Home XY Publisher to Destroy Personal Info on Gay Teens

XY Publisher to Destroy Personal Info on Gay Teens

Last month we wrote about a defunct publication and website, XY, that was at risk for being ordered to turn over private information. The publication’s publisher Peter Ian Cummings, was going through bankruptcy proceedings and one of the few things of value he owned was user information, most of which belonged to the gay teens the magazine served.

Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that Cummings and his former partners and debtors have agreed to completely destroy that personal information. It will not be considered part of the publication’s transferable assets.

The Federal Communication Commission stated that transferring such information could very well violate the agreement between the publication and its former readers. But the attorney for Mr. Cummings’ creditors indicated they believed it was up for grabs. Mr. Cummings’ former partners believed it belonged to them.

However, the bankruptcy ruling shows an agreement between Mr. Cummings, his former partners and other debt-holders to destroy this information.

“(A)ll of the Intellectual Assets containing personally identifiable information…shall not be reproduced or used by the Debtor in any manner and shall be destroyed by, or at the direction of, the Debtor within 14 days of the Debtor’s receipt of funds from the Trustee…Within five (5) business days thereof, the Debtor shall file a Certification with the Bankruptcy Court verifying that all of the personally identifiable information contained in the Intellectual Assets has been destroyed.”

This is a triumph for both common sense and for privacy. EFF points out that, however, that although this particular situation has been resolved, the issue of personal information as property in bankruptcy situation is unlikely to disappear without legislative action.

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