Comments on March 20th

A couple of comments re our class today.

1. We talked about Netflix using personal information to create House of Cards and whether this was okay. For both practical and legal reasons, I think an important consideration is whether Netflix is using your information in a reasonable way. For me, I think it is reasonable for Netflix to use my information internally to develop and refine it’s products, particularly if it’s first anonymized, but that a practical (if not legal) line is crossed when Netflix starts to use my information in a way that disrupts the integrity of its service.

For example, if Netflix has used my information to determine with a certain algorithm what shows to recommend to me and has built up significant goodwill with me by doing so correctly, I do not think it is reasonable to then recommend House of Cards to me even if the algorithm says I will not like it. ┬áIf House of Cards is flagged as an advertisement, fine; but if it’s not and it’s presented like all the other recommendations I think there’s a problem.

2. Here is a related snippet from Netflix’s terms of use (emphasis mine; see

Use of Information Submitted

Netflix is free to use any comments, information, ideas, concepts, reviews, or techniques or any other material contained in any communication you may send to us (“Feedback”), including responses to questionnaires or through postings to the Netflix service, including the Netflix website and user interfaces, without further compensation, acknowledgement or payment to you for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to, developing, manufacturing and marketing products and creating, modifying or improving the Netflix service. Furthermore, by posting any Feedback on our site, submitting Feedback to us, or in responding to questionnaires, you grant us a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free irrevocable license, including the right to sublicense such right, and right to display, use, reproduce or modify the Feedback submitted in any media, software or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future.

1 thought on “Comments on March 20th

  1. Dianna Robertson

    after leaving class today, I was really wondering how retailers who buy and sell video consoles deal with the privacy issues of their clients. So I asked my contact, who worked at one of the major retailers for several years and I’ve pasted his reply below. It looks like (unless things have changed) they are not concerned with privacy issues:

    The main clients of the retailer were young males (ages 10 and up).
    there were two types of systems available:
    – those traded in that worked (they were turned on and a disc put in to show that it boots up) were sold without the information wiped from them (unless the consumer erased their info ahead of time).
    – those that did not work were sent to head office where they were “refurbished” (lightly cleaned and parts were exchanged to make working systems. These systems were wiped.
    You might also want to consider games/memory cards as these also have information stored on them.
    I know that there have been cases where inappropriate information was found on used items so perhaps the process has changed.
    Some of the complaints that i have heard about are:
    – naming characters inappropriately
    – storing porn
    – music that contains inappropriate language
    As well, this same company now sells refurbished iPods and other electronics.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.