3/15/2010

Netflix cancels recommendation contest over privacy

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 8:37 am

Netflix has canceled a contest designed to improve its movie recommendation system out of concern it might compromise the privacy of its customers.

The decision was announced in a blog post, published Friday, by Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt. A previous competition that handed over anonymous user data to more than 50,000 contestants ended poorly after researchers showed it was possible to identify individuals’ viewing habits by connecting the dots.

“In the past few months, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asked us how a Netflix Prize sequel might affect Netflix members’ privacy, and a lawsuit was filed by KamberLaw LLC pertaining to the sequel,” Hunt wrote. “In light of all this, we have decided to not pursue the Netflix Prize sequel that we announced on August 6, 2009.”

 

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