This article was published on December 12, 2017

People losing it over this ‘creepy’ Netflix tweet really don’t understand the internet

People losing it over this ‘creepy’ Netflix tweet really don’t understand the internet
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Yesterday Netflix freaked out some subsets of internet culture with a relatively harmless tweet some are now calling ‘creepy.’ The tweet read:

‘A Christmas Prince,’ starring… doesn’t matter, you’ve never heard of them, is a Netflix original about an undercover reporter that… again, doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it’s another cheesy Christmas movie premise, only this time with royal douchery weaved ever-so-seamlessly throughout the plot. So seamless, in fact, one IMDB reviewer had the following to say:

Not good. Not unless you are a moron.

The two stars represent the fact that this film makes for a fantastic drinking game this festive season.

Take a drink every time:

  • You see something incredibly cliche
  • You can see plot points and “twists” coming from 10,000 miles away

But the awful movie wasn’t what drew criticism from Netflix’s Twitter followers, it was the fact that they, somehow, had no idea Netflix could monitor the viewing history of its users.

Just so that you can quit wondering, Netflix is definitely watching your viewing habits; it says as much in its Privacy Policy — you know, the thing you click “Accept” on without ever reading?

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

What remains unclear though — and is far more important — is how it’s using this data. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Service both gave pretty broad definitions that could mean anything from “we share this with a handful of high level employees and no one else has access” to “we literally just printed a flyer letting everyone know Matt Hughes has seen High School Musical 46 times this year.

We’ve reached out to Netflix for further clarification. While you wait, maybe it’s a good time to get in the habit of reading the Privacy Policy for companies you hand over this much data to. Might we recommend starting with Facebook?

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