House Passes Goodlatte Measure to Update Video Privacy Protection Act

Press Release

By:  Bob Goodlatte
Date: Dec. 18, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement regarding passage of H.R. 6671 in the House of Representatives. This legislation amends the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (VPPA) to allow videotape service providers to facilitate sharing on social media networks of the video content watched or recommended by users.

"Today's technology and the ever-changing consumer marketplace demand an update to the antiquated VPPA," said Congressman Goodlatte. "Over the past two decades, video distribution and the way consumers view video content has changed dramatically. Social media users, especially young people, do not understand why they cannot share information about their favorite movies or TV shows in the same way that they can music or books. H.R. 6671 preserves careful protections for consumers' privacy while modernizing the law to empower consumers to do more with their video consumption preferences, including sharing favorite TV shows or recently watched movies via social media networks in a simple way."

H.R. 6671 requires that the consent to share video consumption preferences be distinct and separate from any other form setting forth other legal and financial obligations. Companies must provide consumers with the "clear and conspicuous" option to withdraw their consent to share at any time. A consumer's consent to share expires after 24 months, unless the consumer chooses to opt-in again.

"Protecting private information is critically important in today's online world," Goodlatte continued. "This bipartisan bill is truly pro-consumer and places the decision of whether or not to share video rentals with one's friends squarely in the hands of the consumer."

H.R. 6671 incorporates language amending the VPPA that allows greater consumer flexibility in video sharing habits, which was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in November. Similar legislation sponsored (H.R. 2471) by Congressman Goodlatte amending the Video Privacy Protection Act passed the House of Representatives last December.