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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:36 AM

Congress Says Netflix Can Share What You're Watching

When the streaming-video site Netflix suffered an outage on Christmas Eve, millions of Americans confronted the terrifying possibility of an evening of spent talking with their relatives instead of re-watching Die Hard. But Netflix's technical snafu wasn't the only streaming-related news infuriating Americans over the Christmas holiday.

Last Tuesday, the Senate quietly altered a key privacy law, making it much easier for video streaming services like Netflix to share your viewing habits. How quietly? The Senate didn't even hold a recorded vote: The bill was approved by unanimous consent. (Joe Mullin of Ars Technica was among the first to note the vote.)

Here's what changed. For the last twenty-four years, ever since a local reporter easily obtained failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's video rental records without his consent, the law has required video rental companies to get your permission each and every time they share information about the movies you rent or buy. Although Bork himself had no respect for the idea of a constitutional right to privacy, part of his legacy ended up being one of the strongest privacy-related laws in the country.

As of last week, that's all in the past: Video streaming companies that want to share your data now only need to ask for your permission once. After that, they can broadcast your video-watching habits far and wide for up to two years before having to ask again.


http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/12/netflix-video-privacy-facebook-sharing

12 replies, 1345 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Congress Says Netflix Can Share What You're Watching (Original post)
Redfairen Dec 2012 OP
Evergreen Emerald Dec 2012 #1
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #8
MassedPole Dec 2012 #2
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #3
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #6
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #12
LiberalFighter Dec 2012 #4
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #7
Still Blue in PDX Dec 2012 #5
Cha Dec 2012 #10
Comrade_McKenzie Dec 2012 #9
davidpdx Dec 2012 #11

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:40 AM

1. Damn!

I can no longer hide the fact that I watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the privacy of my home.

Will you think less of me?

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Response to Evergreen Emerald (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:57 PM

8. Hah!

Mr Pip loved that show! I never watched it, though.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:24 AM

2. I guess someone somewhere will know That I am a Brony.

 

That I watch MLP Friendship is magic...

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:39 AM

3. Netflix

Why would Netflix want to share what I watch? Who the hell would care that I like British mystery series?

Am I going to start to get little pop up ads on my screen telling me that Steve in Philly is streaming Debbie does Anybody?

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Response to Mz Pip (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:03 PM

6. Social media advertizing

 

They want to show that Mz Pip is streaming Pride and Prejudice on Netflix to your entire friends list to try and get additional subscribers.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:13 PM

12. Thank god I have no friends.

And why only streaming....was there no mention of dvd rental?

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:09 PM

4. What does Congress watch?

Let's put it out there what they are "watching". And when they ask where we found that out we say we found out from NetFlix.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:54 PM

7. I want to know

If Senator Crappo is watching "The Hangover"

From jail.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:04 PM

5. For every political documentary I watch, there is a season of Firefly or Inspector Lewis.

There is the occasional Arrested Development episode as well.

I probably should be upset over the invasion of my privacy, but I really don't have anything to hide except the fact that I've missed work because I stayed up all night watching The Highlander when I should have been sleeping.

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Response to Still Blue in PDX (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:43 AM

10. That's funny.. ooops, sorry you missed work.

I'm retired now so there're no repercussions when I stay up all night watching something riveting because I can't sleep, anyway.

I'm like Mz Pip.. wondering why netflix wants to share their customers' viewing history? They seemed really excited about it but that's all I got. Just as long as their streaming doesn't go down like it did Christmas Eve.. I think I'm good.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:49 AM

9. Meh. Something I share voluntarily. nt

 

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:22 PM

11. It would be embarrassing for your friends and family to find out

you watched Debbie Does Dallas four times in a week.

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