Mark Zuckerberg said society has loosened up about privacy. But the Facebook CEO was talking about his users; now that he's a defendant in a New York lawsuit, Zuckerberg is calling for stronger privacy protections.
Zuckerberg's lawyers say Paul Ceglia, the graphic designer suing Zuckerberg for control of Facebook, is trying to pry into the 26-year-old CEO's personal life. Ceglia wants the case switched back to New York state court from federal court, a move Zuckerberg's attorneys are trying to quash, saying it's part of a plot to "harass defendants under the pretext of obtaining jurisdictional discovery into Zuckerberg's private life," according to Reuters.
But what could possibly be left to reveal about Zuckerberg's private life while attending Harvard, back when he knew Ceglia? His interactions have been amply investigated and documented in lawsuits filed by former business partners, like Eduardo Saverin, and by alleged former business partners, like Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Zuckerberg's college behavior was also examined in a university investigation into his website FaceMash, and during the Winklevoss twins' unsuccessful attempt to go after Zuckerberg on student conduct charges. Zuckerberg was also written about extensively in the Harvard Crimson while still enrolled, and his college days were subsequently featured in at least two major books, Ben Mezrich's Accidental Billionaires (now being made into a movie) and David Kirkpatrick's Facebook Effect. And various other intrepid journalists looked into Zuckerberg's Harvard days, as well.
It seems unlikely that Ceglia, a client Zuckerberg met on Craigslist, would know or even be able to discover anything of consequence not already in the public record about collegiate Zuckerberg. Maybe the CEO, like so many of his users, just tends to guard his privacy reflexively. Better safe than sorry, after all — at least when it's your own privacy on the line.
[Thanks to our own Jesse Ma for the tip]