When you think of Netflix, you probably think of all the entertainment it provides. The streaming service brings movies and television shows to our screens, and their original programming is pretty top-notch, too.
One thing you probably do not consider is privacy or, at least, the piles of information the company has on you. Why would you? It's not like Netflix is Facebook, where you enter in all the details of your life and photos.
But in what may be a case of learning what is actually in a hot dog, lifting up the veil shows that Neftlix does, in fact, know plenty about you. How much, you wonder?
Not Facebook-level data, but still a lot
Some of what Netflix has on you is stuff you gave to them, like your name, email address, address, method of payment and phone number. Any ratings you gave shows or movies are also stored.
That all probably makes sense, given that it's stuff you willingly provided Netflix when you signed up. That's not all, though.
Netflix also automatically tracks and stores how you watch, whether it be via a smartphone, tablet, streaming box, Smart TV or computer, along with your IP address. It will also record how long you have watched each show as well as any times you have dealt with customer service.
If you happen to be logging into Netflix through a browser, the company will also grab information about which one and your web history, including cookies. While Netflix does not allow third-party advertising on its platform, it does use interest-based advertising on other websites and apps.
There are also non-Netflix data
While it's probably not surprising Netflix knows certain things about you, it also supplements the data it collects with what it will receive from other sources. That includes both on and off-line data providers, and Netflix says it includes things like demographic data, interest-based data and internet browsing behavior.
So what do they do with all the data?
According to Netflix, the data is shared with others for limited purposes, including service providers and third party companies that are tied to promotional offers with Netflix. They will also share with law enforcement, upon request.
Any time you get Netflix through some other company, likely as part of a promotion, both organizations will have your data. However, you would be subject to the non-Netflix company's policies on sharing it.
What can I do about it all?
If you want, Netflix provides the ability to opt-out of the interest-based ads, but that does not mean you will not receive any ads at all. Instead, what you do get will not be tailored to your (perceived) interests.
As for any files Netflix has on you, there is not yet an ability to download things like your viewing history. You can, however, view it by signing into your Netflix account and checking out Neflix.com/ViewingActivity.
Another thing you can see but not keep is a page displaying information like your email, payment method, billing history, plan information, recent IP addresses, ratings, reviews and viewing activity.
Data aside, Netflix sets the standard for streaming service apps
When you think about streaming services there's a good chance that Netflix is one of the first to come to mind. It's come a long way since the early days. Netflix began as a rental company that sent DVDs to customers through snail mail. Now, it's one of the leading streaming services around. Read on to see why.