Feeds

Facebook founder loses court battle to keep personal data offline

Poked by his own petard... bitch

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.