Ruling to Expose Your YouTube Viewing Habits

Haipyng

Have you been uploading copyright protected content on YouTube? Have you even been looking at it? Viacom wants to know, and a Judge has ruled in the recent Viacom v. Google case that Google has to turn over “all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website”.

Kurt Opsahl with the Electronic Frontier Foundation disagrees with the courts ruling arguing that the court, “erroneously ignores the protections of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), and threatens to expose deeply private information about what videos are watched by YouTube users”. The VPPA was passed in 1988 as a result of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's video rental history being published during his Supreme Court nomination.

I agree with Opsahl, someone’s YouTube history should be just as private as their video rental history. Privacy is harder and harder to maintain in a world where technology is outstripping existing laws, which often must be judged by people with little experience in technology. We certainly don’t need which version of Star Wars Kid we were watching to be available for anyone to look at, or for companies to go trolling for lawsuits in data. Where do you come down on the issue?

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