Netflix Encounters Privacy Suits

By Cindy Waxer March 21, 2011

Movie-lovers are crying foul when it comes to Netflix’s privacy policies. Over the past two months, records show that the online video streaming service has been accused by no less than five people of violating U.S. privacy laws.

Michael Sevy is the most recent former Netflix subscriber to take his grievances to court. The Michigan resident filed a four-page suit last week accusing Netflix of violating the Video Privacy Protection Act by "collecting, storing and maintaining for an indefinite period of time, the video rental histories of every customer that has ever rented a DVD from Netflix."

Netflix is being accused of retaining confidential consumer data even after people cancel their Netflix memberships. This information includes rental histories and credit card numbers.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has ruffled feathers. Last September, Netflix announced that Netflix.ca, the U.S. company’s first website outside the United States, would go live, delivering its online streaming service to Canada.

However, as reported by TechZone360.com, a street celebration turned into a marketing disaster after reporters discovered that actors hired by Netflix had been instructed to hype the arrival of the company’s video streaming service at the event. In fact, according to the Financial Post’s website, it was during a scheduled press event in Toronto that reporters from Canadian media apparently noticed that some of the responses from people in attendance sounded like “canned responses.” The actors also were urged to fill a variety of stereotypical roles, including “mothers, film buffs, tech geeks, couch potatoes,” according to the one-page handout given to them.

Not that Netflix has anything to worry about. The company now has nearly 17 million subscribers who use its service to rent TV shows and movies.




Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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