Feeds

Google will anonymize YouTube data before sharing with Viacom

Time to outsource some scrubbing

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.