Tareq and Michaele Salahi — Washington socialites are not just known for their possible roles in the upcoming “The Real Housewives of Washington,” but for being seen arriving at the White House State Dinner. The problem was that they weren’t on the guest list, but managed to work their way inside what is supposed to be the most secure party.
The couple took to Facebook to document their party-crashing, and on Wednesday, Michaele Salahi’s Facebook page included photos of the couple at the dinner. The Salahis weren’t exposed until journalists caught sight of pictures showing the Salahis posing with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others. In the aftermath, the security breach looked more like a publicity stunt than a security threat. The Secret Service admitted that they did not verify at each checkpoint that this couple was on the invitation list. In other words, they missed the second cardinal rule of security, Verify.
News stories like this bring Facebook Privacy into the spotlight once again. Facebook is becoming used more and more in legal cases and as evidence for both the prosecution and the defense. Last month, Facebook was used to prove that a crime suspect was posting a status message from his father’s apartment in Harlem and not mugging a victim at gun-point. The charges were immediately dropped.
The average person, journalist, policeman, neighbor, and government official has the power to track your every move on sites like Facebook , Twitter and MySpace. These pictures, posts and messages can be viewed and used by more than just your network. The situation with the Salahis shows that anything posted on the Internet is automatically public information. It can be scooped by journalists for stories, emailed out to databases or used against you in a court of law.
Just a holiday reminder that when you post it, you publish it publicly and permanently.
Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.
John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.