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NetflixNetflix, Eager to Allow Users to Share, May Force Them to Share Too Much (SocialTimes)
Netflix will introduce “social features” for U.S. users in 2013, assuming President Barack Obama signs a law that would make it legal to do so, but the features laid out in the terms of service and privacy policy the company amended this weekend don’t appear to meet with current industry best practices, privacy advocates said. Sharing video rental histories was previously illegal in the United States, thanks to a law enacted after the media revealed Judge Robert Bork’s video rental history during his controversial and ultimately unsuccessful effort to be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice in the mid-1980s. USA Today Netflix confirmed it has been cleared to add social functionality after Congress passed a bill dropping restrictions in the Video Privacy Protection Act that allow companies to share users’ video rental history. “We are pleased the Senate has moved quickly to modernize the VPPA, giving consumers more freedom to share with friends when they want,” says Netflix in a statement. VentureBeat Netflix has been noticeably absent from Facebook’s Timeline feature due to a clearly outdated 1988 law that forbids video rental services from sharing a customer’s rental history. The bill was passed in the Blockbuster days and was designed to stop folks from seeing other people’s viewing habits. Mashable Under the new bill, social media users would be allowed to opt-in to a system wherein their Netflix watching habits are automatically shared on Facebook and other platforms — almost like a social reader for video. Social video sharing under the new bill will come with two stipulations: Netflix and similar companies will be required to give users a “clear and conspicuous” option to stop automatically sharing their views, and customers must be asked once every two years if they would like to continue sharing their views. The Next Web The only thing that’s required right now is President Obama’s signature on an update to the Video Privacy Protection Act. After being enacted, video companies like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu and Blockbuster will be able to share user data without fear of being sued.

Yelp Users Punish Iowa Dentist Who Was Legally Cleared for Firing ‘Irresistible’ Assistant (SocialTimes)
Although an Iowa dentist prevailed in a legal battle and was eventually cleared of discriminatory employment practices although he fired an assistant for being sexually “irresistible,” his Yelp users have begun using Yelp as an outlet to let the dentist know they don’t approve. One user simply posted the AP story about the dentist, James Knight, as a review. Dozens of users have found it “useful.” The Huffington Post One user wrote: “Please, boycott this man, as you’ve probably read in the previous comments, he believes his physical attraction to people to be so uncontrollable that he is justified in firing them.” Though intended as a site for customer reviews, Yelp has become a forum for users to call businesses out after they appear in the news. Courthouse News Service In his opinion Friday, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote that while such firings are unfair, they are not unlawful discrimination because they are motivated by feeling and emotions, not by gender. “The civil rights laws seek to ensure that employees are treated the same regardless of their sex or other protected status,” Mansfield wrote.

Facebook Offers Midnight Message Delivery for New Year’s Eve (AllFacebook)
Facebook users who want to send their friends wishes for a happy new year when the clock strikes midnight and Dec. 31 turns to Jan. 1, but who don’t want to interrupt their merriment to get on their mobile devices or computers, can now take care of such matters in advance thanks to the social network’s Midnight Message Delivery feature. The description is simple: “Wish friends a happy new year with a private message that will be delivered to their Facebook inbox at midnight Dec. 31.”

Web TV Failing to Catch on, Study Warns Manufacturers (SocialTimes)
Web TV is failing to catch on, according to a new study from the NPD Group, which shows that the main activity on Internet-connected viewing devices remains video. Specifically, the report says the most popular content is over-the-top video content, in which the ISP is no more than a conduit for someone else’s video content.

Is Randi Zuckerberg a Twitter Bully? (AllTwitter)
You’ve likely seen it reported countless times by now: Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, screwed up the privacy settings on a family photo and it ended up on Twitter. People are saying it isn’t news (though it so obviously is) or they’re having fun focusing on the hilarious irony of the slip-up and her reaction to it – but what about the poor woman who unintentionally shared this “private moment?”

Fab Gets More Than Half of Christmas-Day Revenue from Mobile Apps (SocialTimes)
At the start of the holiday shopping season, news reports touted the uptick in e-commerce taking place on mobile devices, and Fab was flagged as a success story with 40 percent of its revenue coming from mobile apps. But the online clothing purveyor shattered its own record on Christmas Day, with more than half of its traffic coming from mobile apps for the first time.

10 Video Mashups to Help You Remember 2012 (SocialTimes)
As we get ready to forge ahead into 2013, there’s no better time like the present to look back over the past year and reflect on all that’s happened, in terms of news, music, art and more. We’ve compiled a list of 10 video mashups and 2012 retrospectives to help you remember just what 2012 was all about.

People are Still Using Google to Find Their Social Accounts, Study Reveals (SocialTimes)
Americans still use Google to find their favorite social networks, according to a report by Experian. “Facebook,” “YouTube,” and “Facebook login” topped the list of popular search terms on Google and other search engines in 2012.

Google to Offer Free U.S. Calls Through Gmail in 2013 (SocialTimes)
Gmail users can make free calls within the U.S. and Canada through 2013, Google said on Wednesday. Using a plug-in available for Mac, Windows and Linux, users can make voice or video calls from the Gmail interface.

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