Judge's Order For Google To Hand Over YouTube Usage Morphs Into Google Backlash On Storing IPs
from the backlash-everywhere dept
There was plenty of attention given to the judge’s order that Google hand over log files to Viacom’s lawyers in the Viacom/YouTube lawsuit, with much of it focused on what an awful ruling this was. Now it appears that some are trying to use this bad ruling to actually focus negative attention on Google instead. A lawyer who is also suing YouTube over copyright issues mistakenly claims that Google has tricked the press into making Viacom the enemy here. That’s not quite true, though. Most of the anger was focused on the judge’s decision, not on Viacom. However, he does make another, related point that is getting picked up by others as well: “How else do you explain why they have been collecting and using IP addresses to monetize their site (for a while now), yet only now, with great self righteousness, claim to be concerned about producing IP addresses?”
Of course, that’s not quite an accurate portrayal of the situation either. It’s one thing to store your own log files — it’s quite another to be asked to hand them over to a random third party. Louis Solomon’s statement above is like saying “how can a doctor store your medical info and then, with great self righteousness, claim to be concerned about protecting your medical info.” It’s rather easy: the doctor has a right to the medical info, while a third party does not.
However, that hasn’t stopped some privacy advocates from asking why Google has kept the log files in the first place. This doesn’t strike me as being that big a deal, to be honest. There are plenty of reasons why Google should be able to control its own log files. I can understand questions concerning what it does with the log files should those actions violate user privacy — but merely tracking how people use their websites hardly seems like a privacy violation.