I have trouble agreeing with Mchael Arrington over at TechCrunch which is unusual for me. In a recent post he argues that Google is entrusted with user data and needs to protect it. While this makes perfect sense, isn’t the judge who ordered Google to hand over mountains of personal information to Viacom consisting of user names and IP addresses the problem?
The judge in the case dismissed privacy issues associated with giving up IP addresses and user names as speculative. Let’s see if I understand yhe logic of Louis L. Stanton correctly. My user name on YouTube is rtehrani.
If I were to speculate on how to find rtehrani’s identity online I may Google rtehrani. In doing so, this line of speculation shows dozens of links to none other than me. I didn’t really have to speculate that much to determine who I am, where I live and what my IP address is.
In fact I can’t think of a worse invasion of my privacy.
I have really not commented on this issue much because it is outside of my traditional focus but millions of people’s personal information being handed over to Viacom poses horrendous privacy challenges and the judge in this case who I don’t know from Adam seems about as clueless about technology as Adam would be if he were reincarnated today.
So to Michael Arrington I say, If Google does the right thing and fights this case tooth and nail, the blame lies with the judge, not the search giant.
The author owns shares in Google