watching a movie

What Changes Can You Expect to See From MoviePass (Part 1)

MoviePass

Growing up, my dad would always ask the question, “do you want the good news, or the bad news first?”  Sometimes he would say this as a joke, but even when it came to serious things, he would ask this question.  I personally always said that I wanted the bad news first because I cannot handle not knowing the bad news.  To me, it’s like a sucker punch to the stomach, followed by a warm hug from someone you love.  And just like that, I’ve got two articles for you about MoviePass.  One is not great, but the other is actually really good considering how we value our privacy these days.

On Monday, MoviePass sent out an email to users, letting them know that they’ve changed their privacy policy.  Like I said, this is great news because of all the problems in the world related to how your data is being stored and subsequently used.   What does their policy entail?

  • More clarity on how anonymous, non-identifiable data can be shared with third parties.
  • Anonymous, non-identifiable behavior data could be shared with companies that advertise with us, like movie studios, who are interested in knowing what movies MoviePass users like to watch. This had previously been a part of our privacy policy, but we have further clarified it
  • More clarity on how personally identifiable information can be shared with third parties for MoviePass’ own internal needs.

movies

When they say more clarity, does that mean they will explain how they are sharing the data, or just clarify the intent of the policy? My other thought is why are they sharing this data, to begin with?  Given how MoviePass operates, is it possible that they are covering some of their costs because of the third party data sharing?

The policy further stipulates:

  • Personally identifiable data may be shared with companies that help MoviePass deliver our services better. This could include companies or software that send emails for us, manage in-app notifications, let us distribute MoviePass related ads, or analyze user demographics or behavior so we can improve our understanding of our user community. Some of this had previously been a part of our privacy policy, but we have clarified it.
  • More clarity on how we protect user data.
  • This policy does not allow MoviePass to sell personally identifiable information to a third party.
  • This policy does not allow MoviePass to track location when the MoviePass app is not being actively used (background tracking).

The question I asked in the previous paragraph may have been answered through this second last bullet point, but given what’s happened with Facebook, should we actually believe them?  I’d also like to point out that they’re not sharing personally identifiable information with third parties, but that doesn’t mean they’re not selling any information to third parties.  Just because you, as MoviePass, know that I live on Queen Street, doesn’t mean you aren’t sharing that my favorite movie genre is rom-com.  I think that distinction really needs to be made here.  Is this kind of thing ok?

security

I also think that we need to concentrate on the last bullet point as well.  This is something that has come up because MoviePass was previously tracking your every move. If you went to the grocery store, they knew about it.  It was kind of creepy, and yet, they didn’t seem to think that it was.  Sure, if you’re using the app, I think you’re taking on some level of responsibility in this regard, but that kind of thing needs to be made known in advance.  Which it is. Now.

One thought on “What Changes Can You Expect to See From MoviePass (Part 1)

Comments are closed.