Google’s reputation opportunity in the Viacom case
04 July 2008
Google receives its fair share of criticism over how it exploits the personal data of the users of its search and other services, so what a refreshing change to see it defending privacy rights in its tussle with Viacom.
The entertainment company has won a legal battle that will see Google disclosing the usage data for its video-sharing service YouTube, as Viacom tries to prove “the attractiveness of allegedly infringing video with that of non-infringing video” on the site.
Regardless of the legal rights and wrongs – or why Viacom needs user logins and IP addresses when they only want to compare the popularity of original videos with those that feature copyright material
– Google has an opportunity here to prove to its critics that it really respects its users’ private information. By publicly standing up for privacy in the face of Viacom’s demands it could change perceptions about its motives for good.
For the benefit of internet freedom, I really hope it will.