Since being introduced in 2012, the term “frictionless sharing” has become more common. Up until its introduction, Facebook users were able to choose whether or not they shared content such as music, articles, and other activity. Now this choice has been eliminated in a number of apps, causing the same information to be automatically shared.
Frictionless apps give the user less of a choice when it comes to what they share and to whom they share it with. As with many of Facebook’s bigger changes, Facebook users seem to feel that this frictionless sharing allows for too much information to be shared. People’s personal interests and activities are being put on for display. In a survey done by Citi analyst Mark Mahaney, it was found that 7 out of 10 Netflix users are “not at all interested” in seeing what their Facebook friends have been watching on Netflix. Not only would the frictionless app publicize what movies or shows you have watched but it also gives recommendations based on your friends’ viewing records.
Interestingly, a law known as the 1988 VPPA law has up until now, prevented Netflix from launching their frictionless sharing app in the USA even though it is used by subscribers in 46 other countries. This law protects users from having their Netflix activity broadcasted on their profile regardless of their privacy settings. Netflix continues to push to have this video privacy protection act revised so that they may launch this app here in the United States.
“A world of automatic, always-on disclosure should give us pause”. – Neil Richards, a professor of law at Washington University
So the question for anyone who uses Netflix and Facebook is: Do you want every show or movie that you have viewed to be seen by all of your Facebook friends?