‘Creepy’ Netflix tweet raises serious concerns about user privacy


A tweet by the Netflix US Twitter account has sparked privacy concerns amongst users after the streaming giant revealed that 53 people have watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days. 

Not surprisingly, this has drawn criticism from several quarters.

It seems that the tweet was intended as a bit of fun and to be taken light-heartedly but some users have described the tweet as “creepy” and it has naturally sparked the long-running debate about the company watching its customers too closely.

One natural concern is how many Netflix employees have access to private data and whether this information can be used to identify individuals or if it is just broad information.

As early as 2007, researchers from the University of Texas claimed that they were able to identify individual Netflix customers just from anonymous data that the company openly revealed.

Trevor Timm, the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, is one of the people who was concerned by Netflix’s Twitter update.

A spokesperson said, “The privacy of our members’ viewing is important to us. This information represents overall viewing trends, not the personal viewing information of specific, identified individuals.”

From this statement, it would be fair to deduce that the stats that were quoted in the original tweet are accurate.

The initial thoughts were that the stats could quite easily have been invented and used purely to promote A Christmas Prince, a programme that has received some very mixed reviews with it being branded both the best and worst film that viewers have ever seen.

Interestingly, the tweet has gained more than 100,000 Retweets and 415,000 Favourites and the US Twitter account has responded to many of the tweets in quite a sarcastic manner.

Netflix is not the first company to tweet about their audience with Spotify recently doing something similar.

According to Spotify, its posters are “designed to showcase the emotional experience of our listeners, and the stories you see are inspired by data we have.”


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