Netflix Class-Action Settlement

Discussion in 'What's On Your Mind?' started by Frank, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    I'm going to have to do some research on this one.

    Basically, someone sued Netflix for selling data about subscribers coupled with their video viewing logs in violation of a federal law intended to keep reporters from embarrassing politicians by publishing their video rental records. (No elected official in Roanoke VA wants it bandied about that they watched anything starring Harmony Rose) They successfully made this a class action lawsuit.

    Netflix is settling out of court, which is why I got the email this morning, being a current subscriber. Most of the settlement I could care less about since I'm not getting one thin dime (or even a Shire Silver card) but one item bothers me: Netflix agrees to "decouple" subscriber and video watching logs for anyone who has not been a subscriber for at least a year.

    If federal law applies to Netflix and other streaming services the way it does to brick-and-mortar rental stores like Blockbuster, and I believe it does, then ALL subscriber information should be decoupled, not just those who left a year ago. It doesn't matter what the Netflix subscriber agreement states, the portion that allows Netflix to pass on your viewing habits to a third party is in violation of federal law and should be severed. If all it does is keep a SWAT team from kicking in your door because you streamed The Tin Drum, it would be worth it.

    Since I can't afford to hire a lawyer for this, I am now going to have to stay at a Holiday Inn Express and write my own objection to this part of the settlement. Oh, well, it isn't that I have anything ELSE to do this summer...
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    More generally we need privacy laws (and probably a constitutional amendment underpinning a real right to privacy) to prevent companies from marketing our personal information.

    If there's a federal law that applies in this case, it's the exception rather than the rule.
    jtodd likes this.

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