Louis Gray pointed me to this post on Profy by Cyndy Aleo-Carreira that changes my view on the Google-Viacom decision. I had assumed another clueless judge listening to another corporate lawyer sold a a few more of our privacy rights down the river in the decision of Viacom over Google. That decision by a NY Federal Court ruled that Vacom had the right to examine YouTube source code to make sure copyrights were not being infringed upon. In so doing, they would also see the IP addresses of viewers. Thus Viacom will be able to know what you watch on the Internet, which feels like a blatant violation of privacy rights.
But unlike the rest of us, Cyndy went and read the decision several times. And in so doing, discovered that the precedent for the judge's decision was--Google, who has previously argued for it's own reasons that your IP addresses was not personal data. The source of this goes back to Google's already controverial public policy statement.
First off, my thanks to Cyndy Aleo, who took the time to do some digging, the sort many of us do not always do in blogs. After that my head spins with ironies. The issue of IP addresses being violated by a court on Friday, was in my mind dwarfed a bit, by the revelation that Iran is considering execution of bloggers who write in ways that could steer readers away from Muslim.
But that brings me to the part about Google's sanctimonious slogan of "Do no evil." A fact that most of us deal with is that all companies--and people--do a little evil some of the time. Most of us also realize that so much of the evil we do is inadvertent and even felt quite innocent--like driving an SUV to the market.
[NOTE: This post has been reedited. I had not [properly attributed the fine work that Cyndy Aleo had done in the original article and I apologize for that.]