Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
mark zuckerberg, privacy

Facebook Loses Attempt To Remove Court Documents From The Web

from the the-privacy-game dept

Last week, Facebook got slammed as people realized that its "Beacon" advertising solution was a lot more intrusive in terms of revealing private info than had been previously believed -- leading some partners like Coca-Cola and Overstock to think better of being involved. As you probably know, this resulted in Facebook modifying the offering slightly -- though still refusing to offer a universal opt-out. The big criticism of Facebook here, of course, was that it was not respecting its users' privacy.

That's why it was rather ironic that while all of this was going on, Facebook was involved in a legal fight to try to get some documents taken off the web -- claiming that its founder's privacy was being violated. That case involved a Harvard alumni magazine called 02138 that had recently published a somewhat unflattering story about the Facebook founder and posted Mark Zuckerberg's testimony in one of the ridiculous lawsuits against Zuckerberg (from people who claim he "stole" the idea from them, even though the idea was hardly unique in the first place). However, Facebook was claiming that these court documents revealed too much info about Zuckerberg and needed to be taken offline. As Kara Swisher reports, a judge has ruled against Facebook, noting that the documents were a part of the journalistic effort that went into producing the article and provided the necessary transparency for people to dig deeper into the article. Perhaps that will now be the excuse that Facebook uses to explain why Beacon doesn't really intrude on an individual's privacy as well...

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  • identicon
    Da_ALC, 3 Dec 2007 @ 3:35am

    I hate facebook and everythig it stands for. The way it tries to tell you things about yourself.. The way it sells those measily pictures at a dollar each and shoving in your face that the "limited ammount of a million" of them have been sold in a day. Suckerberg comes accross as a fat idiot along with his apparantly stolen ideas.
    Have a good delve and think about Sucker and facebook and im sure you will come to agree.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wolfger, 3 Dec 2007 @ 8:39am


      I use Facebook, and I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. It doesn't try to "tell me about myself", doesn't try to sell me an pictures (at any price), and it doesn't shove anything in my face. Are you sure you're complaining about the right website?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Max Powers, 3 Dec 2007 @ 4:04am


    When I first read this story I couldn't help but laugh my head off. Nothing like having something come back and bite you in the ass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 3 Dec 2007 @ 7:48am


    Apparently Beacon collects data even if you opt out of it.
    However, for us Firefox & Opera users, we have an easy way to permanently remove it. IE7 *might* have a way but I am not sure if the article talks about IE6 or IE7.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wolfger, 3 Dec 2007 @ 8:40am

    Zuckerberg is just upset he can't opt-out. And now he'll get to feel the Streisand Effect, I'm sure. Sometimes you've just got to leave bad-enough alone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dee, 3 Dec 2007 @ 1:38pm

    Ah, having your cake and eating it too. Delicious!

    To be honest, the main thing that turned me off about Facebook was its insistance on knowing 'real life' information about me. Even seemingly innocent stuff like the fact that it encourages people to use real names rather than pseudonyms. I've seen enough people get in trouble in the past (and I'm talking "full on identity theft with ruined credit" trouble) from giving out stuff even as basic as that to make me... leery about the whole thing.

    And that's not even getting into the problems of, say, your boss finding your profile.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Erik, 4 Dec 2007 @ 12:39pm

    I too hate Facebook and how invasive and overarching their Terms of Use are. I'll never use the site and have actively counseled friends against using it. But I love the irony of them trampling other's privacy rights and then trying to sue to remove Zuckerberg's skeletons. Good luck with that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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