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Congress Considering Making Changes To Video Privacy Protection Act

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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  • Njart001

    I don’t want my personal information shared about what I watch with anyone. The opt out process will have to be simple and clear for me to support this.

  • Awe Par

    So all in all doesnt sound too threatening if they were to make the process more user friendly and transparent, including opt-out procedures. I mean if people want to share their every habit with the world and the video rental place is willing to accommodate that, then why not? People just need to be more involved in understanding the things they agree to sign up for. My Advice: READ THE AGREEMENT!

  • opiningmind

    instead of making it difficult for consumers to opt out, make it difficult for vendors to opt in.

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