Facebook is increasingly becoming a player in Washington, D.C., and not just because of social media’s influence on politics. MarketWatch reported Wednesday that Facebook spent $1.4 million on lobbying in the fiscal fourth quarter — a 314 percent increase from what it sent to politicians during the same time period in 2011.
Facebook users may soon be seeing a lot of Netflix in their news feeds, as President Barack Obama signed into law a bill approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives to alter the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1998.
Not long after the U.S. House of Representatives approved changes to a bill that would let video-rental services such as Netflix share viewer data (with their consent) to sites such as Facebook, the Senate gave its blessing, too. This means that soon, Netflix users will be able to share their movie histories with Facebook, much like music listeners do through applications such as SoundCloud, Songza, and Spotify.
Because of a law passed in 1988, U.S. Facebook users have been unable to share their Netflix viewing data — much like they do for Spotify or other applications that utilize open graph technology. However, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation recently to change this, allowing video-rental companies to get consent from their customers to share their preferences online.
Unfortunately for Americans who want to use all of the features in Netflix’s Facebook application, the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 still hasn’t been updated.