Facebook Copyright Bot Inspects Private Videos

padlock_blue_whiteAccording to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Facebook has recently introduced a new system that automatically recognizes copyright infringement in videos. That’s a good thing, but the way the system works has ruffled the feathers of the privacy watchdog group. The EFF says that, in some cases, the system may require Facebook users to share their private video with a third party.

Right now, the feature works by detecting potential copyright matches and flagging them for the rights holder’s review. However, if you share a video only with your friends or a private group and Facebook flags it as a potential copyright infringement, you won’t be able to share it with your friends unless you share it with the rights holder first.

Why is this a big deal? As the EFF points out, it effectively censors your communication with your friends by preventing you from sharing what you want.

[This] may put your privacy at risk,” the EFF wrote. “Rights holders can’t see your name, but there’s no way to scrub personally identifying information from the video itself. If you upload a very personal video that happens to have a Drake song playing in the background, it doesn’t make much sense to require you to share the video with Drake’s record label.”

While this policy may help protect the content creators themselves, it certainly poses a risk to user privacy. Hopefully Facebook tweaks this rule to free up private sharing.