Published by LawTechie - July 26, 2011 - LawTechie

Internet Start-up LawyerNetflix cannot integrate with Facebook thanks to a 23-year-old privacy law. The internet’s light speed tech development easily outpaces the legislative snail and just recently, we are presented with another example of old laws conflicting with new ideas. In its most recent earnings report, Facebook states:

At this point, we plan to [integrate with Facebook] only in Canada and Latin America, as the VPPA (Video Privacy Protection Act) discourages us from launching our Facebook integration domestically… Under the VPPA, it is ambiguous when and how a user can give permission for his or her video-viewing data to be shared.

The VPAA was passed in 1988 to povide people with privacy (and limit their ability to share information) about their video-viewing (passed after a newspaper published the video rental records of then-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork).

Netflix is supporting a new measure, HR 2471, that would provide a consent option for people to share their viewing record online.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.

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