A new policy at East Lothian Council has allowed council officials to create fake identity profiles with the idea of monitoring citizens. This has created concerns from human rights campaigners. Jason Hadden MBE, a Barrister at St Ives Chambers, Birmingham (www.stiveschambers.co.uk), said the policy raised question marks about the right to privacy. Daniel Nesbitt of Big Brother Watch said the council needs to say why such tactics are necessary, why it feels they are proportionate and what safeguards are to be put in place.

At one extreme many would-be terrorist plots have been thwarted through the state's covert surveillance of social media. In such circumstances the vast majority of people support such work. However, the use of such tactics in civil matters is of great deal more concern to the individual citizen. Nowadays an unsuspecting person at a job interview can be already judged by a wild Friday night out several years ago. In court cases, e.g. a private children case, social media can lead a forensic analysis of who said what. In criminal cases some ill-judged comments have led to contempt of court proceedings.

The time has surely come for a proper policy to regulate social media use in various areas of modern day society