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September 3, 2006

Google Turns Over Data About orkut Users

Google is about to do a small evil for a greater good. Google has agreed to turn over data to Brazilan Government about some orkut users "that encourage racism, pedophilia and homophobia". This way, they comply with a Brazilian court order.

Google says the differences between this case and the request from the Department of Justice are the scale and the purpose.

It should be noted that US Government wanted that information "to make its defense of the Child Online Protection Act, a federal law designed to keep children from sexually explicit content on the Internet". At least, that's what they said.

And unlike DoJ's request for anonymous data, Brazilian Government wants specific information: "The Brazilian authorities are particularly interested in Internet protocol addresses with time and date stamps that can help trace a specific user. Registration information Google could provide includes names and e-mail addresses."

I don't defend the criminals, but Google should remember there's a thin line between being compliant to Government's request and breaching user's privacy. When Google has strong profiles for its users, I know some people interested to mine that information.

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