Netflix integration with Facebook is a no-go in U.S.: Here’s why


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Netflix announced on Monday that it is integrating with Facebook, allowing subscribers to share what they watch through the streaming service on the social network.

But that integration, while coming for users in Latin America and Canada, won’t be available in the U.S.


Why’s that? Los Angeles Times reporter Ben Fritz has the answer over on our sister blog Company Town:

The reason: The Video Privacy Protection Act, a 1988 law that forbids the disclosure of people’s video rental information. Companies that violate the law are liable up to $2,500 for each infraction.

Netflix’s Facebook sharing app would likely be illegal in the U.S. because it makes recommendations on what to watch based on what a Facebook user’s friends watch, Fritz reported.

Blockbuster, the struggling movie rental store chain (which also offers online streaming in competition with Netflix) learned the hard way about the VPPA law. In 2008, a Texas woman sued Blockbuster alleging that it violated the the law when it shared her rental history with Facebook, Fritz noted.

For more on why Netflix opted out of this type of sharing with Facebook and what bills in Congress Netflix is hoping might allow it to eventually change its policy, head over to Company Town and read the full report, Netflix coming to Facebook overseas, but not in U.S.



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