Viacom, YouTube agree to mask user data

YouTube will be allowed to mask important user information from records it must turn over to Viacom, Google said in a blog post Monday.

"Viacom and the other litigants have backed off their demand for YouTube user viewing histories," Google said in a statement. "We have reached agreement to anonymize the data."

A Viacom spokesman declined to comment.

The move comes after a federal court earlier this month ordered Google's YouTube to hand over usernames, IP addresses, and viewing histories to Viacom, parent company of Comedy Central and MTV. This ignited a controversy over Internet privacy and put Viacom on the defensive.

Last year, Viacom accused Google's YouTube of violating its copyright in a $1 billion lawsuit. Following the court's order, Viacom was widely criticized for intruding on people's online privacy even though the company had said it never asked to receive personally identifying information.

To this point, the agreement appears to make everyone a winner: Viacom will look like a responsible Internet citizen, Google will no doubt be credited for standing up for Internet rights and most importantly, and YouTube users don't have to worry about their privacy.

View: news.com

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12 Comments

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I cant believe the court went along, with the idea of turning over all that [ersonal data. I read last week that they wanted all the personal info for everyone, not just allegedly offending content. And they also wanted that same info on every video that had ever been deleted for any reason. Thats totally absurd. And if that is going to become acceptable, then we're all screwed. Again, I read that this last week in some forum. Cant remember which.

But if that stuff is true, then the only logical explanation is that they want what would potentially be a very comprehensive data base for pointed ad services. And thats disgusting. Why is my watching my friends camping videos their business? F 'em.

If someone parks a car in a carpark without the owner being aware and sells illegal DVDs - is the car park owner really aiding the criminal. It can be argued farily easily it is not YouTubes duty to check everything, however yes if reported it should be removed - simialr to ebay earlier in the week.

Wrong. YouTube should NOT be storing this data to begin with. When these suits come up (and if this one is at all successful there will be more), then YT can throw their hands up and say, "oops, we don't store that sort of thing anymore! Sorry!"

Has anyone any idea of what this is about? Are Viacom after people who have viewed horribly pixelated postage stamp moments of the garbage they spew out. Very few commercially produced media clips, ripped off, and uploaded to YouTube are of any real interest, like most of the rubbish on YouTube. However there are quite a few privateer documentaries, which are opening people's eyes up to the banking system, the reason and cost of wars, and those who funds them (including David Icke's protestations).

Commercial media companies (and their real owners) along with Governments will surely attempt to shut-down all free speech on the Internet, why are they worrying about clips from tacky soap operas, sit-coms and reality TV, when people are finding the truth about the banking system, and mass media manipulation. Google "MK Ultra"

I agreed with up until you mentioned MK Ultra. While there was definitely some shady-ness involved there I don't really see how it figures into finding the 'truth.' In other words, how is that affecting us today?

There looking for the popularity of full shows posted up on youtube before they get pulled. That and stuff such as full music videos that are uploaded because they think people are going to visit youtube everytime to listen to it in semi-decent quality rather than actually obtaining a proper quality version of it. while we know these usually act as adverts it's never viewed this way. I don't imagine there going to be going after teens prancing around or watching south park inthe background while they goon about acting on it but who knows. Depends on how greedy they get.

Not all stuff posted on youtube is bad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZZXslsLDLs this for instance has me laughing for hours.

(Unplugged said @ #1.2)
There looking for the popularity of full shows posted up on youtube before they get pulled. That and stuff such as full music videos that are uploaded because they think people are going to visit youtube everytime to listen to it in semi-decent quality rather than actually obtaining a proper quality version of it. while we know these usually act as adverts it's never viewed this way. I don't imagine there going to be going after teens prancing around or watching south park inthe background while they goon about acting on it but who knows. Depends on how greedy they get.

Not all stuff posted on youtube is bad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZZXslsLDLs this for instance has me laughing for hours.

That is awesome! hahaha

(LipSmacker said @ #1.4)
Wow, that so wasn't worth wasting 5 minutes of my Websense quota on.... :suspicious:

Um, it's only 14s long.

(excalpius said @ #1.5)
Um, it's only 14s long. :blink:

Allow me to educate you: clicking OK to use quota time with Websense will cost you five minutes, regardless if you surf through that website for 1 second or the full 5 minutes.

(antareus said @ #1.1)
I agreed with up until you mentioned MK Ultra. While there was definitely some shady-ness involved there I don't really see how it figures into finding the 'truth.' In other words, how is that affecting us today?

I've tried for years to get into MK Ultra for the free LSD and prostitutes, but they wouldn't accept my application. Said I wasn't in the demographic they were looking for. CIA *******.