Airline Subpoenas Google User Info
American Airlines (AA) has subpoenaed Google to turn over identifying information on a Google Video user who uploaded a copyrighted training video to the site, reports Mercury News. As it is a matter of copyright infringement, Google may not be able to be as defiant as it was with the US Justice Department (DOJ).
The AA’s subpoena demands all documents concerning the individual who posted a video called “Flight Attendant, Upside Down” on Google Video, using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as its support.
Google told Mercury News it would comply “with valid and appropriate legal process, including subpoenas.” That’s not to say Google is bending over to comply. Google compliance manager
Cathy McGoff said the company would forward the request to the poster of the video to give him/her a chance to file an objection. As that is done, Google is also requesting that AA file its own request in federal court. American Airlines has also subpoenaed YouTube.
The latest legal challenge to Google further heats up the debate as to whether websites truly have the ability to keep personally identifiable data private. As discussions of the DOJ’s request have indicated, if Google were to provide IP addresses and nothing else, the DOJ could subpoena Internet service providers to reveal identities.
As for major Internet companies’ role in protecting privacy, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Cindy Cohn is skeptical.
`Hosts like Google won’t be able to protect your anonymity, and in many instances won’t be interested in it,” Cohn said.