YouTube Privacy Guidelines

YouTube Privacy Guidelines

We're serious about protecting our users by addressing potential privacy concerns. Our privacy guidelines apply to all users across the world. In other words, while the video in question may not violate your country's privacy laws, it may still violate YouTube's privacy guidelines.

YouTube privacy guidelines aim at protecting users’ privacy while balancing public interest and newsworthiness. If you believe the content violates other YouTube Community Guidelines, we encourage you to learn how to report inappropriate content.

How does YouTube determine if content should be removed for a privacy violation?

For content to be considered for removal, an individual must be uniquely identifiable and the complaint we received from that individual, or their legal representative, must uniquely identify the individual by a combination of image, voice, full name, government identification number, bank account number, contact information (e.g. home address, email address), or other uniquely identifiable information. We also take into account public interest, newsworthiness, consent, and whether the information is otherwise publicly available when determining if content should be removed for a privacy violation. YouTube reserves the right to make the final determination of whether a violation of its privacy guidelines has occurred.

What does uniquely identifiable mean?

To be considered uniquely identifiable, there must be enough information in the video that allows others to recognize you. Note that just because you can identify yourself within the video, it does not mean you're uniquely identifiable to others. A first name without additional context or a fleeting image, for example, would not likely qualify as uniquely identifiable.

How YouTube's privacy process works

If a privacy complaint is filed, YouTube may give the uploader an opportunity to remove or edit the private information within their video. We will notify the uploader about the potential violation and may give them 48 hours to act on the complaint. During this time, the creator can utilize the Trim or Blur tools available in YouTube Studio. If the uploader chooses instead to remove the video, the complaint will be closed. If the potential privacy violation remains, the Youtube Team will then review the complaint.

Our Privacy Complaint Process also accounts for cases that warrant urgent removal of personal or financial data.

Reporting a privacy violation

To file a privacy complaint, start the Privacy Complaint Process. As the complainant, your privacy is respected in this process. At no point will your identity or contact information be released to the uploader without your consent. Our communications to you about this process will be sent to the email address you give to us. Add (for example, your spam filter to make sure you get these messages.

First-party claims are required.

We do not accept claims made on behalf of third parties except in the following situations:

  • The individual whose privacy is being violated does not have access to a computer
  • The individual whose privacy is being violated is a vulnerable individual
  • The claim is being made by the parent or legal guardian of the individual whose privacy is being violated
  • The claim is being made by a legal representative for the individual whose privacy is being violated
  • The request is filed by a close family member on behalf of a deceased individual

We will not accept privacy complaints filed on behalf of:

  • Other family members (such as husband, wife, cousin, brother, sister)
  • Coworkers or employees (individuals must submit a report themselves)
  • A company

Tips on filing a complete privacy complaint

  • Be clear and concise so that the YouTube Team can identify you within the video.
  • Use timestamps to indicate all places where you appear in the video.
  • In the description area, specify what you are wearing or doing that differentiates you from others within the video.
  • Make sure you've included the video URL in your report. If you're reporting an entire channel, you're not required to submit a URL.
  • If you are reporting a comment made in the comments section of a video, note it in the description area. Include the commenter's username in the username field.

Receiving notice of a privacy violation

YouTube may give you, the uploader, an opportunity to remove or edit the private information within your video. In this case, we would email you about the potential violation and allow you 48 hours to act on the complaint. If you remove the alleged violation from the site within the 48 hours, the complaint filed will then be closed. If the potential privacy violation remains on the site after 48 hours, the complaint will be reviewed by the YouTube Team.

If we remove your video for a privacy violation, do not upload another version featuring the same people. These people will likely file another privacy complaint or report you for harassment. We're serious about protecting our users and suspend accounts that violate people's privacy.

How can I act on the complaint?

  • You can remove the reported content completely from the site.
  • If someone's full name or other personal information is listed within the title, description, or tags of your video, you can edit these details by going to Videos and clicking the Edit button on the reported video.
  • You can blur the faces of individuals who appear in the videos.  

Incomplete methods of removal are not acceptable, and include:

  • Making a video private as the uploader can change the status from private to public at any time.
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