Google must give Viacom YouTube info…

Before I give my reaction you may want to read this (BBC News), here is a brief outline:

“Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, a US court has ruled.”

So, yeah… to put it simply… YOU WHAT!?!?!

No really… I had to make sure I had read this correctly and it was saying what I thought it was saying. It was. Viacom has got a legal decision that will force YouTube to hand over records of not just Viacom copyrighted material but EVERY and ANY video watched on YouTube and information that shows who they are!

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is understandably rather upset and shocked by this ruling (you can see thier blog post here). Thier reaction is summed up well by their closing statement:

“The Court’s erroneous ruling is a set-back to privacy rights, and will allow Viacom to see what you are watching on YouTube. We urge Viacom to back off this overboard request and Google to take all steps necessary to challenge this order and protect the rights of its users.”

While it possible to debate the pro’s and con’s of various net issues such as, net neutrality, piracy, freedom of speech, and even personal privacy, this ruling I think is less defensible. If it just targeted violations of Viacoms copyright and intellectual properties you could defend this ruling, but since it targets all videos it becomes a major violation of rights and privacy, and its not even a government but a corporation.

So, does this ruling up set you as much as it does me? Am I wrong to be upset? Is Viacom justified? Or is this just a sad reflection on the state of the internet and the world?

(via BBCNews)

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Comments

  1. Stephen says:

    This is a complete invasion of privacy on the part of Viacom and our user information doesn’t have any relevance to their billion dollar lawsuit against Google. Google should be able to anatomize the user information before handing over 12 terabytes of personal information so my privacy and the privacy of millions like me are protected. I have a campaign that will force Viacom to allow Google/YouTube to protect us or 100,000 will boycott Viacom and all its subsidiaries: https://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/stop-viacom-from-invading-our-you-tube-privacy

  2. User data does seem to be an odd request, doesn’t it? I wonder if this would result in Viacom attempting to sue for damages against individuals who have watched the offending movies?

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