Google, Viacom Reach Agreement on Youtube Users Privacy

Viacom, MTV and others have backed off from their original demands to access all user's viewing histories according to a blog post on Youtube's website yesterday.

In addition, the court rejected the demand by Viacom to access users' private videos, Google's search technology and video identification technology which is used to track potential copyrighted material.

The deal came as part of the USD 1 billion court battle over copyright material that Viacom says is being hosted on Video Sharing website Youtube with Google's tacit approval.

Earlier this month, a New York judge ordered Google to provide Viacom with data of more than 100 million Youtube users to allow the latter to get an insight of the viewing behaviour of millions worldwide.

Youtube is by far the biggest video sharing website in the world with an estimated 12 million users in the UK alone and according to Viacom, 150,000 of its copyrighted clips had been viewed 1.5 billion times.

But things might become murkier as Cnet reports that Google may be asking to see Viacom's employees Youtube records since it suspects that Viacom's own marketing people might have posted copyrighted material on the video sharing website.

Google might have won this battle but in another court and with another judge, the decision could have gone wayward.

As one Youtube user commented on the blog post "Great! So when are you going to let us OPT OUT of info collection? You dodged a bullet today, but what happens the next time? What happens if the government decides to start spying on us thanks to your data collecting?"