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Netflix sharing on Facebook may be coming to U.S.

Published December 12, 2011 7:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Netflix • It may not be much longer before there's an easier way for Netflix's U.S. subscribers to share their tastes in movies on Facebook.

Netflix Inc. has developed a feature that would automatically connect what's being watched on its Internet video service with Facebook's social network. Subscribers would still be given control over whether they wanted their online social circles to see their viewing habits.

The sharing tool became available in September to Netflix's international subscribers, but the company has withheld it from its nearly 24 million U.S. subscribers for fear of breaking the law.

The reason: the Video Protection Privacy Act, which forbids the disclosure of video rental records. The law was passed in 1988, after a newspaper published a list of movies that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork rented from a video store. The U.S. Senate wound up rejecting Bork's nomination.

Netflix says it's time to rewrite a law drawn up in an age of VHS tapes.

— The Associated Press