May 12, 2008
Facebook Sued To Reveal Identity of Fake Poster
A Dean of Students of a Roman Catholic school in Indianapolis is suing Facebook over a prank page depicting which depicts that individual as acting inappropriately for a person in that position. The issue for Tim Puntarelli is not to punish Facebook but to get them to cough up the details of who posted the fake page in his name. The judge in the case issued an order requiring Facebook to turn over information on the poster and to preserve the now deleted profile. Facebook requires a court order before they would give any details to anyone. The story in the Indianapolis Star did not indicate if Facebook put up any type of defense as to why they should not give up the information.
The story also quotes a staff attorney from the ACLU suggesting that the content of the fake page could be protected speech as a form of parody. That question, however, is reserved for a different legal action, should it be brought against the perpetrators by Puntarelli and the Roman Catholic Diocese.
One would think that the most interesting question to come out of this case is what level of detail Facebook has on the original poster, and how fast they give it out. The news story speculates that all Facebook could have is the IP address where the logins originated. With the aggressive marketing information Facebook is trying to collect with its Beacon program, there may be more information lurking than a simple IP address. We may learn more about the data collection process than strictly what information gets collected when setting up a profile, fake or real.
May 12, 2008 | Permalink
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