As the film industry continues its transformation thanks to developments in the digital realm, some of the laws that governed this sector – which were at one time “timely” – have been made quickly outdated and consequently irrelevant. One such law is the Video Privacy Protection Act.
At one time, this act forbade video rental services from disclosing their customers’ rental history without physically written permission from the customer every single time. But in an era that is driven by “sharing” on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and any other social media platform that exists, this law fails to reflect societal changes.
But with the most recent update to the Video Privacy Act in December 2012, digital movie apps such as Netflix are now able to create a social media feature where users can share the movies they watch with friends and move towards a social media platform. The amendment allows permission to be given over the Internet and will last up to two years, with as many shares as the company or customer want.
The new video sharing features “Watched by your friends” and “Friends’ Favorites,” which allows Netflix users in the U.S. to share and rate all of their favorite shows and movies and even do some additional sharing on Facebook. Check out the video below to see how it works.
Not too long ago, Google was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its right to control searches. After a year of investigation the FTC could not find any evidence to punish Google because of the lack of laws and guidelines monitoring search engines, which is a constant issue we keep seeing in the digital world. Without the most updated laws governing the Web, there is no way to properly monitor the digital crimes that may occur, which is why the new privacy laws for film and the digital industry have ignited a legal movement that will allow them to move forward, and essentially, become more social.
With the example of The Video Privacy Act and its updated laws, users can see just how much the industry is changing because of the new norms and cultural aspects of a society that is so heavily enveloped in the digital world. Social media has redefined the definition of privacy because its whole functionality is to serve as a platform to publicize whatever events and happenings that users want. Whereas only a decade ago, users could not share their everyday moves with one another because they did not have the innovative technology we have today, such as mobile devices and social media.
As society and each industry begins to advance its laws and norms, the U.S. will continue to change to reflect what users have built with the devices they have in the palms of their hands.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo