Sunday, 6 July 2008

Federal court order raises privacy concerns

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has blogged about their objections to the latest development in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Viacom against YouTube. A federal court order that requires Google Inc. (owner of YouTube) to provide information about videos watched on YouTube is renewing concerns about online privacy. YouTube has a database that records each time a video is watched and pairs that with two kinds of information about people who viewed it.
People who put videos on the site, or want to comment on videos or email or embed videos have to sign up for a Youtube account. Under the judge's order, Google must deliver the log-in names that users created to sign up for those accounts. For the people without accounts, Google stores - and must now provide - IP addresses of user computers that some privacy experts fear can be linked with individual users.
The case is being heard in the Southern District Court of New York, docket number 1:07-cv-02103-LLS Viacom International, Inc. et al v. Youtube, Inc. et al Louis L. Stanton, presiding.

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