Because Facebook and its continual disregard for user privacy irk me, I couldn't help but laugh when a coworker pointed me to this Reuters story. Remember Paul Ceglia, the New York businessman who claims to own an 84 percent stake in Facebook because of a contract signed by then-college student Mark Zuckerberg in 2003?
After noting that the lawsuit is ridiculous, Facebook's lawyers had the case removed to federal court. Ceglia is now apparently seeking to send the case back to state court in New York. He claims jurisdiction is proper there because Zuckerberg is also a New York resident. Though Zuckerberg is a native of New York, the story says, he lives in California, where Facebook's headquarters are now located.
It goes without saying that Zuckerberg would prefer to remain in federal court in California. Not only is it more convenient for him and for Facebook's legal team, it allows them to avoid the possibility that the New York court would favor Ceglia. Of course, Ceglia could also argue that the court in California might just as easily favor Facebook and Zuckerberg. But let's leave that alone for now.
It's Zuckerberg's other argument that's really intriguing: He says Ceglia wants to move the case to New York in order to dig into information about his private life. This information is not only not relevant to the issues in the suit, in Zuckerberg's view, Ceglia wants to use it to harass him.
Is the man who makes a living collecting information about his website's users really arguing that his private life should be kept private? Sadly, I don't think even this small taste of his own medicine will change anything about the way Zuckerberg and Facebook push the envelope on user privacy.