Feeds

Netflix punters told of privacy change, get 3 months to object

Accept, and you opt in to class-action settlement

Application security programs and practises

Netflix is alerting customers to changes in its privacy policy under a proposed legal settlement that would put an end to a class action suit launched against the company last year.

The company is changing its policy so that it is no longer possible to identify the video "histories" of customers who haven’t subscribed to Netflix for 12 months or longer. Past and present customers were notified of the change by email on Monday.

Under the deal, Netflix will also have to cough $9m, though none of it will go to members of the class-action suit. Under the agreement, Netflix must donate $6.65m to nonprofit privacy organisations, while the remaining $2.25m will go to the law firm that served as class counsel.

People who do not respond to Netflix’s email will be deemed to have agreed to the change and will surrender the legal right to take further action against Netflix for breach of data privacy under the class action case launched in 2011.

If you wish to fight on, Netflix’s email says you must exclude yourself by 14 November, 2012.

The change in policy is part of a proposed settlement to the class-action brought by former Netflix customers Jeff Milans and Peter Comstock of the US state of Virginia.

Their case alleged Netflix had broken the 1998 US Video Privacy Protection Act, which prevented video rental services sharing data about past and present customers’ viewing habits. It also alleged that netflix had shared customers' data with unnamed "third parties". Netflix has not admitted to any wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.

The potential settlement – which included the stipulation that Netflix change its privacy policy as well as the $9m settlement – was announced in February.

The case was filed in San Francisco, where the court will hold a hearing on 5 December, 2012 to consider objections and make a decision on whether to approve the settlement.

Netflix lost more than 800,000 customers in one quarter of 2011 thanks to price increases after the introduction of a streaming service and the firm's decision to split streaming and DVD rental into separate businesses.

At the time, streaming was to be called Netflix and DVD rental was to be dubbed Qwikster. But Netflix abandoned the spin-out plan while its chief executive Reed Hastings, a Microsoft board member, apologised for upsetting customers. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.