Social media is a huge part of modern life. Most people in New York have at least one social media account. That includes children, teenagers and adults. Even many elderly individuals are present on these platforms. People share everything about their lives in posts they make. Sometimes people share too much. There have been some cases where criminal activity posted about on social media platforms led to an arrest. Whatever you post on social media goes out there for anyone to see unless you have security settings to keep it private. Even then, it is possible for law enforcement to see what you are saying and doing on these platforms, but you may wonder if this is legal. Can law enforcement look through your social media without needing a warrant?

According to The Economist, anything you publish to the public law enforcement has access to without a warrant because it is public information. However, anything not public, such as your messages or if your privacy setting requires someone to be friends with you to see your posts is not accessible by law enforcement without a warrant.

Your private social media account information is just like anything else that is private. For example, what you say on social media that you do not present to the public is just like something you would say in the privacy of your own home. If law enforcement wants to dig around in your social media accounts, then this is a search that requires by law a warrant. This information is for education and is not legal advice.