Netflix Declines To Hand Over Subscriber Info To CTRC

Posted: Sep 23 2014, 11:00pm CDT | by , in News

Netflix Declines to Hand Over Subscriber Info To CTRC
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The video streaming company was ordered last week to give the data to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission by Monday.

Netflix has come out with a statement saying that it will not turn over confidential subscriber information to Canada's broadcast regulator. The reason being is the do not wish to lose their safeguard on private corporate information.

The video streaming company was ordered last week to give the data to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission by Monday, along with information related to the Canadian content it creates or provides to subscribers.

A Netflix official said Tuesday that while the company has responded to a number of CRTC requests, it is not "in a position to produce the confidential and competitively sensitive information."

In a company statement that was release it said it is, "always prepared to work constructively with the commission.

Professor Michael Geist at the University of Ottawa said in a CBC interview this Tuesday that, "Netflix likely felt pushed into the corner on a bigger issue, which is the CRTC’s authority to regulate online new media," he said.

"The issue has been simmering for about a decade, but everybody took a hands-off approach," Geist said. "Once there was a threat from the CRTC on Friday, it really did force Netflix’s hand."

Corie Wright, Netflix Inc.'s global public policy director, testified along with 13 other organizations about the CRTC and future of television regulation in Canada.

"Netflix believes that regulatory intervention online is unnecessary and could have consequences that are inconsistent with the interests of consumers," Wright said.

She said viewers should have the ability "to vote with their dollars and eyeballs to shape the media marketplace."

During the hearings, CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais became agitated when Wright refused a direct request to provide confidential subscriber information.

Wright countered by saying that her company was concerned that private corporate information submitted to the commission might later find its way into public hands for all to view.

"Netflix's kind of late-1990s view of the internet as some unregulatable space was dragged into the 21st century and was put on notice," said Carleton University journalism professor Dwayne Winseck, who characterized Wright's appearance as "theatre."

"The CRTC has a Broadcasting Act to live up to and Netflix ... has to have a respectful conversation in that light."

The hearings also heard from a wide range of stakeholders about proposals to allow Canadians to pay for only the TV channels they want, rather than being forced to subscribe to bundled channels.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/37" rel="author">Jason Brumett</a>
Jason Brumett brings you the latest news across all interest topics for the geek mind.




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