YouTube Giving away Users Print

Ex Cadets - youtube.jpgLast Thursday, Google was directed by a US district judge to share the login names and Internet addresses of its YouTube users with media company Viacom. The users of Google's popular video-sharing Web site, YouTube, run into millions.

The court ruling comes after the infamous $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit was slapped on Google by Viacom, which owns cable networks such as MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon. Viacom alleged that via YouTube, Google was making big bucks by way of uploading and promoting copyrighted data on a large scale.

The ruling now makes it imperative for Google to reveal some 12 Terabytes of YouTube user data comprising their login IDs and IP addresses, viewing habits including videos viewed by them and for how long.

That such private data will be disclosed has set alarm bells ringing. Privacy advocates argue that such disclosure would violate the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act, which stipulates that private records may not be turned over to a third-party unless the person whose records are being revealed is given an opportunity to contest such a decision.

Viacom has responded saying it has no intention of using personal information to persecute viewers. Rather it only wants to prove that YouTube is promoting viewing of pirated content for profits sake.

Meanwhile reports just in suggest that Viacom has agreed to comply with anonymity requests; meaning it might agree to obscure personal identification information.


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