The throwaway Netflix tweet that reveals a disturbing truth

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Whoever is running the official Netflix Twitter account just divided the internet.

A throwaway joke tweet about user data went very, very viral on Monday.

What was intended as a lighthearted joke on viewing habits began a conversation about what some thought was intrusive data mining by the online video streaming company.

The streaming service, which has 109 million subscribers, might regret making their anonymising data collection habits public knowledge.

The fact is Netflix watches you watching it. It's the trade-off for having a massive online library of film and TV at your fingertips, presented to you as per your viewing habits and preferences.

The uncomfortable truth remains that if Netflix wants to snoop into your viewing habits, or make a personal point about them, it can.

The editor-in-chief of The Verge, Nilay Patel, remarked online that Netflix once lobbied for an amendment to a law intended to protect consumer privacy in 2013.

The Video Privacy Protection Act was established in 1988 to prevent video rental stores from disclosing customer records.

It also stopped Netflix from sharing viewer data with Facebook. The amendment, signed into law by President Obama in 2013, allowed rental companies to obtain customer consent to share said information with social networks. At the time, Netflix users outside the US were able to link their Facebook profiles to their Netflix profiles without any restrictions.

A Netflix spokesperson told indy100:

The privacy of our members' viewing is important to us. This information represents overall viewing trends, not the personal viewing information of specific, identified individuals.

HT Mashable

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