back to article Gay teen mag closure sparks privacy fears

The closure of a US website and magazine for gay teens has sparked privacy fears over what will happen to sensitive personal information held by the now defunct publication. US consumer watchdog the FTC warned owners of XY Magazine and against the sale or transfer of private user data during bankruptcy proceedings …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Cheers and Jeers

    Cheers to the FTC for respecting *anyone's* privacy, especially a group as vulnerable as in-the-closet gay teens.

    Jeers to me for thinking horribly immature giggle-inducing thoughts when I saw that the magazine was created by "Peter Cummings". (I am in my thirties but part of my brain is apparently 8 years old.)

  2. Alexander Hanff 1

    Interesting situation

    I say interesting because I was asking exactly the same questions about the UK Gov systems which are being shut down as a result of the great repeal. For example, what is going to happen to the data currently stored in the Contact Point or NIR databases?

    I haven't had a chance to read any recent info on these issues so it may have already been addressed but if it hasn't there needs to be clarification on how and when this data will be destroyed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    This could be a gold mine in 20-30 years.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. RobbieCrusoe

      Re: Privacy (Luke 11)

      Please please say that was a joke... if not I ask that you watch the following clip from the West Wing where a bible bashing homosexual hater gets pwned...

      If you were joking, well done sir for getting my back up! :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Luke 11

        I've often noticed that the more vociferous a person is against gays the more likely they are to have homosexual tendencies. So, Luke, if you ever do meet God then be prepared for a roasting, or maybe that's one of your latent fantasies.

        I doubt if there is a man alive who hasn't had some sort of homosexual activity. It's all part of growing up and experimenting whether it be intense physical contact, clowning about in the changing rooms or a simple cop to see what the other chap has whilst in the toilet.

        PS. Please unmoderate the original post, it was a fair rant and how can we continue to comment on it if we can't see it.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          @ Chris W

          "I doubt if there is a man alive who hasn't had some sort of homosexual activity."

          Uhhh... speak for yourself dude. I'm *so* not interested in that.

        2. Francis Boyle Silver badge


          it was an incredibly lame attempt at humour/trollery as indicated by the presence of a smiley. If you didn't see it you didn't miss anything.

    2. Piggy and Tazzy

      Sorry to burst your bubble

      But God doesn't exist.

      Don't agree? Prove otherwise.

      You're still a twat for having such a pathetic opinion though.

  5. Alastair 7

    Not to sound negative, but

    "The XY database is especially sensitive because the magazine and site offered its services to gay teenagers and young adults, many of whom still lived at home and many more who had yet to come out to their friends and family. "

    Wouldn't the regular delivery of a "gay teens" magazine give hints to the parents of a home-dwelling teenager that he/she might be gay?

    1. OkKTY8KK5U

      Re: Not to sound negative, but

      In my observation and experience, there's an inverse relationship between intolerant authoritarianism and intelligence, so I'm willing to bet that plenty of teens living in such homes figured out ways to slip such things past their parents. Also, a "subscriber" to online-only services would only need to figure out how to hide a web trail from their parents.

    2. ratfox Silver badge

      Nah, that's all right

      It was delivered with a fake cover titled "Horny bondage girls"

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Where's the personal information for that kept?

        Paris, did you see my handcuffs?

    3. Criminny Rickets

      re: Not to sound negative, but

      -- Wouldn't the regular delivery of a "gay teens" magazine give hints to the parents of a home-dwelling teenager that he/she might be gay?


      Not necessarily. Normally the magazine would come wrapped in plain white paper so you could not tell what the magazine was.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well not exactly, but encrypted in such a way that it takes the intervention of a court to open the record. This satisfies the needs of former subscriber privacy, while retaining any potential legal trail that might be needed at some future time.

    And the same idea could be applied to total coverage of places like prisons, mints and diamond mines by camera while preserving individual day to day privacy.

  7. Tom Maddox Silver badge


    This is a non-issue. If the gay teens in question didn't want their personal information exposed, they should never have made it available to a third party, especially one on the Internet. At least, that's the argument I always hear in the the discussions about Facebook violating users' privacy, so I don't see why it shouldn't hold up here.

  8. Seamless

    Gay youth struggling with identity disclosure at home

    Re: "Wouldn't the regular delivery of a "gay teens" magazine give hints to the parents of a home-dwelling teenager that he/she might be gay?"

    Presumably those readers would have obtained print copies by picking them up (among many other publications) freely distributed at dance bars, gay bars, book stores, youth centers, and the like, rather than delivery to their parents' addresses (or even to a PO Box), or for those slightly older than the average age, might have received copies at a college dorm address rather than at home. It's not that difficult to remain hidden particularly when parents aren't keen on looking too closely.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    At last!

    Been mentioning this sort of thing to people for ages.

    All that info, all those pictures and such like that you upload to these social network sites. What happens when they fold? What about all that info, when it gets sold on to the marketers? Make no mistake it will be sold on to the highest bidder.

    I wish people would realise, every word, every image will be stored by these sites for evermore, especially as most IT depts will run backups and store data offsite.

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