This is the kind of news that is really like one-third of the total, overall news.  The House of Representatives passed a bill called HR 2471 that amends 1988’s Video Privacy Protection Act, which will allow consumers to decide whether or not they will allow Netflix to share their rental history with others.  It’s one-third of the news because the bill still has to pass the Senate and get signed by Barack Obama before it becomes a thing.  The only reason why Netflix and Facebook haven’t hooked up in the United States is because of the fear of violating the act.  Still, why do we need our rental information shared, anyway?

Tell Everyone You Just Watched Weekend At Bernie’s II, & Liked It

I don’t really understand why anyone would really need Netflix on Facebook.  The only reason why anyone would choose to watch movies there instead of normal PC or big screen viewing is to announce to all their friends that they are, in fact, currently watching Memoirs of a Geisha.  This is something that Facebook users can already do without a Netflix app.  As this MediaPost article states:

But Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, argued in a letter to Congress that the amendment could undermine consumers’ right to consent to disclosure of video-viewing records. He also said there was no reason to revise the statute. “The routine disclosure of video viewing activities is not something that most Facebook users are clamoring for,” he wrote on Monday to Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.).

Yeah, no kidding.  This seems really only to benefit Netflix, and with rental histories available for those who might consent, advertisers.  I think the days of Minority Report are pretty much already here, like we’re on the doorstep of having our eyeballs scanned and a computer telling us, “Hey, we see that you are a white male in his thirties who likes watching romantic comedies starring Katherine Heigl.  Have you considered breast augmentation?”

I would really like to hear from people who actively use Netflix and Facebook whether or not a Netflix app would enhance their lives: make it any easier, better, or funner.  I’m trying to wrap my head around it and I can’t see a positive.  Whether you decide to keep your Netflix viewing on Facebook private, which seems like a contradiction in terms and nearly useless, or if you decide to let people see you rental history, which is invasive and only useful to those who would target ads at you, none of this makes any sense.