Court Ruling Could Force Search Engines to Track and Hand Over Private Data
A court ruling against TorrentSpy could create a dangerous precedent that would require other search engines and ISPs to create and store user data.
With privacy advocates already concerned that Google’s keeping data for 18 months, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pressing a California court to overturn a ruling that would make it a requirement for internet companies keep sensitive data and hand it over in a civil lawsuit.
“This unprecedented ruling has implications well beyond the file sharing context,” EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry said.
The EFF makes a compelling case, arguing that the ruling could be interpreted as storing every keystroke entered on a computer.
The decision also threatens to radically increase the burdens that companies face in federal lawsuits, potentially forcing them to create and store an avalanche of data, including computer server logs, digital telephone conversations, and drafts of documents never saved or sent.
TorrentSpy is appealing the ruling.