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Old 06-06-2008, 11:26 PM   #1
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Internet/Legal question....

I belong to another message board that also recently made a change like Interference did. Before the change, when members signed up they were asked for their first and last name, etc, but the sign-up indicated this information would not be part of the profile and kept private. Then, when they upgraded, the new forum software made that personal info public and Google cached it. Immediately people complained, and their techie person made the change to keep that information private. However, Google cached all those profiles with the personal info, so it's still basically public. After several additional complaints, the admins basically said they were sorry but there's nothing they can do. Now, my question is, do you think this web site is legally in the wrong for now allowing private information to be public and not trying to fix it? It's not a big deal at all, at least not to me, I'm thinking more in terms of the principle of the matter. Can a website ask you for personal info while promising to keep your privacy, then make a mistake and just say "oops...sorry, oh well" and not be held liable?
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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It all depends on what steps they took to help keep that information private. If they didn't do anything at all, then yes they are liable. Now if they took every precaution to hold the information private, I vote no, they are not liable. Each and every member who signed up knew they were submitting their full names to a website. The members had every right not to submit either their real names or any name at all (by not becoming a member). As a judge I would need to take into account what steps that website took to prevent the leakage.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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As far as I know, no steps were taken. They "upgraded" to a new software package and apparently didn't realize that the information people were asked to enter when signing up would be made public during this "upgrade", didn't know until members themselves complained, and then the response was basically "oops, nothing we can do now." Since people know I work in IT, a few have asked me about it.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:24 PM   #4
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Well then it seems they could, at the very least, be held accountable through negligence. I know Wikipedia is hardly a worthy source to cite but I found this article to be interesting. Criminal negligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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