Myce.com Latest Updates

Netflix settles customer record privacy case for $9 million

Posted at 14 February 2012 00:35 CEST by Justin_Massoud

A class-action lawsuit alleging streaming video giant Netflix retained customer records for two years after service cancellation has ended with the company admitting no wrongdoing, but paying out a hefty $9 million to make the case go away.

The Washington Post reported that the massive out-of-court settlement has led to Netflix downwardly adjusting its fourth quarter net income by 14 percent for a loss of $5.5 million.

According to the site, Peter Comstock and Jeff Milans, both of Virginia, alleged that Netflix had violated the Video Privacy Protection Act – a 1988 law that banned video rental services from revealing their customers’ rental records. The pair argued that under the VPPA, Netflix had no right to maintain records of what they had rented and streamed for more than one year, but did just that for two years.

In a write-up on the VPPA, the non-profit digital rights advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) claimed that a 2011 Netflix-supported amendment seeks to “weaken the consent provision of the VPPA by diminishing the ability of users to control the use and disclosure of their personal information.”

In other words, the original VPPA protected consumers from potentially having their personal information misused by businesses they once patronized, while the amendment, H.R. 2471, could potentially grant more leeway to how long companies can retain such information, along with whom they could share it.

A lawyer for Netflix told Congress last month that passing the amendment would allow the company to bring a Facebook app currently only available for Canadian and Latin American members to the U.S. The app allows Netflix members to share with Facebook friends the movies and TV shows they’re currently viewing.

Sponsored by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), the amendment was passed by the House of Representatives last December, with a Senate vote pending. (via Hacking Netflix)

Click for more news

online videomovies

Click to share

There are 1 comments

BradWright
MyCE Member
Posted on: 14 Feb 12 01:25
    Who cares. This is just another case of a few lawyers making a fortune in the name of a few "victoms" who might get a few dollars in a settlement. But how exactly is anyone "victomized" because Netflix kept their account information for two years? The country is going nuts with litagation and we desparately need tort reform.

    Post your comment

    You need to register before you can comment

    Like us

    Most popular headlines

    New Threshold screenshots show start menu and windowed apps

    Myce managed to get 2 new Windows Threshold screenshots, one shows the new start...

    Anti-piracy campaign set to start in the UK

    After four years of discussions between media companies and internet service pro...

    Western Digital releases new NAS storage drives

    Western Digital is expanding its line of NAS (network attached storage) drives, ...

    Vuze releases Leap, a lightweight BitTorrent client

    Vuze is a well known BitTorrent company, whose primary torrent client has evolve...

    Microsoft to lay off 14% of its employees

    Microsoft is planning to lay off 18,000 employees in one year, of which likely 1...

    See all headlines
    Follow Myce.com