SATURDAY July 5, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- A U.S. judge has
ordered Google to turn over YouTube user data to Viacom which requested the
information for a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against the
video-sharing service of the internet search engine giant, Reuters reported.
Judge Louis Stanton of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York granted the request for the user data including usernames
of YouTube viewers, the videos they watched when, and user's computer addresses,
according to Reuters.
The court order triggered privacy concerns among privacy
activists from the Electronic Frontier Foundation who in response said that the
order threatens to expose deeply private information and violates the Video
Privacy Protection Act, a federal law passed in 1988.
Viacom said in a statement that it needs the data for its
lawsuit against YouTube, but also said in hopes to diffuse privacy concerns
that "Viacom has not asked for and will not be obtaining any personally
identifiable information of any user."
Google on the other hand tried to request that only data
with the personal identifiable information eliminated be given to Viacom, but
Google senior litigation counsel Catherine Lacavera said Google was
disappointed that "the court granted Viacom's overreaching demand for
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