The legislation, which is designed to allow people to more easily digitally share their video rental history on the internet, passed in the U.S House of Representatives yesterday.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s lobbying effort aims to modify the Privacy Protection Act that currently states that permission for sharing viewing information must be provided in writing. The new bill intends to relax the language of the law, by allowing users to give their consent to share their personal viewing information online.
However, it is still too early for Netflix, Inc.(NASDAQ:NFLX)’s CEO Reed Hastings to celebrate, as the company went through the seemingly same exact motions last year, only for the bill to be halted in Congress when 116 members voted against it.
Outside of the US, other countries allow Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) to integrate with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). This gives users the chance to share what they are watching with their peers. Hastings, who also sits on the board of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), has been trying to bring the same features to American Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users for the past few years.
In a press release on Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s website, Goodlatte said: “Today’s technology and the ever-changing consumer marketplace demand an update to the antiquated VPPA,”
“Over the past two decades, video distribution and the way consumers view video content has changed dramatically. Social media users, especially young people, do not understand why they cannot share information about their favorite movies or TV shows in the same way that they can music or books. [This bill] preserves careful protections for consumers’ privacy while modernizing the law to empower consumers to do more with their video consumption preferences, including sharing favorite TV shows or recently watched movies via social media networks in a simple way.”
However, the bill states that companies must still provide consumers with the “clear and conspicuous” option to withdraw consent of the sharing of video consumption preferences at any time.
“Protecting private information is critically important in today’s online world,” said Goodlatte, “This bipartisan bill is truly pro-consumer and places the decision of whether or not to share video rentals with one’s friends squarely in the hands of the consumer.”
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s shares were today up by 1.33 percent, to $96.97 per share.