Senate Passes Amendment Updating the Consent Requirements of the VPPA
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012. This legislation will make it easier for social networking sites to permit their users to share their video-viewing habits online. Specifically, the Amendment removes the requirement that video service providers obtain written user consent every time they disclose a user’s viewing choice. It further clarifies that providers may now obtain a user’s informed, written consent online and that consent can apply on an ongoing basis for a maximum of two years, provided the users are given the opportunity to withdraw their consent. This much needed amendment to the VPPA will benefit both video service providers and users alike. It gives users a greater opportunity to share viewing histories and removes uncertainty for providers regarding the type of consent required, while also ensuring that users are protected from any unwanted disclosures.