NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Civil Liberties Union is taking a stand in support of Facebook’s rights to protect user privacy.

Civil rights attorneys asked an appeals court to reconsider a lower court’s ruling that required Facebook to hand over information to the Manhattan District Attorney as it conducted a securities fraud investigation, 1010 WINS’ Steve Kastenbaum reported.

The ruling asked for the Facebook information on 381 users and required the social media company to hand over information like private messages, chat histories and photographs.


A majority of those people were not charged for the crime. The NYCLU said the DA made no commitment to destroy the data afterwards and can hold on to it in perpetuity.

“Without companies like Facebook objecting to law enforcement’s secret demands for full access to its customers’ accounts, there are few real ways currently to protect our private information on social media from government surveillance,” NYCLU Senior Staff Attorney Mariko Hirose said in a statement.

“Allowing Facebook to stand up for its customers is an important check on law enforcement’s demands for our private social media activity.”