Netflix Updates Privacy Statement, Discloses How User Data Is Handled

  • Netflix published its updated Privacy Statement in January of 2018.
  • The streaming service stores your personal information including payment method details and contact details. 
  • Additional information about demographics is collected from both online and offline data distributors.

In the wake of the recent Facebook scandal, people are getting highly paranoid about their personal information. When it comes to streaming services, there is no bigger streaming brand than Netflix. With over 118 million subscribers spread across 190 countries, the service has access to a massive vault of personal information.

Netflix had a controversial moment back in December 2017 when the company’s Twitter account reported that 53 subscribers watched A Christmas Prince every day for 18 days. Many people who viewed the tweet raised concerns over the privacy of their data and how the company handles user information. After facing backlash, Netflix reaffirmed the service’s commitment to privacy. They stated that the tweet was representative of overall viewing trends and the company does not manually go through individual data.

Netflix Tweet
Image Courtesy of ZDNet

In January, the company revealed their updated privacy statement which detailed their data collection policies. There are three categories of data the streaming company collects which include information you provide to Netflix, information automatically collected by them and your Web browser data.

Your name, address, email address, payment method, telephone number and your ratings on shows or movies make up the information you actively provide to the service provider. Information Netflix manually collects login patterns to identify devices you are logging in from, your IP address, watch history, search queries, time spent viewing content and interactions with customer service representatives.

If you log in to your account on any web browser, Netflix collects information on your web history, cookies, advertising information, and Web beacons. The streaming service stated that they collect this information to display targeted ads to users. However, they do not use the data to offer any third-party advertising services, and your information is contained within Netflix servers only.

Netflix also stated that the service might supplement the collected information described in the privacy statement with information from third-party sources. This could include demographic data, Internet browsing behavior, and interest-based data. While the wording of the privacy statement regarding third-party data collection is vague, it is the norm for most online services.


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