The Electronic Frontier Foundation are reporting that a court ruling will expose the viewing habits of YouTube users. As part of the ongoing Viacom v. Google litigation, the federal court for the Southern District of New York has ordered that Google hand 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.”
The Video Privacy Protection Act in the USA is supposed to put a stop to this sort of behaviour, but the Court was apparently persuaded that releasing this information, including IP addresses and log-in ID names, was not sufficient to identify individuals. This is demonstrably untrue.
The Foundation concludes: “The Court’s erroneous ruling is a set-back to privacy rights, and will allow Viacom to see what you are watching on YouTube. We urge Viacom to back off this overbroad request and Google to take all steps necessary to challenge this order and protect the rights of its users.”