You think you are browsing on You-Tube; well, it is looking right back at you.
Written By: Kousi Das
Unauthorized Data Mining by Social media platforms has become a popular white-collar offense, they impose upon the users a compulsion to agree to the set terms & conditions, a ‘take it or leave it’ policy, one cannot access or login to any of these platforms without confirming the same.
It is known as the clickwrap agreement. The content of these T&C is generally designed to shrug off any possible liabilities that might arise out of IP rights. The trendsetter social media app YouTube owned by the Internet giant Google LLC has around 2+ Billion users that are around one-third of the people on the internet, it implies that the content and reach of the videos is far-flung.
Global outreach demands added protection
The issue arises when the content uploaded by the user is not completely original. There have been times when videos uploaded by user tend to infringe the privacy of another individual, for instance when a person takes a video of a celebrity at their shoot or any movie and post them on YouTube without taking consent of the concerned person, it would amount to infringement of celebrity rights, moral rights, performer’s rights, inventorship, and invention information, and pre-public product representations.
However, this is not limited to the celebrities alone it happens to every individual in the society, these websites track every move of an individual and gathers enough information to form an entire profile of that person which is alarming. Chills run down my vein to fathom the thought that, all this data is essentially a virtual counterpart of the person sitting right before the screen. It is a violation of their rights over the acquired data and hence there is a dire need that with the emergence of the online global village, there should be proper legislative measures to monitor such technologies universally and most importantly their implementation.
Unauthorized Data Mining
YouTube tends to collect user’s information and since its beginning in 2005 to 2020 it has acquired a copious amount of data by now. This data is used to monitor the user’s preferences and activities and also extend such information to the advertising agencies.
After a hefty fine imposed upon Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission, Google incurred the next bullet for its subsidiary ‘You-tube.’ Usage of personal data without consent was again the issue, however herein the gravity of the issue was much deeper, it now involved children.
The allegation was that YouTube was collecting and exploiting the information of children without their Guardian’s consent, which was used by Pedophiles to track unsolicited videos, you can refer to this link where the allegations were confirmed by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and forwarded a petition on the same. To prevent such further gross infringement of rights, FTC had imposed a fine of $200 Million up on YouTube.
Such unauthorized data monitoring by YouTube makes one wonder the power it has over the society, in the times where data has become as valuable as currency, it is a ticking time bomb. The internet giants have become Aladdin’s cave for data hunters, lack of regulations in the matter paves the way for further infringement of rights over data, the owner often takes the hit, tools such as DMCA form to take down infringing material though available is only a remedy and not a prevention.
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