Netflix Class Action Lawsuit over Privacy Settled – You May be a ‘Winner’
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A settlement over the class action lawsuit against Netflix for privacy issues, which included retaining personally identifiable data with respect to customer video renting and viewing habits, has been reached, and if you are a current or former Netflix subscriber, you may have received an email notice of the class action settlement. The email, sent from “Online DVD Class Action Administrator” has a subject of “Video Privacy Lawsuit – Current and Former Netflix Subscribers”, and goes on to tell you what your rights are with respect to the settlement, which settlement includes Netflix ‘decoupling’ your video rental and viewing data from your personal information. It also advises you that you have to opt out of the settlement in order to retain any rights you may have to sue Netflix directly over the privacy violation.

It all stems from Netflix’ practice of retaining both credit card and video renting and viewing habits of their customers, even a year or more after the customer has cancelled their service. While retaining aggregate rental and viewing data – not connected to a specific customer – is in keeping with current Internet business practices, it’s not cool to keep it coupled with personally identifying information of former customers. That is why part of the settlement involves Netflix ‘decoupling’ the data.


And, it’s never cool to keep your customers’ credit card information once they are no longer your customers.

Of course, all that said, there is nothing in it for the average Netflix user (i.e., most members of the ‘class’ in the class action – including you, unless you are a ‘named plaintiff’). What you get is the comfort of knowing that Netflix is no longer allowed to associate your viewing and rental data with you – at least, once you are no longer a Netflix customer.

Here is the notice:

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If You Are a Current or Former Netflix Subscriber
A Class Action Settlement Could Affect You

Para una notificación en Español, llamar 1-866-898-5088 o visitar www.VideoPrivacyClass.com

Our records show that you were a current or former Netflix subscriber as of July 5, 2012. We are emailing to tell you about a Settlement that may affect your legal rights. Please read this email carefully. Go to www.VideoPrivacyClass.com for more information.

 

A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit that claims Netflix unlawfully kept and disclosed information, including records on the movies and TV shows its customers viewed. Netflix denies that it has done anything wrong.

What does the Settlement provide?

Netflix has agreed to change its data retention practices so that it separates (known as “decoupling”) Entertainment Content Viewing History (that is, movies and TV shows that someone watched) from identification information for those subscribers who have not been a Netflix subscriber for at least 365 days, with some exceptions.

In addition, Netflix will pay $9 million into a Settlement Fund to:
• Make donations to Court-approved not-for-profit organizations, institutions, or programs.
• Pay notice and settlement administration expenses.
• Pay attorneys’ fees of up to 25% or $2.25 million of the Settlement Fund, plus up to $25,000 in expenses.
• Pay a total incentive award of $30,000 to the Named Plaintiffs.

Proposals from potential donation recipients will be sought, and, after consideration, recommendations will be made to the Court. A list of the proposed donation recipients will be posted on the website.

Your Options

If you do nothing, you will remain in the Settlement and your rights will be affected. If you do not want to be included, you must exclude yourself by November 14, 2012. If you exclude yourself you will keep your right to sue Netflix about the claims in this lawsuit. If you remain in the Settlement, you can object to it by November 14, 2012.

The Court will hold a hearing on December 5, 2012 to consider any objections, whether to approve the Settlement, award attorneys’ fees, and incentive award. You can appear at the hearing, but you don’t have to. You can hire your own attorney, at your own expense, to appear or speak for you at the hearing.

For more information: 1-866-898-5088
www.VideoPrivacyClass.com
PO Box 2750 Faribault, MN 55021-9750

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Netflix Class Action Lawsuit over Privacy Settled – You May be a ‘Winner’
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  1. I was just cleaning out some old papers and came across the Netflix litigation. I don’t recall receiving any settlement or notification. Is it too late to find out if I was entitled to anything or If there is a site for unclaimed benefits? Thank you for any help you can provide.

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