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Netflix Gets Hit With Lawsuits – Alleges Privacy Violations

Netflix has been accused of violating US privacy laws in five separate lawsuits within the past two months. The lawsuits claim that Netflix violates the Video Privacy Protection Act(VPPA) by keeping track of credit cards and rental histories long after customers cancel their membership. The VPPA was first passed by Congress in 1988 and was created to prevent the sharing of videotape rental or sales records.

A former Netflix subscriber, Michael Sevy, filed a four page suit on Friday, accusing Netflix of violating the VPPA in remembering credit card information as well as their former DVD rental history. Michael Sevy is just one of a number of Netflix users who has taken a stand against Netflix’s policy. Netflix managers have offered one million dollars to anyone who can come up with a better film-recommendation algorithm. The plaintiff, in that case, claimed that the people’s identities could simply be recovered out of the raw data.

If you’ve ever used Netflix before, what do you think of their recommendation system?

Does it help you find enjoyable movies that you would have normally not found yourself? Or, do you find it a cumbersome marketing tool that is used to entice consumers but does not provide any real value to their service? Please post your thoughts in the comments!

Photo Courtesy of Hacking Netflix
Photo Courtesy of Dekstop