Viacom “Backs Off” on YouTube Data

Viacom has “backed off” on its demands for YouTube user viewing data, according to BBC News.

Viacom had previously taken out a court order against Google demanding that the entire databse of user information for YouTube be handed over, including identifying information about individuals’ viewing habits. Viacom argued that this information was important to its copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube, but that individuals would not be prosecuted for watching copyright videos. Instead, the information was to be used to establish viewing trends.

Privacy and civil liberties campaigners argued that this personal information was not required, and constituted a gross invasion of users’ privacy.

Google will now hand over the user database, but with identifying information removed. So, presumably Viacom can still establish their viewing trends, but individual users can rest easy that they aren’t about to receive a threatening letter through the post.

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  1. [...] Viacom “Backs Off” on YouTube Data – after the news that Viacom wanted Google to hand over personally identifiable information on YouTube’s users, they finally relented and agreed that the data could be anonymised first. YouTube users around the world breathed a sigh of relief as they realised their viewing habits would no longer be in the hands of a corporation upset over copyright issues. [...]