Customers Netflix Rental History Coming To Facebook
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress has voted to overturn a piece of 1980s legislation that would allow Netflix users rental history to be published on Facebook.
On December 20, 2012 Congress repealed the Video Privacy Protection Act, a law enacted in 1988, which was originally signed into law by Ronald Regan to prevent "wrongful disclosure of video tape rental or sales records." The law came about after the publication of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's video rental history was leaked to the press during his confirmation hearings.
The change in the law comes after a year-long push from Netflix to allow customers to share their movie browsing history much in the same way the music sharing program Spotify does. According to the Daily Dot Facebook and Netflix users in Canada and Latin America have been able to connect the two programs since September 2011.
"It removes a marketing barrier," Sterling told the E-Commerce Times. "Facebook likes this because they want more information shared -- on their platform -- generally. Potentially this might also play into advertising in selected situations," he continued -- "that is, film studios promoting upcoming films to prospective audiences. Netflix likes this because it permits more viral promotion of its brand, titles and service on Facebook."
Although users would be able to opt out or into the program from Facebook or Netflix, some tech leaders expect there to be a backlash.
"The less-than-attentive consumer might authorize sharing in January and forget he or she has done that," noted Sterling, and "thus in June or July, unwittingly expose video viewing information that he or she might want kept private."
The repeal of the law still requires President Obama's signature, but if it is approved Netflix users could see their recently watched movies showing up in their Facebook feed as early as Spring 2013.