Feeds

Facebook founder loses court battle to keep personal data offline

Poked by his own petard... bitch

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Mark Zuckerberg has been given a taste of his own medicine: his personal information is being plastered all over the web forever.

The Facebook boss has failed in a court bid to gag a magazine that published data including drunken extracts from his college diary and his social security number.

Federal judge Douglas Woodlock told the 23-year-old's lawyers on Friday that the independent Harvard alumni magazine 02138 had the right to release the documents, which were part of another court case.

02138's investigation centred on the dispute between Zuckerberg and the operators of ConnectU, another Harvard-founded social network. It's alleged that in the early days of Facebook, "the new Bill Gates" nicked ideas and source code from brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who had asked him to work on their project.

Digging into that period, freelance reporter Luke O'Brien turned up a series of depositions and other documents on a visit to the courthouse, and the magazine ran them in support of his article. The piece is sympathetic to the Winklevoss twins and reports accusations by classmates that Zuckerberg had lied in front of them.

Facebook lawyers applied to have the documents taken down on Thursday, saying the court had ordered them to be sealed.

A spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal: "One reason the court ordered certain documents' protection was to prevent exactly what has happened: misusing documents and taking documents out of context to sling mud."

Their failed application also attempted to force O'Brien to reveal how he obtained the files, since they had been locked up. He has maintained he was given them by a Federal Appeals Court clerk.

The judge denied all Facebook's claims. According to the New York Times, the clerk mistakenly handed over the files to O'Brien.

Zuckerberg and Co. will be hoping Friday's decision marks the end of a run of public embarrassments for Facebook. On Thursday, it was finally forced to bow to pressure over its creepy new ad system Beacon.

There could be more privacy-related defeats ahead, however. The UK's Information Commissioner is investigating Facebook's "Hotel California" policy on user data that means accounts can only be deactivated, never deleted.

02138's article and the Facebook files are here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.