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Congress Considering Making Changes To Video Privacy Protection Act

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(credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Congress is considering making an important change to a law that hasn’t been touched since the heyday of VHS tapes. It’s all about privacy.

You can share most anything on Facebook, but not your Netflix queue.

“They want to have the ability to make that rental history more public, have it become something that is a lot more social.”

In turn, building buzz and new business, says Ken Wisnefski, the CEO and online privacy expert at WebiMax, a digital strategy development firm in Mount Laurel, N.J.

But to do so, Netflix — and other streaming providers — need Congress to update the Video Privacy Protection Act. That’s a law from the 90s that prevents video stores from spilling what you’re watching.

This change would be a once-and-done opt-in, so Wisnefski says (via Skype). Anything you rent after clicking OK would be shared automatically in online social circles and with third parties.

“Unless you’re a bit more savvy, it becomes difficult to opt out. Others might find themselves in that position where they’re agreeing to something they didn’t even know they were agreeing to.”

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