What we do know is that Gizmodo "outed him". And that's what I've been thinking about. Until Gizmodo caused Gray's name to be splashed all over the internet, Gray wasn't a "public figure". Since Gray was not a public figure, Gray has a reasonable expectation of privacy. In fact, he has a Constitutional RIGHT to privacy. From the California Constitution:
Article 1, Section 1
"All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."
Now, if Gray had voluntarily shared the prototype iPhone with a blogger, or if Gray had broken any laws to cause that information to be shared, then Gray's right to privacy could have been lost because he caused himself to become a news story, in essence, a public figure. But is the simple act of losing an iPhone enough to cause Gray to become a "public figure"?
I think not. Gray did nothing proactive to abandon his right to privacy. He simply lost an iPhone (or he was relieved of it without his knowledge). And, while a "found" prototype iPhone may be a news story that many want to read about, going into the private contents of that device and turning personal information found there into a news story seems to be a violation of privacy. The person that "found" the iPhone had no right to share that personal information with anyone. The only justification that person has for looking at the data on the iPhone is to return the iPhone to the rightful owner. That person reportedly looked through the data on the iPhone enough to find Gray Powell to be the owner, but made no attempt to return the iPhone to Gray Powell. Instead, according to Gizmodo's story, that person reported Gray's name to Gizmodo. And we know what happened after that.
It seems to me that the person that found the iPhone violated Gray Powell's Constitutional Rights by sharing private information with Gizmodo. Less clear to me is whether Gizmodo also violated Gray Powell's Constitutional Rights by making that information public.
At this point however, I wouldn't be surprised to see a civil lawsuit brought by Gray Powell naming John Doe and Gizmodo as defendants for violation of his Constitutional Right to Privacy.
Sadly, there are still people that ignorantly believe Gray Powell is to blame for all this. Which, of course, is ridiculous. That's like having a pedestrian on the sidewalk getting hit by a car being driven by a drunk and then blaming the accident on the pedestrian because he was on the sidewalk when the car was there.