Video Privacy Protection Law Changes Passed by House
The House passed an amendment to the 1998 Video Privacy Protection Act (pdf) yesterday as part of a Netflix lead initiative. The House bill, H.R. 2471 was passed in a 303-116 vote by the House and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. The amendment allows "a video tape service provider may obtain a consumer's informed, written consent on an ongoing basis and that consent may be obtained through the Internet." While video tapes are hard to come by, the legislation would presumably apply to dvd's and streaming media.
Netflix plans to build and launch an app for Facebook that would allow subscribers to share what they are watching with their friends, and allow their friends to stream the same content while online. If passed, the amendment would clear the way for what will be one of the first social media video sharing experiences of its kind.
The original Video Privacy Protection Act was passed in 1998 after Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork had his video rental history published by a Washington D.C. Tabloid.
The amendment does not address the potential privacy threats inherent in sharing "video rental history" with third party service providers and millions of Facebook subscribers, even after Facebook just agreed to twenty years of privacy audits due to deceptive practices.