Google and Viacom Agree to Keep Court Ordered YouTube Data Private

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In Viacomis lawsuit against Google, alleging copyright infringement by YouTube, a judge ordered Google to turn over personal information about users who accessed YouTube. That met with stiff resistance from the Electronic Frontier Foundation who claimed that the ruling would violate the Video Protection Act of 1988. As a result, Viacom and Google have reached an agreement to keep that information private, according to Reuters on Tuesday.

"We have reached agreement with Viacom and the class-action group," Google spokesman Ricardo Reyes said. "They have agreed to let us anonymize YouTube user data," he said.

The same agreement was reached with the Football Association of England, also a plaintiff. Both plaintiffs have accused Google of allowing YouTube posts that violate their copyrights. Google has countered that the "Safe Harbor" provision of the DMCA protects them so long as they respond to "take down" requests.

A new version of the database will have specific user information, login ames and IP addresses, deleted.

The EFF and other privacy activists argued that the judgeis order "threatens to expose deeply private information" and violates the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988. That law was passed after a Supreme Court nomineeis video rental habits were disclosed.

Viacom said that it has no interest in identifying individual users.

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