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Netflix Prize Sequel Cancelled Over Privacy Concerns 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the beware-the-evil-agorithims dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Netflix just announced that they have cancelled the sequel to the Netflix Prize, which was promised last year. Netflix made the choice after they were sued over privacy concerns. The prize involves releasing large amounts of data about users' movie preferences, which raised concerns from the Federal Trade Commission and a lawsuit from KamberLaw LLC. Netflix's Neil Hunt said, 'We have reached an understanding with the FTC and have settled the lawsuit with plaintiffs. The resolution to both matters involves certain parameters for how we use Netflix data in any future research programs.'"
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Netflix Prize Sequel Cancelled Over Privacy Concerns

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  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday March 12, 2010 @02:47PM (#31455396)

    From the linked to previous story...

    If a data set reveals a person's ZIP code, birthdate and gender, there's an 87 percent chance that the person can be uniquely identified

    Why does Netflix need to release something as precise as a birthday in order to make movie recommendations? I mean, TV ratings are done in demographic groups. Couldn't Netflix get away by just stating a birth year?

  • by zkp (1634437) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:27PM (#31456850)
    Actually you could probably learn a lot about a person from how they rated certain movies...

    Did you watch Michael Moore's film "Capitalism: A Love Story"?

    Rating of 5 => You are most likely very liberal

    Rating of 1 => You are most likely very conservative

    Other things I could potentially learn about you: your religious beliefs, how much time you spend watching movies etc...

    Personally, it would not bother me if someone saw my ratings of the films (probably a 1 in my case) or if you knew that I am pretty conservative. The issue is a matter over control. I should be the one who has control over that information, unless netflix explicitly tells you that they give this information out to other customers.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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