HBO may have shared its customer history with Facebook

Just yesterday, HBO Max, which is a premium version of the movies and series platform, started to be available in Portugal and 14 other countries, mostly in Europe, but times ahead could be troubled for the company as it has been accused of sharing customer history with Facebook, without their permission.

HBO reportedly shared a list of customers with Facebook, allowing the social network to match viewing habits with their profiles.

This information is of particular interest to Facebook, as it may use a combination of information to redirect advertisements to its users. HBO, by making this sensitive information available, violated the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) of 1988, according to a lawsuit filed against the company.


HBO, like other websites, informs its users that the platform, as well as its partners, use cookies to make personalized advertisements. However, the VPPA requires user consent to share their video viewing history. “A standard privacy policy will not suffice,” according to this lawsuit.

HBO was not the first company to experience such a situation, and recently the company that runs TikTok had to pay a $92 million fine for violating the VPPA, after storing personal information of underage users.

At the moment, the real consequences of this behavior of HBO are still unknown, however, it could motivate many users to abandon the service, because their data is compromised.

What we do know is that this news is sure to tarnish the brand name, and given that the competition in this arena is quite strong, HBO could be badly hurt.

Source: Engadget

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