Netflix Backs Bill to Reform Video Privacy Protection Act


LOS GATOS: Netflix is supporting a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would reform the Video Privacy Protection Act, which currently requires "video tape service providers" to obtain written consent before sharing a customer’s information.

The new bill would allow consumers to give a one-time blanket consent online for a company to share their viewing habits continuously. If the revision is approved, Netflix viewing habits would be published on social networks, much like what Spotify does with music. Netflix has developed a sharing feature on Facebook, and the tool was made available to international subscribers. The company withheld it from the U.S. service due to fears of violating the current Video Privacy Protection Act.

Privacy advocates, such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center, are concerned with the proposed changes to the Act because of the impact the revision would have on the overall legal concept of "meaningful consent."