Viacom to Get You Tube Viewer Details and Habits
As a result of a copyright infringement lawsuit between Google and Viacom,
Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, a US court has ruled.
The viewing log, which will be handed to Viacom, contains the log-in ID of users, the computer IP address (online identifier) and video clip details.
This decision appears to affect You Tube watchers world-wide. Google raised privacy issues with the court, to no avail:
[I]t said privacy concerns expressed by Google about handing over the log were "speculative".
Google isn't blameless in this latest threat to our privacy. [More...]
Leading privacy expert Simon Davies told BBC News that the privacy of millions of YouTube users was threatened.
"The chickens have come home to roost for Google. Their arrogance and refusal to listen to friendly advice has resulted in the privacy of tens of millions being placed under threat."
Mr Davies said privacy campaigners had warned Google for years that IP addresses were personally identifiable information. Google pledged last year to anonymise IP addresses for search information but it has said nothing about YouTube data.
So, what will Viacom learn? Apparently, IP addresses contain identifying information. The logs to be turned over include IP addresses of people who posted videos as well as those who watch.
The court also ruled that Google disclose to Viacom the details of all videos that have been removed from the site for any reason.
I wonder what Viacom intends to do with the information. Will it hire legions of techies to sort through the info and then bring lawsuits?
|< Bush Says No Imminent Decision on Guantanamo | Contradictions >|