Divorce is always a messy proposition. As discussed this week, Facebook and social media have blown up family law cases and made a contentious process even more volatile. The most spectacular recent case in this regard is perhaps a Connecticut divorce in which the husband and wife were ordered to exchange passwords so they could dig for dirt on each other.
It’s easy to blame technology for complicating an already painful process, but there’s no reason parties should be exchanging passwords and trolling through Facebook posts and messages. Nextpoint’s Cloud Preservation takes advantage of an authentication and authorization technology provided for third party applications by Facebook, commonly called OAuth. OAuth is the de facto standard used by Internet applications like Google and Twitter to share content.
Cloud Preservation uses Facebook’s Graph API (which uses OAuth for authorization) to crawl private Facebook profiles in addition to public pages, including friend lists, wall posts, and just about anything published on a page. With OAuth, instead of giving a third party private Facebook credentials, the aggrieved husband and wife could simply grant access, creating a secure and forensically complete archive of the others’ page. With built-in search and review capabilities, they could quickly find whatever incriminating evidence they were hoping to get. Some of the advantages to using OAuth include:
- The username and password stays with Facebook
- Users can revoke access at any time
- Users have transparent identification of the information that the third party is requesting to access
Obviously, the OAuth solution works for plenty of interesting cases, including employment issues. It may seem that social media complicates litigation, but as with most modern technologies, there is an elegant solution just below the surface.