Teacher's Nightmare: Ogling Video on YouTube

She got 'Hot for Teacher' clip pulled, but incident raises Web privacy issues.

ByABC News via via logo
January 8, 2009, 1:01 AM

Aug. 26, 2007 — -- The scene was a fifth grade graduation ceremony in Charlotte, N.C., and the star of the amateur video was not exactly the student body, but a teacher's body.

"The video was three and a half minutes of me. It would go to my face, to my butt, to my face," said former elementary school teacher Keri McIntyre. "And then he had his fun zooming in to my butt."

McIntyre said she only recently learned of the video's existence and that it was posted on YouTube, set to the Van Halen tune "Hot for Teacher."

"I had no idea until last week. My student teacher, who I had last year, e-mailed it to me," McIntyre said on "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" Sunday. "When I saw it I was furious."

Even though YouTube almost immediately pulled the clipped from its site, nearly 200,000 people had viewed the clip.

"We do not comment on the specifics of individual videos. However, the video in question has been removed as it violated our terms of use," YouTube said in a statement.

Also, the video has resurfaced on the popular social networking site, MySpace.

Now, McIntyre is on a mission to find out who was behind the camera because she said someone turned a simple, innocent act into something disgusting.

At any given moment, millions of people are watching videos online. Some of the people featured in the videos are unaware they're on the Web.

And the ever increasing popularity of amateur videos online has raised serious privacy concerns.

YouTube pulled a video of Beyonce Knowles tripping during a concert, citing reasons of copyright infringement.

But it's not only the rich and famous which have to worry about suddenly finding their images plastered across the Web. Average people like McIntyre also have found themselves starring unwittingly in online videos.

McIntyre's quest for the person's identity behind the video may be no easy task. Even if she is able to track down the person responsible for the video, her legal action may be limited.

"An image that you may not like, or an image that seems not appropriate, is not likely to get you a legal award in a United States court," said Electronic Privacy Information Center executive director Marc Rotenberg.

ABC News technology contributor Becky Worley said people's Internet privacy rights are "a little hazy."

However, Worley said there are a few things people can do to try and protect their privacy.

First, she said, contact the Web site and ask it to take down the material. If that doesn't work, a person should contact a lawyer and have him write a "take down letter," Worley said.

But even doing these things may not ensure total privacy.

"[Even if you] get the Website to take it down, there's always a possibility that someone else has already downloaded it, made a copy, and then it can reappear," Rotenberg said. "Once it's captured, it's very difficult to make it go away."

Rotenberg said the major issue today is not based so much on privacy issues.

"It's really about your ability to control the information about you, including your image," he said.

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