Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after H.R. 6671 was signed into law. H.R. 6671, legislation introduced by Chairman Goodlatte, 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.
"Federal laws need to catch up with the technology of today," 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. My legislation 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 new law 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 was passed by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2012 and agreed to by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate on December 21, 2012.