Feeds

Google will anonymize YouTube data before sharing with Viacom

Time to outsource some scrubbing

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Sanity has prevailed in the Google-Viacom case. At least for the moment.

Two weeks ago, wackadoo federal judge Louis L. Stanton ordered Google to share over 12TB of YouTube viewing records with Viacom, including account names and IP addresses. But yesterday, the two companies agreed that all personally identifiable info should be scrubbed from the records before they change hands.

In the past, Google has publicly questioned whether IP addresses are personal. And Judge Stanton used these comments against Google as part of his maniacal data offensive. But the Googlers now want you to know that they fully realize how important it is to keep your IP addresses private. It's a convenient change of heart.

"We are pleased to report that Viacom, MTV and other litigants have backed off their original demand for all users' viewing histories and we will not be providing that information," reads a post from YouTube, the video-sharing extravaganza purchased by Google in the fall of 2006.

We asked Viacom to comment as well, but we haven't heard back. Along with several other media-happy operations, the TV and movie giant is suing YouTube for $1bn, claiming the video-sharing site encourages people to violate its copyrights. The company demanded access to YouTube's 12TB "logging database" in an effort to show just how many web surfers are pirating its stuff.

According to court documents (PDF), the two companies have seven days to agree on a means of scrubbing personal info from the database. Basically, Google must substitute unique but anonymous values for all account names and IP addresses.

Hopefully, they'll be forced to do this by hand. Or write "IP addresses are personal" on a chalkboard at least 50 times. ®

Update

Viacom has responded. And naturally, it sees itself as the good guy. "We are pleased that Google will comply with the Court’s directive to provide YouTube usage data, information that will highlight the way YouTube has used copyrighted material to build its business," a company spokesman told us.

"Agreeing to our suggestion to anonymize the end-user data is the best way for Google to address privacy concerns. We trust that Google will comply fully with the Court's order and promptly produce the remaining information about their own activities."

It should be noted, however, that it was Viacom that asked for all 12TB of data - including personal info - in the first place.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.