Netflix wants to tell your friends what you’re watching

Hoping to become the video version of Spotify, Netflix wants to let your friends know what you’ve watched, sending a constant stream of updates via Facebook.

However, a U.S. law requires a company to have permission before it discloses videos you have watched, and Netflix is backing a bill that would change the law from requiring permission each time you watch a video to giving blanket permission once.

The Video Privacy Protection Act states a customer must get written consent from a customer when disclosing personal information, such as rental history. The new bill was past by the House last week, The New York Times reported.

The bill is “really is meant to empower the consumer to be able to share with their friends,” said David Hyman, Netflix’s general council, according to The NY Times.

But not everyone agrees. Privacy advocates say the bill takes away an individual’s ability to decide what to share, and with whom. Should the Senate pass the bill, the law would “undermine consumers’ control over information collected about them even as it empowers customers to create and share more detailed customer profiles. Netflix isn’t lobbying for a mere amendment, they argue; it wants Congress to dismantle a gold standard among privacy statutes,” the article explained.

Legal and privacy issues aside, this also means streaming media with friends via Facebook could happen soon, PCWorld reported.

There are already many ways to share movie choices on Facebook, whether through link-sharing, likes or third-party apps, and a blanket permission from users to automatically share what they’re watching via Netflix streaming is the next logical step, the article stated.

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This entry was posted in Facebook, Netflix, privacy, Streaming video. Bookmark the permalink.

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