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The Limits of Internet Privacy February 13, 2008

Posted by Michael in Ducks, Law.
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There are legal limits to your online anonymity. For example, let’s say you and five other guys were successful bidders in an online sex auction, and never revealed your true identity to the woman you won. No way (you might think) that she has any right to discover who you are.

Yes way.

BERLIN (Reuters) – A woman in Germany who became pregnant after an online sex auction has won a court battle to force the Web site that hosted the sale to reveal the names of the winners, so she can find out who’s the father.

Six different men won Internet auctions to have sex with the woman in April and May last year. They were only known to her by their online names, a spokesman for a court in the southwestern city of Stuttgart said Wednesday.

“The woman wanted to discover which one of the men had made her pregnant,” the spokesman said. “So she needed their contact details. Of course, if they’re not willing to go along with the gene test, she’ll have to take them to court.”

I suspect that a U.S. court would rule the same way, on the basis that the best interests of the child trump the privacy rights of the putative fathers.

I had never heard of online sex auctions before. Maybe this is an idea we could use to raise funds for the exorbitant bandwidth costs of Innocent Bystanders. I will just auction off a night of passion with IB Studmuffin Dave in Texas to a few lucky women, and we will make a fortune.

Internet sex auction sparks paternity row

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Comments»

1. Bart - February 13, 2008

So a hooker is trying to start a paternity suit against one of her customers?

This could be a landmark case not only for internet privacy, but also for the rights of prostitutes.

2. Michael - February 13, 2008

Not a landmark at all, Bart, and the rights of the prostitute are not the issue. The child of a prostitute has a right to support from his natural father. Doesn’t matter that mom is a hooker. Does matter that identifying the father in such a case is likely to be impossible.

3. Bart - February 13, 2008

I’m sure everyone else is wondering the same thing as Bart: How much did she sell herself for in this silly auction?

The story doesn’t say. I’m also wondering if this was some cockamamie auction for charity.

4. Bart - February 13, 2008

#2: Okay, I see.

5. Sobek - February 13, 2008

I’m surprised the auction contract didn’t involve a clause to deal with pregnancy, medical bills in the event of infection, and privacy.

6. Sobek - February 13, 2008

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, consult a lawyer before running an on-line sex auction, people! It’s just common sense.

7. daveintexas - February 13, 2008

>>night of passion with IB Studmuffin Dave in Texas to a few lucky women

Uh, you might want to call that “an early evening” instead of a whole night. Managing expectations properly, and all that.

In fact, let’s just stick with “up to 10 minutes”.

8. kevlarchick - February 13, 2008

Night of passion with just ONE IB Studmuffin?

What a waste.

9. Michael - February 13, 2008

OK, KC, just for you I’ll auction off Dave and Bart together.

10. Michael - February 13, 2008

I’d throw in Wickedpinto, but I’m worried about the liability for personal injuries. Very personal injuries.

11. Cathy - February 13, 2008

Folks. Ah-hem!

What about some foreplay?
The ladies like foreplay…

…guitar music, cowboy hat, foot massages,
table dancing, essential oils, … and the mustache.

Lemme know if you need a PR person.
We got one in the family looking for a job.

12. kevlarchick - February 13, 2008

And WP needs to shower first. Icky.

13. Cathy - February 13, 2008

WP showered for me. He hadn’t realized I had laid out towels for him and Mesa in the loft. He’s sweet, smart, and cute, and he can come back anytime.

*wonders if/when wp will show up on doorstep*

14. Bart - February 13, 2008

He hadn’t realized I had laid out towels for him and Mesa in the loft.

So they used the curtains to dry off?

15. Bart - February 13, 2008

Or did they walk around naked and drip-dry like they do in Texas?

16. daveintexas - February 13, 2008

like that’s a big deal? what?

17. Cathy - February 13, 2008

How bout drip-dry like Cuba Gooding Jr. ?

18. Don Carne - February 13, 2008

Bart I do that in NY, in February.

19. geoff - February 13, 2008

I will just auction off a night of passion with IB Studmuffin Dave in Texas to a few lucky women

2nd Prize: 2 nights of passion with IBSM DinTX…

20. any project is easy when the instructions are "make it suck less..." » Woman auctions herself for sex on the internet (Time Immortal) - February 14, 2008

[...] Woman sues auction website to provide the names of the six winning bidders. [...]

21. Ubi re vera » Blog Archive » Woman auctions herself for sex on the internet - February 14, 2008

[...] Woman sues auction website to provide the names of the six winning bidders. [...]

22. Dave in Texas - February 14, 2008

#19

I’m gonna need some vitamins or something.

23. Cathy - February 14, 2008

Dave, Maybe you need some something for fitness .

SFW.

24. LP - February 14, 2008

Well…I don’t even know what to say about that.

25. Top Posts « WordPress.com - February 14, 2008

[...] The Limits of Internet Privacy There are legal limits to your online anonymity. For example, let’s say you and five other guys were successful […] [...]

26. Michael - February 14, 2008

^

Many thanks to Ace for the link!

27. Stiletto - February 14, 2008

“I’m surprised the auction contract didn’t involve a clause to deal with pregnancy, medical bills in the event of infection, and privacy.”

You think these guys bidding on the net for sex are working with a full deck in the first place?

28. Alexis - March 13, 2008

The sad thing is that this case is really not about the kid, its about the support. The woman and the German court system WILL force all of the men into taking a DNA test. Once DNA is determined, then the father will not only have to pay child support (absolute minimum starts about $350/month until the child is 26) but will most likely have to pay mother support for up to 36 months (this is another $1200/month) On top of this the mother gets money from the govt for the child (appx $400/month) and many other benefits.

So, here in Germany a woman can have a one night stand, get knocked up on purpose, and the poor Jo has to pay the rest of his life. The govt would rather support this kind of behavious than protect ones right to privacy

29. Retired Geezer - March 23, 2008

^ WP, you’re such a kidder.

30. KHdN - Kenneth Hynek (dot Net) » Blog Archive » Woman auctions herself for sex on the internet - April 29, 2009

[...] Woman sues auction website to provide the names of the six winning bidders. [...]


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