Friday, July 04, 2008

Copyright and Personal Privacy, eh?

Yesterday's ruling in the American mega litigation involving Viacom v. YouTube & Google requires the handover of 12 terabytes of data containing info about viewers' login ID, IP addresses, time of viewing, etc. is a potentially devastating invasion of the privacy of millions of people, who had no expectation that this could ever happen. Here's the ruling and here's the NYTimes story.

As the privacy breach debacle by AOL in 2006 showed, it is not hard to find out a lot about particular people with far less information than appears to be at stake here. Knowing an IP address and time of access can identity a particular person in many cases.

I would hope that such a ruling would not be made in Canada. We have our PIPEDA federal privacy statute.

We have the BMG ruling, in which I was pleased to have been involved. Here's two opposing views and a neutral summary of that ruling by an editor, myself and another counsel on the other side. These set forth some of the basis of the debate in Canada, if a similar situation should arise.


1 comment:

  1. Can the US judge really decide to force Google to give away the privacy of people in other countries (Canada, Japan, UK, EU, etc) just like that?