It should be as simple as ABC or 123: photos that students put on Facebook or other online sites aren't private. But it's a lesson some students at Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota are learning the hard way.
More than a dozen face possible discipline from the school because of pictures that were posted on FaceBook.
The photos in question show some of the students with what appear to be alcoholic beverages. In all, 42 students were interviewed in connection with the online photos.
After word of the images got out in the media, the school launched a crackdown. An e-mail sent to families of students says while school officials don't go looking at student social networking sites for possible wrongdoing, they do take action when there is legitimate information about violations of high school rules.
One data privacy expert notes it is becoming increasingly common for schools or potential employers to check social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace -- and to penalize users for what they find.
William McGeveran, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School reminds people that while users don't think of places like Facebook as a public space, that's exactly what they are.