There Is No Such Thing As Anonymized Data, Google

from the barely-appeasing dept

With the news out that Google and Viacom have come to an agreement to "anonymize" the data a judge ordered Google to hand over, it's worth remembering a simple, but important statement: there's no such thing as a truly anonymized dataset. While it may protect some users, it's still likely to reveal some users and what they surfed. Given all of this, it's still quite unclear why Viacom needs this data in the first place. The legal question is whether Google infringed on copyright. Why should Google's log files be necessary to determine that?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: anonymized data, logfiles
Companies: google, viacom, youtube


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    SVContrarian, 15 Jul 2008 @ 5:23pm

    It's called a subpoena

    If it's unclear to TechDirt why Viacom needs this data, I suggest your unfailing love of Google has clouded your judgement. It's called a subpoena, read about them. They happen occasionally in lawsuits. When Microsoft had to turn over their email, logs, etc. to the Justice Department, haters everywhere were delighted. But heaven forbid someone accuse our beloved Google! Truth is, there's a pretty good chance Google's making money on other people's copyrighted content. Ahem... you may not LIKE the copyright laws, but be prepared to face the consequences when you violate them on a massive scale. If the court finds in favor of Viacom (and this data will be key to proving just how deep the infringement was and how complicit Google employees were), then cha-ching Viacom.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Advertisment

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.