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Depressed Woman's Facebook Pics Ruin Her Insurance Benefits

It seems that placing privacy settings on your social networking profile isn't enough to keep snoops away. Nathalie Blanchard, of Quebec, Canada, learned that lesson when her long-term, sick-leave benefits were stripped from her because of photos on her Facebook account.

For the past year and a half, Blanchard had been on leave from her job at IBM as the result of being diagnosed with serious clinical depression. Since the diagnosis, she had been collecting a monthly check from Manulife, her insurance firm. But after Manulife investigators discovered photos on her private Facebook page that showed her out partying with friends at a bar and vacationing on sunny beaches, the company decided to cut off benefits. The insurer considered the photos evidence that Blanchard was no longer depressed, according to a report by the CBC.

Blanchard told the CBC that she was only following doctors' orders and trying to have fun through nights out and short getaways. She added that while she might have been happy in the moment, her issues with depression persisted. Manulife, for its part, told the news outlet that it "would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook," but the company did not cite any other reasons for revoking her claim.

Since Blanchard's profile is private, it seems that Manulife would have had to resort to hacking or deception in order to gain access to the photos. Regardless of what you think about Blanchard's taking leave for a year and a half for feeling sad, that would represent a clear violation of trust and privacy. [From: CBC]