Online video platform YouTube has over one billion users. It also has local versions available in more than 88 countries. With this much exposure, privacy becomes very important. If you’re a privacy conscious individual, here’s what you need to know about YouTube.
How It Works
YouTube follows certain criteria for removing content violating someone’s privacy. Their privacy guidelines provide a comprehensive information about the conditions under which privacy is violated. If you want to complain that your privacy has been invaded, you must be able to establish your presence within the content you want to report. This means that you must actually be in the content AND it must violate your privacy. While checking if an individual is identifiable, the following factors must be checked.
- Is your image or voice used?
- Does the content share your complete name?
- Does it disclose financial information?
- Does it reveal contact information?
- What other identifiable information that is personal has been disclosed?
YouTube also makes a decision each time a privacy complaint has been reported based on several criteria. They consider the public interest, consent, and newsworthiness.
What Does It All Mean?
Details like Social Security number, contact information, bank account number, are protected on YouTube. If someone uploads a video containing any of your sensitive details, it will be considered a violation of privacy. What constitutes a non-violation of privacy? If your gamer tags, avatar monikers, or address information is included in which no names are mentioned, privacy is not considered violated. YouTube, of course, reserves the right to make the final decision regarding this.
Filing a Complaint
The entire process of filing a complaint on YouTube is anonymous. According to YouTube, the contact information or identity of the complainant is not disclosed to the person uploading the video. Complaints in most of these cases must be first party claims. This means only the person whose privacy has been violated can file a complaint; the complaint is not on behalf of someone else.
YouTube also does not remove the video within the first 2 days. Here’s how it works – the complaint is filed. Then, the uploader is told about the violation. He or she is granted 2 days/48 hours to remove the particular video. If the concerned uploader does not comply, the YouTube team reviews the complaint.
Written Consent or Verbal Proof: Why the Writing’s on the Wall!
Even if the uploader has a documental proof that the person whose identity has been revealed has given consent for the same, the content must still be removed from the platform. Agreements granting consent prior to the video upload cannot be accepted or even reviewed by the video platform.
Privacy Laws Applicable Worldwide
YouTube’s privacy guidelines are a constant, even though privacy laws, rules, and regulations vary across countries. The privacy guidelines apply to users worldwide. Even if a video does not violate the privacy laws in your country, if it violates YouTube’s guidelines, you can get the video removed.
Private Videos: For Private Eyes Only?
YouTube even has a privacy setting to protect your online identity and maintain a profile while videos are shared online. So, it’s all up to you whether you choose to protect your privacy or give it up. By adjusting the profile settings, video content needs to be carefully considered, and online interactions need to be controlled to protect your privacy on YouTube. You can share YouTube videos across the world, or keep them private and choose just 25 pairs of eyes which can view your clips online.
Sharing Your YouTube Videos
If the videos must be shared with more than 25 users or only those without a YouTube account, videos can be set to “unlisted”. Anyone with the right web address can watch the unlisted video. These videos are impossible to find without the right address because they won’t show up on search results. If you have a friend and want to share something urgent and confidential with them or vice versa, unlisted videos are the way to go. You can share videos without any of them going viral.
Watching Your Private Life? Why Videos Reveal More than You Think!
It’s quite possible that a lot of personal details can be shared on the video such as your family, the interiors of your house, your address, and a whole lot more. If you’re worried about your privacy, it’s best to avoid this.
Protecting Your YouTube Account From Prying Eyes
As a privacy conscious user, you can protect your YouTube videos from strangers by using the YouTube account privacy settings. You can control who sends you messages and shared videos, what others can learn and know about the video and a whole lot more.
Manage How Your Videos are Viewed
YouTube videos are far beyond just a single device or site. If you fear your videos are being embedded on websites or broadcast over TV and mobile networks without your consent, adjust the Embedding+ Syndication options.
What Else Can You Do
Here are some more tips on safeguarding your YouTube privacy.
- Think ahead before posting personal data. Do you really want the web to know what your favorite color is, or where you went to school or even your home address? Remember that every bit of information you let out could be used to violate your privacy.
- Another important step is to protect account data and not share the password with others. YouTube staff never asks you for passwords. Don’t be fooled if someone connects with you pretending to be from YouTube.
- Visit the privacy and safety settings page on YouTube to find the list of tools for managing content and experiences on the site.
- Always take permission before filming individuals or posting their personal information.
- Stronger security for Google accounts is essential through a 2-step verification.
Take all the precautions you can, because YouTube is a meeting point for so many different types of folks. At the end of the day, you want to share videos, not your personal information. And if you’re looking for a good VPN for watching YouTube, you’ll find our top picks here.