Court rules Twitter "Not Private"

A UK court recently ruled that Twitter messages are not private, and the press (and by extension anyone) were free to use them without consent.
...the PCC said the potential audience for [the Plantiff's] tweets was much wider than her followers, because each message could be forwarded by others, known as retweeting.

It also agreed with the newspapers' argument that Twitter was publicly accessible and that the complainant had not taken steps to restrict access to her messages and was not publishing material anonymously.

As a result, the commission ruled that the articles did not constitute a breach of privacy. 
Of particular note in this case is that the tweets in question were from her personal account, and used to shine a negative light in an article about her employer, the Department of Transport. A good reminder that, no matter what distinction you may make between your home and work communications, the Internet sees no difference.

My recommendations for dealing with this are to be very conscientious about what you post on behalf of your company, or in a professional capacity, and maintain high privacy settings on your personal accounts. (I also recommend the general guideline Vivian uses that you shouldn't say anything online that you wouldn't say at a cocktail party.) This is not a perfect control, as your posts may be copied or repeated without your consent or knowledge and privacy standards tend to change suddenly with little warning, but it should be enough protection for most people.

If you keep a personal blog, consider using a pen name (like "Lulu Brown" does on her blog). For most people this is probably an unnecessary step, though.

Despite the paranoid tone of this article, I want to encourage you to continue using your personal social media in a personal way. These are important tools for building and maintaining relationships, and it is ridiculous to cut out curtail these social interactions just because it might come back to haunt you at work. Just keep in mind that what you say to your friends may travel beyond them, so be cautious saying anything you would not want your boss, or your clients, to hear.