Net303 – Policy Primer
By Briony Wood
Watched a YouTube Video??
Accessed the YouTube website??
Created a YouTube account and uploaded
Or accessed ANY YouTube products,
software, data feeds, or services from
the YouTube website??
CHANCES ARE.... you have done one or more
of these things!
But... Have YOU...
Read the 'Terms of Service' for
YouTube and I mean 'really' read
them.... not just skimmed over
You will find it on the homepage,
right down the bottom left hand
( Screenshot, 2013)
Well here are a few highlights to
spark your interest to 'really'
read them and not just 'skim' over
YouTube's Terms of Service
So let's dive in....
Firstly, you may not even be aware
that you are agreeing to the
….just by USING or
signify's to YouTube that you
agree to not only the TOS, but
YouTube's Community Guidelines.
Uploaded a video to
YouTube makes it clear that “you retain all of your
ownership rights”. (Thanks YouTube)
by uploading content to YouTube... you basically grant
them the same rights that you have. Until you delete
your video.... they can use YOUR content in any way
they see fit, “in any media formats and through any
media channels”(YouTube, 2013). ( No biggie...
But moving on....
If you happen to create a YouTube account
(because you want to share with the world
your adorable cat video)...
... Guess What??
YouTube will not be liable for your losses
which may arise from any unauthorized use of
YOU may be liable for the losses of YouTube
or others due to such unauthorized use...
(Thanks YouTube... Glad to know you got our
So to clarify...
If you are 18 years and over, or an
emancipated minor, or are between 13 and
18 years of age and have parental
you affirm that you “are fully
able and competent to enter into the
warranties set” out in YouTube's TOS.
Alright, so now you know where you stand,
in relation to YouTube and your age... we
can move on....
Let's take a peek at Google's
(Because you agreed to it, when you accessed
when a company, organization or group will be
collecting information – private information
regarding an individual.
Why would YouTube/Google want or need to collect
your private information??
Well they need to figure out some of the “basic
stuff, like which language you speak, to more
complex things like which ads you'll find most
useful or the people who matter most to you
online” (YouTube, 2013). (Because you can't
figure out for yourself who matters to YOU.)
And even if you don't want YouTube/Google
to figure out the more complex stuff, or
even the basic stuff – they are going to
do it anyway. Well, the reason that they
collect this information is because they
want “to provide better services” to you,
as well as to every other user. (So
thoughtful, YouTube and Google! Thanks!)
So how do they collect this information??
information from what we give them
– like when you sign up for a
google account, your name, email
and address etc.
information through the use of
their services by you. Not just
the services that you use, but
through the use...
Unique application numbers
Cookies and anonymous identifiers
For expanded commentary on each of these
So how do they use this
Well, firstly they state
“We use the information we collect from all of
our services to provide, maintain, protect and
improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect
Google and our users.” (YouTube, 2013)
However, they also state
“We may use the name you provide for you Google Profile
across all of the services we offer that require a Google
Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated
with your Google Account so that you are represented
consistently across all our services. If other users already
have your email, or other information that identifies you,
we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile
information, such as your name and photo”. (YouTube, 2013)
So basically Google and YouTube
will make the decision on how YOU
different services – based on
information you give them and
information they collect on what
you use and how you use them.
(Obviously, it does not matter if
you personally, don't want to
YouTube's Community Guidelines are pretty
straightforward and simple. For example
they ask that you:
Don't post videos showing bad stuff like
animal abuse, drug or substance abuse, or
Don't post gross-out videos of accidents,
dead bodies and similar things.
Don't post video's containing hate speech.
A full list can be found here
Just one last thing...
As part of YouTube's community guidelines
they state “There is zero tolerance for predatory
behaviour, stalking, threats, harassment,
invading privacy, or the revealing of other
members' personal information. Anyone caught
doing these things may be permanently banned
from YouTube.” (YouTube, 2013)
So the question I have is YouTube, what
exactly do you class as invading privacy –
because it sure seems like you make a day job
out of invading every single user's privacy??
Terms of Service. (2013). YouTube. Retrieved from
YouTube Community Guidelines. (2013). YouTube. Retrieved from
I hope this little presentation
has made you more aware and
sparked your curiosity and makes
you think about exactly what your
agreeing to, when you click the
mouse on the box, making the
little 'tick' come up – it is just
one click – but that one click can
be more complicated than you ever
THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK, AND MAKE