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As if my post earlier today wasn't enough, here's some further emphasis.
According to Wired, a judge has ordered Google to turn over its entire history of user viewing data to the media giant. The ruling is based in part on the idea that IP addresses which are tracked don't constitute sufficiently identifying information to be considered a privacy problem.
IMHO this is a massive hypocrisy. If the data isn't revealing enough to be a privacy concern, then it has no value as a proof of violation and thus should not be handed over.
Now, all Viacom has to do is is track those IP addresses down to homeowners. It doesn't matter any more who used the IP address in the home. Another ruling recently against eBay (see Marketplace.org ) established the precedent that eBay was acting as a landlord to people who used its space to sell things, and was thus liable for their actions.
How can Viacom tie back those IP addresses to you?
1. Any tracking cookie that identifies you, and can be matched to your use of the same IP address.
2. Reverse DNS lookups will show the cable router, dsl interface, etc. for your home. Viacom may have to contact your media provider to get the actual address. I wonder if they know the right people to call. Oh, wait....
3. Any time you've accessed content on a Viacom owned site, your IP address is logged. Tie them together.
Am I making my point here?
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