Fake MySpace account to reveal person's STD is grounds for lawsuit


If you've ever had some seriously juicy and terrible news about someone you'd love to blackmail, you probably shouldn't post it online. Even if no one looks at the dumb MySpace page you throw together to break the news, it's still an invasion of privacy and could get you into trouble.

A person can sue for invasion of privacy if someone posts their private information online regardless of the number of people who viewed it, says the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

How did this issue come about? A Fairview Cedar Ridge clinic employee read the medical file of an aquaintance and discovered they had a sexually transmitted disease. They told other people who eventually posted the information on a public MySpace page for at least one day.

More from Minnesota Public Radio:

To sue for invasion of privacy, a person must prove the information becomes public. Fairview argued that the posting on was essentially private because its pages aren't of general interest, like online newspaper Web sites.

The court disagreed, saying that because the site delivers information directly to the public, it can't be considered private even if only a handful of people access the information.