Netflix, on Sunday sent out a tweet that was aimed at a subset of its users over an open fire. The tweet was a joke towards users who are obsessively watching its heavily promoted holiday movie “A Christmas Prince.”
“To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?” the tweet said.
The tweet got laughs and it has been re-tweeted more than 100k times, but it also stirred up some backlash — and made the company’s subscribers begin to consider just how closely Netflix is watching its users.
To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 11, 2017
Even though the tweet was clearly for fun, it didn’t sit well with many of the users as they called it “creepy.”
So unknown creepy Netflix staff have access to your viewing data, use it to creep on you, laugh at you, maybe publicly. I guess it's like video store staff, except a massive database means it's easier for creepy Netflix staff to find and creep on individual people they know. https://t.co/JUlAau4xkQ
— ben goldacre (@bengoldacre) December 11, 2017
— Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (@gaylelemmon) December 11, 2017
Why are you calling people out like that Netflix
— Amanda Bell (@AmandaJuneBell) December 11, 2017
That's pretty creepy @netflix. Is it in your Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy that you will collect and analyze viewing habits so that you can mock people via social media? Asking for a friend. #fb
— Andrew Strutt (@andrew_strutt) December 11, 2017
“Information we collect automatically: We collect information about you and your use of our service, your interactions with us and our advertising, as well as information regarding your computer or other device used to access our service (such as gaming systems, smart TVs, mobile devices, and set top boxes).
This information includes:
– your activity on the Netflix service, such as title selections, watch history and search queries.”
A lawyer specializing in privacy and social media, Bradley Shear says that the marketing messages like this don’t violate companies’ privacy policies. Netflix may be sharing viewing information, but not in specific ways.
“People really need to become more cognizant of what data companies are collecting,” Shear added.