1. What’s in the Video Privacy Protection Act? And Why Does it Matter to Me?

    On January 10, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012, amending a 1988 that prohibited any sharing of video rental history (remember those days?).

    What’s in the new law? And what does it mean to customers of Netflix, Hulu, and other online video streaming services? 

    The short answer: you can now tell your Facebook friends - or the world, depending on your privacy settings - what you’re watching on Netflix.

    The longer answer…

    1. More online sharing with friends:

    “[V]ideo providers such as Netflix will be able to implement features that allow subscribers to share their video viewing history using social media services like Facebook.” (Davis Wright Tremaine

    2. More fodder for advertisers:

    “The VPPA Amendments, however, do not distinguish between social media sharing with friends and sharing with third party advertising or analytics companies.  Video service providers would not inherently run afoul of the law by providing that a user’s clicking “Yes” to sharing personally identifiable information means that it gets shared with advertisers, as well as her friends.  So, depending on a service’s policy terms, a user’s interest in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector might be shared not just with her Facebook friends, but advertisers and analytics companies, too.” (Carr, McClellan, Ingersoll, Thompson & Horn

    3. More control over terms of sharing:

    “The New Act now allows sharing of video rental history as long as informed, written consent is received from the customer, including by electronic means such as over the Internet. Notably, this consent must be in a ‘distinct and separate’ form from any other legal or financial obligations. The consent may be given in advance and for a period of up to 2 years, or until it is withdrawn from the consumer.” (Pillsbury Social Media, Entertainment & Technology Team

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    The updates:

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