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Should Obama ditch YouTube?

Chris Soghoian at CNet makes some interesting arguments for Why Obama should ditch YouTube (November 24, 2008).

He says that the “use of YouTube and Google Analytics by the Obama transition team violates the privacy of Web site visitors and possibly even violates federal rules banning the use of permanent tracking cookies on government sites” and that the government should host its own videos.

…when a regular YouTube user views a video embedded in a blog or other third-party site, the user’s cookie is automatically sent to YouTube’s servers–even without the user clicking the play button. Given the widespread use of embedded videos, this gives Google, which owns YouTube, an even better idea of the surfing habits of millions of people around the world.

He suggests: “By all means, use streaming video to reach the masses, but let the bits flow from government-owned servers (preferably without privacy-invading cookies). If bloggers wish to embed YouTube videos of the speech on their own sites, that is fine. But Obama shouldn’t.”

I would go a step further by challenging the new President to use open-format standards for video and audio so that they can be preserved.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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