Google, Viacom Agree To Shield YouTube User ID's

In their ongoing legal wranglings, Google (YouTube) and Viacom have reached an agreement that allows Google to anonymize YouTube visitor data before turning the information over to Viacom as part of the copyright suit between the two companies. User ID’s and IP addresses will be replaced to protect user privacy.   Concerns had been raised that, by releasing information that might identify users, YouTube visitors might be open to future civil action.  In their suit, Viacom has questioned how often its top shows like The Simpsons, are viewed on YouTube.  The company is seeking to quantify how much of the YouTube financial success is derived from viewership of its high cost shows verses user generated videos. Google says it continues to champion personal privacy on the net but as one YouTube user commented, this entire thing may not have happened had YouTube provided users an “opt-out” option from data collection.