calm down, you need to check the facts as to what has happened rather than coming to your own conclusions and winding yourself up about it. Make sure you send a level headed, simple enquiry in your email, nothing else.
     
  19. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    My settings are such that only trusted people can read my status updates etc. Obviously, one of those people is not as trustworthy as I might have thought.
    Either way, the status updates in question would not be the sort of thing that would make someone say, "That's not allowed, I must report that to the HT". The updates are from a weekend and are about a run I went on; the need to get outside and clear the cobwebs away; being tired and needing a good sleep; having a headache; one of them says "I don't know why I bother..." (can't remember what I was refering to)...
    Why would someone independently and voluntarily (and coincidentally at the same time as the investigation) print out these status updates and hand them to a senior leader?
    Doomzebra - you are saying that they don't have to acknowledge to me that they've accessed my profile page. If they are intending to use it as 'evidence' against me - which I can only assume was their intention - surely I am entitled to know exactly what I am being accused of?

    Perhaps I was being brought in for questioning regarding the crime of having no life and therefore the most boring status updates in the world. Maybe they simply wanted to investigate how they could improve my work/life balance and thus help my statuses become more exciting?!
     
  20. As I said in my original response, in a meeting with police recently (relating to a school issue) I was quite clearly informed that this is one of the first places they go to when looking for evidence of behaviour.
    If this is to demonstrate evidence in an investigation it would be fine. I have been given many a print out of a Facebook page in cases related to cyber bullying and other such things. These print outs have not come from the profile owners.
     

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