About the only news that could rival North Korea’s announcement of a nuclear test is the fact that Google announced its intention to buy YouTube.
Not surprisingly, my first reaction is concern over the incredible data-mining opportunity this represents for Google. Millions of YouTube users have created accounts, uploaded videos, performed searched, left comments, created lists of favorites, and so on, leaving behind a clickstream of potentially personally identifiable information. Will Google now add this data to their growing infrastructure of dataveillance? When asked about plans for datamining during a conference call discussing the announcement, Google apparently replied that “We have no intention to do that.”
Still, I wonder how long it will be until YouTube users see a Google cookie placed on their machine and a mirgration to Google Accounts.
Meanwhile, Philipp Lenssen reminds us of how the acquisition of a user-submitted video archive fits (or not) within Google’s larger mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”