Thursday, July 03, 2008

Privacy Online? Not So Much...

If you've ever watched or posted a video at Google's YouTube service then your information is about to be handed over to the Viacom Corporation.

Google has been ordered to hand over details of YouTube users' viewing habits by a judge presiding over a copyright infringement case against the site.

Viacom, the parent company of MTV, filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the video-sharing site last March. It demanded that Google, which owns YouTube, should hand over data about how people use the site, arguing that the information would show that copyright-protected material was routinely posted and watched.

Judge Louis Stanton of the US District Court granted the request, ordering Google to divulge details of every video clip uploaded to the site, along with viewers’ YouTube usernames and IP addresses.

It's really not very "speculative". My user ID, along with all the others, will be turned over to a private corporation for an unknown purpose. They'll also have access to IP numbers and logs of what people have watched, as well as what they may have posted. Will they be going after everyone who's ever looked at one of these video clips? Like any corporation they're about making money. What's a faster way to make money than following the same path as the RIAA and extorting it via threatened lawsuits?

Make no mistake. This ruling bodes ill for the future of privacy rights in this country. All because some ill educated geezer of a judge has no idea what he's even ruling on. Here's hoping that the EFF, Google and interested parties appeal this bad decision to a higher, and better educated court.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,