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Netflix has been given the legal green light to integrate information of customer’s video viewing habits on social networks following the passing of a bill by the US House of Representatives.

The bill, HR 2471, effectively lifts 23 year old restrictions imposed under the Video Privacy Protection Act, which forbids the disclosure of video rental records. Under the new bill, consumers will be able to give a one-time consent to release their rental data.

The proposal still needs to be approved by the US Senate.

Prior to the passing of the new bill, the restrictions had stopped Netflix from enabling subscribers to share what they were watching with their friends on social network like Facebook.

The Netflix – Facebook sharing feature is available to its overseas subscribers but ironically not in America, its biggest market.

The Video Privacy Protection Act was originally created after a Supreme Court nominee was discredited by having his video rental records turn up in a newspaper.

The move allows Netflix to develop and extend its planned social integration and recommendation systems to its customer base globally. The decision, however, would probably cause shivers among legacy Netflix customers whose late-night rental decisions are not appropriate for sharing on anyone’s social network. ®

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