Published by LawTechie - July 30, 2012 - LawTechie

Internet LawBack in February I reported Senator Patrick Leahy’s opposition to the Facebook-lobbied amendment to the ages-old Video Privacy Protection Act which currently denies Netflix the ability to share users’ video preferences with their own social media accounts.


Leahy, who authored the VPPA, expressed concern that this change would blindside users. “When dominant corporate interests entice a check off in order to receive what may seem like a fun new app or service, they may not be presenting a realistic and informed choice to consumers,” he said.

Now we have an about-face:

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week proposed amending the federal video privacy law to enable consumers to consent on an ongoing basis to the disclosure of information about their movie rentals. Leahy made the proposal as an amendment to a controversial Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414), The Hill reported today.

What does this mean (aside from the fact that Netflix hired some very good lobbiests)? In my opinion, it means that the legislature takes forever and a day to catch up to technological advances and, as such, legislative regulation of online activity just never seems like a very good idea.

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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