back to article Facebook founder loses court battle to keep personal data offline

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 …


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  1. Ivor
    Paris Hilton

    Welcome to the hotel...

    ggarrgh so now I'm humming the eagles. y'basterds.

    Anyway... Paris seemed appropriate for benefiting from having personal details online.... now just need to refresh my memory on t'internet...

  2. Roger
    Gates Halo

    Hotel Facebook

    Last thing I remember, I was

    Running for the door

    I had to find the passage back

    To the place I was before

    ’relax,’ said the night man,

    We are programmed to receive.

    You can checkout any time you like,

    But you can never leave!

  3. Reggy's Tar.

    Three cheers for the US courts

    At last some payback for all those people who opened a Facebook account with no real idea of teh imapct it would have on their lives.

    Unfortunately, it won't really hit Zuckerberg in the pocket, unlike the many people who have lost jobs or failed to find work as a result of some poorly judged utterances on the site that can never be deleted.

    Shame on you Zuckerberg, may your personal details shine happily on the web forever, or until you allow people to delete their accounts permanently.

  4. Daniel B.
    Thumb Up

    Geeze, I can actually sing this...

    Welcome to the facebook california

    Such a lovely space

    Such a lovely face

    Plenty of room at the facebook california

    Any time of year, you can post it here...

    Anyway, I really love how El Reg pokes on Zuckerberg by using the "... bitch" line against him. "I'm a walking billboard... bitch" "I'm in privacy trouble... bitch" and others. ;)

  5. Highlander
    Thumb Down

    As much as everyone... enjoying the pain of the founder of Facebook, the trouble here is that this kind of case can help set a precedent. In this case the precedent would appear to be that it's OK for a magazine or other kind of publication to obtain papers from a court and publish them in their entirety including personal information such as your SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. In other words the court is effectively removing this man's right to protect this highly personal and confidential information that in the hands of a petty criminal can be the cause of ID theft. As if we don't already have enough of this in the US. The Government and banks don't want to know or help with ID Theft. Apparently the courts don't give a crap either. While it's great fun to laugh at Mr Facebook's mis-fortune, the flip side is a precedent that doesn't need to be set.

  6. yeah, right.
    Paris Hilton

    Karma! (and @ Highlander)

    Serves the sucker right, really. Karma at it's best.

    As for the precedent being set - it was set years ago. Unless they are sealed (and I gather this wasn't) court records are public documents.

    As for the American SSN being "highly personal", bollocks. Many companies (even online) ask for the SSN as "ID". With the almost complete lack of real data protection laws, it's hardly "private" information anymore. The Americans may have bullied Canada and Europe into forcing them to water down their data protection laws to allow US companies to continue their tricks, but the US really doesn't have any such laws. If they did, Facebook and others wouldn't be able to do what they're doing.

    Paris probably has more of a clue about privacy than American laws (state or federal).

  7. Anonymous Coward

    SSN Secure?

    I work for BT & for many years my employee number was my National Insurance Number, synonymous to the US SSN. Many years ago BT realized their <might be> a security problem, so introduced Employee Identity Numbers (EIN) , mine's 80.......

    The EIN is now called a UIN!

  8. yeah, right.
    Jobs Horns

    shit. (@ yeah, right)

    DAMN! It's "Karma at its best". Damn rogue apostrophe!

    It's all Steve's fault.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Avoid the Plague

    Makes me glad I've avoided Facebook, MySpace and the rest of the "anti-social networking" sites. MySpace is owned by Murdoch and therefore you risk your immortal soul if you associate with it, Facebook is owned and run by a bunch of spoilt brats who shouldn't be allowed to drive let alone look after people's private data.

    Aside from several Google apps, VoIP, etc. what exactly has the absurdly over-hyped "Web 2.0" produced that's of any benefit to anyone aside from those who hold stock options in the companies?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Soc. numbers not all that secure

    Up until December 2005 some states used your Soc. number as your Drivers License number. If you had one of those every time you used a check, rented equipment, car, hotel or any of the other places that use your Drivers License ID you gave who knows how many people your Soc.

  11. Name

    Yeah, but he's a douchebag, so it's OK.

    Seriously, read the article. Zuckerberg is to CEOs as Bush is to Presidents.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Reggy's Tar.

    I agree that Facebook don't make it "easy" to delete accounts, but they can be removed.

    After realising what a silly idea Facebook was, I deleted all my data (as much as possible) and deactivated the account. I then sent their support people an email asking them to delete any remaining information (and really kill the account). They seemed quite happy to carry out this request.

    Of course, they could have an evil master-plan which involves keeping the data when they say they have deleted it...but surely that's the same for any hosting service.

  13. Anonymous Coward



  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh Mr CEO...

    You suck! <pause> Bitch! </pause>

  15. Paul

    @Anonymous Coward

    Just a point. Your NINO is not the sam as the American SSN.

    As far as I can tell the US use the SSN as a VERY important piece of data. Your NINO should not be. Some companys do use it, but they shoulden't. It should only be your REF for HMRC and the DWP and should be no more secret than your driving licence number.

  16. John


    I think a <pause /> element would be better there.

    I gotted me a bebo account because most of my friends use it. Every time I update the witty aphorisms in my profile I see loads of fields that want my telephone number and house address. I leave them blank.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >I gotted me a bebo account

    If that's the level of articulation of your average bebo user than I thank whatever deity is currently fashionable (Paddington maybe) that I never gotted one myself.

  18. andy rock
    Gates Horns

    "the new Bill Gates"

    pardon? which chump said that?!

  19. Rob

    With John on this....

    ... is it really Facebooks fault that users fill in every field possible, I certainly haven't, people looking at my info will find that I live some where in England, if they see my IP address they will be able to pinpoint more precisely, than any info I have given.

    It's another case of Caveat Emptor, although I have no knowledge of Latin to change the "buyer" word to something more appropriate. In short take responsibility for your self.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... are *not* and have never been designed to be used as an personal ID system on the cheap. If they were HMRC wouldn't admit there are more NINOs in circulation than there could ever be people working.

    Also there are many cases of two people being issued the same NINO, which makes it useless for guarenteeing ID anyway.

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