Privacy At Peril, Again

I have nothing to hide, but that’s beside the point. I want my privacy preserved.

Viacom has sued Youtube (owned by Google). The issue is copyright infringement. That’s between Viacom and Youtube. Unfortunately, you and I have been dragged into this case in a way that makes me uncomfortable..

From Daily Tech: As part of its $1 billion lawsuit against user-video site YouTube, Viacom will receive a complete log of all users’ activities, which will include a list of usernames, IP addresses, and videos that each account has viewed in the past.

Whoa! I don’t want Viacom, or anyone, knowing where I go and what I look at on the Internet. I have nothing to hide, but that’s beside the point. I want my privacy preserved.

I am not a lawyer, but it’s my understanding Viacom couldn’t get at this info if I was watching rented DVDs or videocassettes and not streamed video from Youtube.

This decision will be appealed, no doubt. Right now, it’s just another example of America’s diminishing respect for privacy.

One thought on “Privacy At Peril, Again”

  1. This case will be litigated to death- heaven knows both sides have very deep pockets- but I think the district court really blew it on the law.

    Ironically, we call it the Bork law- a statute that was passed to protect the release of your video rental records. (I know, some of you might have guessed Clarence Thomas sparked the law, which I have to say, would have been a good guess. So happens, this happened four years before Thomas came up.) Remember when somebody snooped around when Bork was being confirmed to see what videos he rented? That law was, in my opinion, correctly cited by Google as a block to releasing this personal information. I hope (in fact, I am almost certain) that they will appeal it. I will confess, it was a law designed to protect “tape” rental- but I think the principle still stands. Technology moves fast in 20 years…

    If any of you are interested in electronic privacy issues, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website. (Google it, google isn’t compelled to report that kind of search yet.) They are a terrific group of public interest lawyers. I know 3 of them personally- they are working for all of us.

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