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


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  1. identicon
    Paul, 15 Jul 2008 @ 5:08pm

    Re: well

    Also, I just want to add that I've also looked at this from the point of view that Viacom knows they're wrong, but they want the money anyway. I think they're going to try to pull technicalities and loop holes. In all honesty, I think its clear that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor clause, but Viacom for whatever reason is apparently trying to one-up the RIAA in suing the wrong people and ruining their reputation. The big shots are too short-sighted and see all the money they could make off of this quickly, but they don't see how they're ruining their business. It seems like a common methodology these days from new business school folks. Maximize the amount of money you can make, regardless of how much you potentially could make in the long run.

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