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Google, YouTube, Data

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Jul. 3rd, 2008 | 06:53 am

While reading my RSS feeds this morning I picked up this:
YouTube Must Give All User Histories To Viacom

After Scientology's DMCA request on Slashdot we made an active choice to squash data on users to limit the possibility of this sort of request. We randomized incoming trackable data on users and tossed everything but aggregate data for long term storage.

Why?

For one, we simply did not need to keep terabytes of log data sitting around collecting dust. Secondly, while the data might be useful for determining trends we risked our user's privacy. We believed this was unacceptable. One court request and we could be handing over who knows what to any company that could find an uneducated judge to sign away the privacy of millions. The data was just not that valuable.

What would I like to see?

Sites handing control of data retention over to users.

It would be good to see more sites give users the opportunity to have their tracking information removed after a period of time from companies databases.

We could start a trend by having websites publish data retention policies .

So what would it take to make this happen? Would peer pressure work? I am not in favor of creating more laws.

What if we petition sites to make steps in this direction. A few at a time, with a goal of long term of putting peer pressure on sites that do not follow the lead of user privacy oriented sites.

Is this too much too ask for?

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Comments {7}

Public Libraries

from: cedarmulberry
date: Jul. 4th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
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Public Libraries started doing this right after the Patriot Act came out-- most no longer maintain records of what patrons have checked out in the past, because they can't hand over what they don't have.

There was actually quite a shredding-frenzy at public libraries right after the act came out, quickly followed by policies to prevent data from being retained in the first place.

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