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Viacom backs down over YouTube user data

Viacom has backed down from its demand that Google hands over the personal details of the 100m people who have viewed videos on YouTube. Google had been ordered to hand over the data, including email accounts and viewing histories, as part of Viacom's $1bn (£497m) copyright suit.

Google, which bought YouTube in 2006, will still have to hand over database information but the data will no longer include personal details of popular video site's users. A statement on the YouTube blog said that Viacom had agreed new terms in which it wouldn't be necessary for YouTube to divulge user information.

The news has been welcomed by privacy activists who argued that the original court ruling breached the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act by exposing private information. Google will now supply data to Viacom without usernames and IP addresses. The case is expected to be heard in court sometime next year.

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