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Google Wins Agreement To Anonymize YouTube Logs

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the have-in-my-hand-a-list dept.

The Courts 242

Barence, following up on yesterday's news that Viacom is looking for videos uploaded by Google staff, links to an article at PC Pro, excerpting: "Google and Viacom have reached a deal to protect the privacy of millions of YouTube watchers. Earlier this month, a New York federal judge ordered Google to turn over YouTube user data to Viacom and other plaintiffs to help them prepare a confidential study of what they argue are vast piracy violations on the video-sharing site. Google claims it had now agreed to provide plaintiffs' attorneys with a version of a massive viewership database that blanks out YouTube usernames and IP addresses that could be used to identify individual video watchers."

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subject (5, Insightful)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196585)

google playing the good guy again. at least they care .....

Re:subject (5, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196869)

Maybe if they hadn't have kept all the information they wouldn't need to have that fight in the first place...

I doubt they really care about anything except their image. "Yeah, we are the good guys", if they were really good they would have anonymised the information within days of them recording it.

Remember, information comes in, statistics are collected, raw information disappears. This time Google "won", but next time it might be the CIA or another nasty agency.

Re:subject (4, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197069)

IANAL but isn't there some recent laws/legal precedence that would actually expose them to MORE trouble if they didn't keep those records?

A story of a certain torrent site comes to mind...
=Smidge=

Re:subject (4, Informative)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197519)

IANAL but isn't there some recent laws/legal precedence that would actually expose them to MORE trouble if they didn't keep those records?

No, there was a recent ruling that a torrent site had to start keeping records in response to a subpoena.

IANAL, but I believe the issues was as follows. Basically, a subpoena cannot be used to force you to start keeping records you otherwise would not (otherwise, imagine the subpoenas over MS's coffee drank allocated to line of code), it can only force you to retain records you create anyway. The torrent site claimed that they never kept records. The plantiff claimed that they kept records in RAM for the purpose of actually running the torrent, and that recording those logs counted as a reasonable imposition for a subpoena.

Re:subject (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197667)

Is it just me who gets bugged when a post starts by "I Anal, but ..."?

Re:subject (1, Interesting)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197143)

Um. So you upload or 'make favourite' or comment upon a bunch of videos to YouTube and "within days" that data is anonymised and you can't access this information - how does that help the user?

Re:subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197525)

I know it pisses me off when I can't see my IP address on YouTube, oh wait, I can't, so there's no reason why I would want them to keep my IP address.

Re:subject (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197701)

That's not the kind of information the person was talking about. So basically you're attacking a ridiculous strawman.

Re:subject (1)

gyranthir (995837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197327)

The issue is, they are required by law to keep the information for 7 years. Not something you can get around. As they are a US based profit-seeking company.

Re:subject (4, Interesting)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197169)

at least they care .....

They care about themselves. Had Viacom gotten the IP logs, they could have proven Google staff was party to the infringement. [slashdot.org] I doubt user welfare was on their mind...

"Wins?" (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196589)

How is making a deal "winning?" I mean, it's a good thing, but from the headline, I thought the judge extracted his head from his colon. "Makes" might be a better verb here... or, if you want to keep the drama, "forges" could work.

Re:"Wins?" (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196765)

Uh... it didn't say they "won" with no qualifiers, it says they won an agreement to anonymize the logs... exactly what happened. I fail to see a problem with their choice of verb.

Re:"Wins?" (1)

papna (1242200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197421)

Google did not get what they wanted when they were ordered to give Viacom the logs. However, they got what they were wanting when they reached the agreement to anonymise the logs. In that sense, they won the agreement.

My First First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196595)

..done anonymously.

Re:My First First Post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196727)

Congratulations, your edumacation finally paid off! Welcome to teh intarwebs!

Re:My First First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196751)

My first anonymous EPIC FAIL reply to an EPIC FAILed first post attempt.

Not as it seems (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196611)

I don't think Viacom's goal was to go after the viewers anyway. They need the logs to prove damage of the video uploaders... "See, he uploaded 4 episodes of Spongebob which was viewed 41 million times in total. That is 41 million sales we lost!"

Re:Not as it seems (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196661)

Yes, but this proves that Viacom needs to upload things on YouTube with ads on them. Because say you get $.01 per each view. That's a whole lot of money Viacom lost because they were being idiots and not using the internet. If that is what Viacom was doing all this is doing is proving that they are indeed dying.

Re:Not as it seems (4, Interesting)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196763)

You keep insisting that you hold the secret to profitability for viacom, by repeatedly insisting that all their content should be made freely available on the web paid for by adverts.
Seriously, if you think this is such an awesome idea, why isn't every movie and TV producer on earth submitting their content to youtube?

Are they *all* wrong about their business?

Re:Not as it seems (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196821)

why isn't every movie and TV producer on earth submitting their content to youtube?

Why waste the time when you know someone else will do it for you?

Re:Not as it seems (5, Interesting)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196831)

Are they *all* wrong about their business?

Quite possible. That's how an industry dies.

Re:Not as it seems (4, Insightful)

cathars1s (974609) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197205)

That, or everyone breaking the law and not paying for their product. That will do it too.

/just sayin

Not the only one (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197285)

Are they *all* wrong about their business?

Quite possible. That's how an industry dies.

Is that possible? Well... Say, didn't we used to have an auto industry in the U.S.? And why are we bailing out all of these financial institutions all of a sudden?

Re:Not as it seems (4, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196919)

They already release much of it for free with adverts on the tele. Wtf is the difference?

Re:Not as it seems (4, Funny)

hkmarks (1080097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197023)

It's not always about money. Sometimes it's about power. And then women.

Or so I've heard.

Re:Not as it seems (3, Funny)

FriendComputer (787127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197115)

It's not always about money. Sometimes it's about power. And then women.

Or so I've heard.

You need to get the sugar first however.

Re:Not as it seems (3, Funny)

CecilPL (1258010) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197269)

It's not always about money. Sometimes it's about power. And then women.

Or so I've heard.

You need to get the sugar first however.

And the spice.

Re:Not as it seems (3, Funny)

pxc (938367) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197419)

That, too, of course. In fact, I've heard you'll also need everything nice.

Re:Not as it seems (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197133)

It's not always about money. Sometimes it's about power. And then women.

Or so I've heard.

I think you watch too much "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

Re:Not as it seems (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197381)

Because marketing effectiveness is actually measurable online (tying a purchase back to an ad that was viewed or clicked on), and they don't want advertisers to know just how ineffective their ads are.

Re:Not as it seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197461)

They already release much of it for free with adverts on the tele. Wtf is the difference?

Television (cable) != Free

Payment in advance (4, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197713)

TV stations BUY tv programs and pay for them in hard cash BEFORE they are aired. This makes it fairly easy to do your balance book if you produce content. Hell, most content is even PAID before it is ever produced. What happens is that you pitch an idea, get money to produce a pilot. Show the pilot and get money to produce a season. It is the way the industry works.

With internet ad income the producers would need to finance everything in advance and then just hope the money trickles in over time. There are also issues with advertising. Does an advertiser prefer to air his ads on certain timeslots on tv OR god knows when on a user screen? People on slashdot seem a bit to fond of new tech to be able to see the many difficulties internet ads bring.

TV is also a onetime affair. Want to watch it again, buy the DVD. If it is always available on the internet, why buy the DVD? If you think ad revenues way up against dvd sales, you are just silly.

Re:Not as it seems (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197203)

You keep insisting that you hold the secret to profitability for viacom, by repeatedly insisting that all their content should be made freely available on the web paid for by adverts.

Works for just about every other industry that has tried it. The only ones that have failed are the ones that upload it to some obscure site and expect everyone to go there for *insert show here* rather then going to YouTube where they watch the other 98% of the videos they watch online. And you can't say that they have tried it yet.

Seriously, if you think this is such an awesome idea, why isn't every movie and TV producer on earth submitting their content to youtube?

As other posts have said, why bother when someone else will upload it for you. And it is because TV isn't in as much jam as the music business is. But if you look just about every band has most, if not all of the music videos they have made either uploaded by the record label or by the bands themselves. As bandwidth increases and someone can download a show in about as much time as it takes them to download an MP3 now, we will start to see more push to YouTube to distribute them, much as how music videos are now. They will either have to adapt or die. And right now Viacom is heading to die. If an industry doesn't adapt, it dies.

Re:Not as it seems (1)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197261)

Are they *all* wrong about their business?

In the past? No.

In the present? No.

When the majority of advertising dollars are spent online? Yes.

Re:Not as it seems (1)

omnipresentbob (858376) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197805)

Yes.

Were you expecting anything else on Slashdot?

Re:Not as it seems (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196787)

Well that was their stated intention, at least. Many people have suspected that they wanted to do more with it, since they were asking for the record of every view of every movie, including usernames and addresses. That seems like a lot of info just to demonstrate that a movie had been viewed many times. Doesn't YouTube publicly display the number of views for each movie anyway?

But personally, I'd sooner be suspicious that this is a ploy to get access to Google's data as market research. If you're a media company looking for sources of data to mine, getting Google's YouTube records is hitting the jackpot.

Re:Not as it seems (1)

Arionhawk (1115559) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196797)

"See, he uploaded 4 episodes of Spongebob which was viewed 41 million times in total. That is 41 million sales we lost!"

I've always thought that was a really stupid argument, most people who watch copyrighted material on youtube can't afford to buy it anyway, they may lose out on some small percent of sales, but that's it. And is exactly why they should put ad supported media up on youtube, in high quality so that people will view it.

Re:Not as it seems (3, Insightful)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197167)

and others will say, "I wish I could watch this on my ginormous flat screen TV. I think I'll go buy the DVD." I know I have, except for the ginormous part. In theory, it could even boost sales.

Re:Not as it seems (1)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196859)

I don't think Viacom's goal was to go after the viewers anyway.

Yes, I agree. They want to protect their aging business model. Not go after viewers in a new or creative way (unless it is through some type of lawsuit). Oh wait, I think you were saying something else...

Re:Not as it seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196937)

"See, he uploaded 4 episodes of Spongebob which was viewed 41 million times in total. That is 41 million sales we lost!"

Hmm, sounds like a *AA response when in fact their crap is probably not worth the bandwidth.

Re:Not as it seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197277)

You can't equate 41m views with 41m lost sales. It's just like TV. I might sit down and watch spongebob on the cartoon network, but if they were going to charge me I wouldn't watch the show. That's because on a value scale it isn't worth it to me. Cartoon network knows this and feeds me commercials instead thus making money via advertising.

Now perhaps viacom could claim lost advertising monies, but I wouldn't buy the sales argument. Matter of fact one defense against the sales argument is the fact they broadcast spongbob on tv.

Google is like the cable company but they don't charge for the service. They have also stated that putting copyrighted material up on the site is not allowed, and actually make an attempt at blocking it when they can.

So the real question is, when the user of youtube breaks the rules who's responsible? If I make 41m copies of spongebob on dvds and give them away. Who's responsible, the maker of dvds, the maker of dvd recording devices, or me?

Re:Not as it seems (5, Interesting)

gyranthir (995837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197415)

Actually, they wanted the information to attempt to completely take down youtube.

As they wanted to identify Youtube employees as uploaders of copyrighted content, youtube would lose it's ISP Safeharbor granted to them based on the DMCA ISP Safeharbor rules about illegal or copyrighted content on ISP's servers (they are not responsible for it, and do not have to proactively search for it).

If they would lose that safeharbor clause they would be gone within weeks.

Also they stated they weren't planning on going after individual users, but weren't going to rule it out..... Sound familiar? RIAA!!!!.

So... why do they need the logs? (1)

getuid() (1305889) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197483)

"See, he uploaded 4 episodes of Spongebob which was viewed 41 million times in total. That is 41 million sales we lost!"

Then... why would you need the logs for that? Youtube will tell you the # of views right there on the front page. And if one actually one can be bothered to click on the user profile, one can also see which other videos the user has uploaded.

Okay then, what's the point? (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196613)

Viacom gets useless user data that can't be tracked? I'm sure their legal team is beside itself.

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (4, Informative)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196645)

The point is that Viacom can find out that "the same person that viewed video X that infringes our copyright also viewed fifteen other videos that infringe our copyright; and he only looked at two that do not". (Or at least, that's what Viacom is hoping to find- that users view piles of Viacom-copyrighted videos and very little in the way of original content.)

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (5, Funny)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197173)

The point is that Viacom can find out that "the same person that viewed video X that infringes our copyright also viewed fifteen other videos that infringe our copyright; and he only looked at two that do not".

I find it hilarious that they're going to pay someone to look at all these lines.

I imagine it won't be a geek or someone with knowledge of the culture. And I can imagine the following moment.

The guy/girl sets down a sheet of paper, rubs the bridge of their nose, and says, out loud: "Jesus Christ, when did Rick Astly get so popular?"

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (2, Funny)

papna (1242200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197595)

The data are extremely numerous. They are going to need a geek to transform the data into something the lawyers can look at.

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197601)

Please mod parent up, I almost hit the floor, I laughed so hard.

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (1)

xonar (1069832) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197727)

And I can imagine the following moment.

The guy/girl sets down a sheet of paper, rubs the bridge of their nose, and says, out loud: "Jesus Christ, when did Rick Astly get so popular?"

^ Haha, mod this post up!

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196681)

The point is that viacom is trying to prove the youtube is only popular because people watch their (and other members of the class's) copywritted stuff on it. If this is true then anonymized logs will prove it just fine.

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197703)

Well, any internet meme will beat the crap out of any TV series episode. Just check out the number of views of the following famous youtube videos: Edgar's fall, leave britney alone, giant enemy crab, diabetus, Tuka tuka tun, golimar (I don't like it, but it sure got famous), the Phantom and V stick figures cartoons, the countless incarnations of caramelldansen, dear sister spoofs... and don't forget anime music videos and amv hell, which deserves a place of its own. Even the incomplete "my favorite amv hell 3/4 clips" got over 100,000 views EACH (ah, that reminds me of over 9,000!).

And the greatest thing of internet memes is that they spawn their own derivatives [youtube.com] which get famous on their own.

This is what TV producers fail to see. They're no longer the center of the world. For better or for worse, people are getting tired of the same generic old sh*t they watch on TV (and the same old sh*tty commercials, btw), so they search for new content they already like, or produce their own with amazing results. This is youtube's scret recipe: They understand the public's creative potential and their need for new things. There are millions of people who want new pranks / funny stuff, UFO sightings, UFO sighting spoofs, unlicensed anime fansubs, creative AMV's, comedy AMV's, non-anime cartoon music videos, parody commercials, voiceovers of old TV episodes a-la Kung Pow, etc.
And there are people who make them... without depending on middlemen who ask for their share of money.

And that was only regarding entertainment. What about free documentaries, user-made videos of politics (Anonymous vs. Scientology, anyone?), videos debunking creationism crap, etc?

And still, Viacom DOESN'T GET IT. They don't know why they're failing, so they blame piracy because that's the only thing they THINK they understand.

Re:Okay then, what's the point? (3, Interesting)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196739)

Well, it might not be that useless [arxivblog.com] , if their goal was to go after individuals.

But I think the bigger prize here is getting their grubby paws on more accurate viewing figures than could ever be achieved by something like Nielson. That, after all, is why advertising $$$ continues to flow online -- a trend which (hopefully sooner rather than later) will wipe Viacom and all the rest of the old-media dinosaurs out.

Yikes... (5, Insightful)

trisweb (690296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196649)

Just the fact that such information exists and is stored is scary.

Thank God for "Don't be evil." They better not be.

Re:Yikes... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196719)

Thank God for "Don't be evil." They better not be.

I don't think God had much to do with their adoption of "Don't be evil" as their corporate motto. PR concerns likely ranked much higher in that decision than God.

And whether or not they do evil things will also have little to do with that motto.

But if it makes you feel better, then it has done its job.

Re:Yikes... (3, Funny)

trisweb (690296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196883)

Darn, I knew I should have used a lowercase G.

Re:Yikes... (2)

bravecanadian (638315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196723)

The amount of data they have collected from their search engine and ads would probably boggle our minds.

As for the "Don't be evil"... I certainly wouldn't count on it.

Re:Yikes... (1)

David McBride (183571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196793)

Don't worry. They'll only deliver the database on paper.. printed in 8-pt Comic Sans.

Re:Yikes... (2, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196823)

What exactly did you think they were doing? Why wouldn't they have usage logs of their services?

Re:Yikes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197253)

Exactly, and think of what Google contains about your personal searches. It boggles the mind the amount of information they have on millions of people. Probably more personal data than most governments. I don't think most people can even comprehend what data is available to online services in general.

Re:Yikes... (3, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197187)

Thank God for "Don't be evil."

As corporations go, Google is a good one. But that's like saying as dogs go, German Shepherds are good ones; that breed bites, too. They're a corporation, and if evil is necessary for profits they will do evil.

Have you seen the Visa ads where everyone uses a Visa card and the line flows smoothly while the guy with money gums up the works, exactly the opposite of how the real world works? That's how corporations think.

Corporations are by necessity hedonistic. There are no morals, only ethics. And they write their own code of ethics. God has nothing to do with a corporation. Money is the corporate god.

Re:Yikes... (2, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197335)

Money is the corporate god.

That would be Mammon [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yikes... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197645)

Have you seen the Visa ads where everyone uses a Visa card and the line flows smoothly while the guy with money gums up the works, exactly the opposite of how the real world works?

What? It's not the 90's anymore. Credit card transactions are far faster than any other form. I hate getting behind people with checks (exactly what they show in the commercial). Even cash is slow if the person's into exact change or is poor and can't find enough bills. The real fraud in those ads is the "check card", which hurts everyone except Visa. Those suck so bad, Visa had to use product forcing to get them into the marketplace.

I see deceptive ads all the time on TV and I'm sick of it. I don't understand why they are tolerated, but you example was a poor one. Race to the bottom capitalism isn't healthy.

Risks of being worth a fortune (3, Insightful)

bEwre4am (1322859) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196673)

Google had to know when it bought YouTube that it was risking attracting a number of lawsuits, the Viacom one being only the first. You can bet if it's successful, the other media giants will be lining up to get their payouts, too. Using Google services is a privacy risk as long as its billions of dollars are attracting high powered lawsuits.

Re:Risks of being worth a fortune (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197761)

I don't have any problem corporations knowing what I view on YouTube, so it certainly isn't a risk for me. Then again I don't go around viewing pirated content.

FIRST POST (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196683)

first post

woohoo!

If I worked at Google... (1)

jbman64 (920243) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196695)

I would send over all the data on paper- via fax machine. The entire database printed out with a size 20 font should only take about 1 year to fax over.

Re:If I worked at Google... (3, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196737)

because acting in a petty and childish way always enables you to retain the moral high ground.

Re:If I worked at Google... (2, Insightful)

jbman64 (920243) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196861)

Once Viacom get the data it's only going to open Google up to more lawsuits, why should they make it any easier for them?

Re:If I worked at Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197561)

Yeah, and when Google loses the lawsuit, is ordered to pay billions in damages, and then is subsequently sued by the other media sharks that smell blood in the water, I guess Google can console itself and its shareholders with, at the very least, it's victory in the struggle for the coveted moral high ground.

Re:If I worked at Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197799)

moral high ground? what a ridiculous idea, morals. petty? childish? whatever gets the job done, you fucking clown.

Re:If I worked at Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197109)

If I worked at Google I would send over all the data on paper- via fax machine. The entire database printed out with a size 20 font should only take about 1 year to fax over.

And you'd have plenty of time to revel in your cleverness when the judge has you tossed in a cell for contempt of court. Especially since the court ordered that the data be provided in an electronic format.

Re:If I worked at Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197309)

Naaaah, pipe the entire output through a text-to-speech converter and play it in court. Yeah! That'll show 'em their direct contempt of the legal system! I'm sure glad there's no law against or penalties for that! :-)

Re:If I worked at Google... (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197513)

I would send over all the data on paper- via fax machine. Good way to get slapped with enormous sanctions. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(b)(2)(E) [cornell.edu] states:

(i) A party must produce documents as they are kept in the usual course of business or must organize and label them to correspond to the categories in the request; (ii) If a request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored information, a party must produce it in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms; and (iii) A party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.

Judges hate discovery games and will often make people who play tricks pay.

Yay until you think about.... (3, Insightful)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196705)

how much data Google actually collects. The amount of data they must collect and analyze could really reveal how we act when "no one" is watching and who knows what kinda of ads or content will be directed at us?

I mean, think about videos that just have a hot frame in the middle to serve as the video's thumbnail? You know what I'm talking about, you /.'ers you.

Seriously though, with a gold pot like this, what (un)respectable advertiser wouldn't want to strike at it?

Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (5, Insightful)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196735)

It's a great reminder, once again, that Google actually HAS your username and video watching habits, and can use the info however it wants.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (5, Insightful)

bravecanadian (638315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196791)

I agree.

I think it is funny how everyone is up in arms when Viacom might have gotten their hands on it.. and funny now that everything thinks that Google is the "good guy" for coming to an agreement with Viacom to anonymize the data.

Meanwhile glossing over the fact that Google has and continues to use the very data they were so worried about.. every day to target ads and whatever other purposes they have or find in the future for it.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (1)

Arionhawk (1115559) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196873)

Yeah, but I don't think Google would sue you over said logs, unlike Viacom.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197027)

I think it's funny how people get upset over the idea that there are those of us who are OK with a company with a track record of Google's having more access to information on how we use their free services than we are OK with a company with the track record of Viacom or any other 'big media' having access to information on how we use someone else's services.

Meanwhile glossing over the fact that the majority of the information Google keeps isn't really that personally identifying and helps them actually provide those free services in the first place.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (5, Insightful)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197057)

The difference I see is that when you go to YouTube or other Google services, you have a tacit understanding and agreement with Google that they will have access to this data, and you can read their privacy terms and agree to them when you use their services.

You certainly don't expect other companies to also have that access.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197089)

Come now, you'd have to be simple not to realize that google is gathering info on you when you use their services. The point is that they didn't sell that information or give it away to other people.

People used youtube under the assumption that google would have their data, and no one else.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197229)

Not even advertisers? I haven't read the Youtube TOS or privacy policy, but I'm fairly certain it contains the standard bs "we will sell your info to advertisers to make a buck" clause.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (1)

spiffyman (949476) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197379)

Look. When I go to YouTube, I know that they're going to retain my data. When I log in to my Google homepage, I know that they're going to be monitoring my searches and slipping ads into my results. I'm not so stupid as to think that, when I'm reading an email about an upcoming trip, Gmail has just randomly decided to insert ads for Priceline. I get it. They're using my history and habits to target advertising to me.

I'm ok with that. It's the price I pay for the services they provide. Besides, at some point ads stop being ads and start being advice. After years of using Google, I actually click on the ads they insert occasionally. Why? Because they're well-targeted.

Moreover, it's trivial to protect your information & still use some of Google's less personalized services (search, YouTube). Your complaining about Google's well-known business practices makes me think that you either are unaware of these options or are under the impression that tinfoil hats are fashionable.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197435)

It was never a secret that Google stores this data. Anyone who doesn't know this simply doesn't want to. Even if Google said they weren't storing that data, I would still assume they did.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (1)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197593)

Weigh what Google will use for versus what Viacom will use it for however. Google can't sue you for content, but they can use the information to make a more effective search engine which in turn will be beneficial to internet users. Viacom will use it to try to exploit you and take your money through advertising or litigation with no additional product or service.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (1)

Drakonik (1193977) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197607)

I don't mind Google using statistics they gathered from my usage of their service to further narrow advertisements I see. Maybe now, instead of seeing fifteen "ENLRAGE YORU PEN15" ads on every single page, I'll see something relevant to my interests, such as discount computer hardware, or the latest games.

The objection arises when Viacom, instead of providing something I want to use and gathering statistics from that, leeches off of services that provide content I desire.

Re:Reminder: this does not preserve your privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197045)

You can log in with your google username into youtube now, which further extends this knowledge to gmail and all the other google apps.

A step in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24196851)

Now if only our judicial branch were required to be knowledgeable about the cases they laid verdicts on this would have happened back in the New York federal courtroom.

Changing times (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196857)

This lawsuit and the eBay/Tiffany lawsuit yesterday only means that the courts are only now starting to address how the internet affects traditional businesses models that rely on older concepts of ownership. I remember hearing a speech by the late Douglas Adams on how the internet would change the concepts of property for things like media since no one really "owns" something that can be distributed worldwide in an instant. That was back in 1994.

For eBay/Tiffany the issue was about defending trademarks and brands. eBay argued that they are only a service that bring buyers and sellers together and that they do as much as they can. It is Tiffany's responsibility to enforce their ownership of their brand according to the courts. The problem of enforcement changes when dealing with a worldwide market rather than a local one.

Why does Viacom want all those logs? (4, Interesting)

phr1 (211689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196889)

and why did the judge go along with it? They claim they want to see what percentage of users are looking at unauthorized uploads of copyrighted videos. But they could/should/would do that with a statistical sample, not a full dump of the entire log. Like if you wanted to check out an allegation that 50 million Americans have portraits of Osama bin Laden sewn into their underwear, you would not inspect the underwear of every single American. You'd look at a few thousand selected at random and figure out the percentage. Even when the FBI wanted a look at Google search patterns, they only wanted a few million searches, not the billions that Google has stashed. And Google resisted that.

I don't know what Viacom wants with this data, but it's not what they say they want, and it has to be evil. Barfff on them, and boo to Google and the judge for handing it over so easily. Google should appeal this up the wazoo, and most importantly STOP KEEPING SUCH LOGS.

Re:Why does Viacom want all those logs? (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197039)

That I would rather have portraits of Osama bin Laden sewn into my underwear than portraits of US government officials should say something about the success and consciences of both.

God I hope... (1)

pin_gween (870994) | more than 6 years ago | (#24196971)

they anonymize it better than the government does... Foiled by Ctl+C

Better than nothing. (1)

SpcCowboy (1303133) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197161)

Its unfortunate that this data is stored in the first place, and that the judge ordered the info turned over. At least this provides some semblance of privacy for users. It was ridiculous to demand the user names and IP address of everyone. Anonymous data is perfectly valid for their claim. Of course, if Google would stop logging every piece of data they ever receive, this wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

Am I the Only One (1)

snarlingcoyote (1276742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197199)

Who saw this and felt a moment of relief? "Whew! No one will know how often I watch Jack/Ianto music vids."

Just for the record? I totally use YouTube to watch user-created videos. I have never used YouTube to get Dr. Who and Torchwood episodes. Never ever. Seriously. And I have never once uploaded a Supernatural episode for anyone overseas. Really.

 

Re:Am I the Only One (1)

bravecanadian (638315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197371)

Who saw this and felt a moment of relief? "Whew! No one will know how often I watch Jack/Ianto music vids."

You mean no one other than Google/Youtube and by proxy anyone they sell targeted ads for...

Whew! For a minute there (3, Funny)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197231)

.. I was afraid somebody would learn just how often I allow myself to get Rick Rolled.

Anonymous (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197239)

My first first post, done anonymously! Sweet, now I can finally die as a fulfilled man.

Backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197297)

I consider giving my data to Google to be the best backup in the world. They never lose anything.

It all comes down to profit (1)

ShadowWraith (1322747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197359)

Even if Google refused to release the usernames simply because of moral fiber, this works out very nicely for them. The public will now view them as "the good guys" and this will of course improve business for them. Furthermore, this serves to counteract the awful knowledge that Google keeps these logs at all; consumers will no longer be afraid to use Google's products, since they supposedly will not use their knowledge for "evil".

Thank you Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197441)

Thank you Google for trying to stick to your motto and not do evil by protecting our privacy from Viacom, we appreciate it.

Piracy Violations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197617)

All those violations of piracy must be harmful to the good name of pirates. Arr, it's good to hear that someone is looking out for them matey.

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