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Inside Privacy Updates on Developments in Global Privacy & Data Security from Covington & Burling LLP

Senate Privacy Subcommittee Schedules Video Privacy Hearing

Posted in Congress, Social Media, United States

As we previously reported, the Video Privacy Protection Act reform bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) passed the House.  And now the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law has scheduled a hearing on video privacy, to be held next Tuesday, January 31.

The VPPA has come under scrutiny in recent months because of what some say are ambiguities over how the statute applies to online video distribution.  According to Rep. Goodlatte, the House legislation was designed to address those ambiguities and clarify how companies can share information about video watching activity on social media and other websites.

Tuesday’s hearing will include testimony from Netflix General Counsel David Hyman.  Netflix, which is in mediation relating to privacy litigation brought against it in California, made news when it declined to roll out new social features within the U.S., citing confusion over how the VPPA would apply.  Also testifying are University of Minnesota Law School Professor William McGeveran, and Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the public interest group the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The hearing will be webcast on the Subcommittee’s website.