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Internet: Privacy

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the implications for the privacy of British internet users of the requirement for Google to disclose to a third party the viewing log of people who have its YouTube service. (217419)

BERR officials made contact with the company on this issue and this is an unfolding situation which we are regularly monitoring. Although the US federal court granted Viacom's petition for disclosure of traffic log data including computer IP addresses, against Google, who own YouTube, the court has specified that Viacom cannot use the disclosed data for any commercial purposes, or to pursue individual users for copyright infringement whose computers might be identifiable from the log data. There is a protective order in the case that prevents information designated as highly confidential from disclosure to anyone but Viacom's lawyers and experts.