E.D.Mich.: No REP in Instagram postings, private or public

There was no reasonable expectation of privacy in defendant’s Instragram account postings and communications whether it was set private or not. United States v. Dixson, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178371 (E.D.Mich. Sept. 20, 2021):

It is immaterial whether Rees gained access to Dixson’s account because it was public or because it was private and Dixson accepted the follow request that Rees sent to Dixson from the undercover agent account. Either way, Dixson’s motion to suppress fails. If Dixson’s account was public, he obviously lacked any reasonable expectation of privacy in the content that he shared on that account, as it could be seen by the entire public—including people who do not even have an Instagram account. See United States v. Meregildo, 883 F. Supp. 2d 523, 525 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) (holding that a Facebook user had no reasonable expectation of privacy that his Facebook friends would not share the information that the user posted on Facebook). If Dixson’s account was private—and even assuming that he had some reasonable expectation of privacy in his private Instagram account—Dixson’s approval of the follow request amounted to consent to the search of his Instagram account.

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