Stay out of prison. Use Facebook.

Accused of a crime? I hope you’ve been sharing your life online. Rodney Bradford was accused of robbery, and picked out of a lineup, but after his father pointed attorneys to a Facebook status update at the time of the crime, and evidence on Facebook’s servers showing the location where the update was made from, Rodney is a free man again.

Which is great news if he’s actually innocent. But how hard is it to have somebody else (or, for the technically inclined, an automated script) update your Facebook for you? I sense a wave of alibis coming. Especially with services that let people know where you are. “I couldn’t have killed him, your honor. I was at the bar that night. Check my Twitter. You’ll see I was tweeting. And Google Latitude will confirm my GPS location.” All it takes is a friend you trust to use your cell phone for you.

Overall, I still think it’s a good thing. It will clear more innocent people that guilty people, if for no other reason than most criminals are not that bright. But every tool that can be used, will be misused by some.

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