In 2009 Netflix held a contest challenging developer teams to create an algorithm to increase the accuracy of its film recommendations.
The U.S. Senale approved an amendment to a 1988 law that will make it easier for Facebook and Netflix users to share their film-watching histories.
The amendment is to the Video Privacy Protection Act, which lets users provide a one-time online consent to disclose the titles of movies they have seen, according to Bloomberg News. Right now, the law says that consent is required each time an indiividual's movie history is shared.
The law came into being 24 years ago after Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's video rental history was published in a Washington, D.C. newspaper. The law carries a $2,500 fine for each infraction. As we wrote about this last year, when Blockbuster attempted Facebook integration in 2008, it was sued by a Texas woman for sharing her movie rental information on Facebook. The law doesn't exist in Canada or pretty much any place other than the United States.
Not surprisingly, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and Netflix chief Reed Hastings are cordial, if not exactly friends. Hastings sits on both Microsoft and Facebook's board of directors, and seems to have built a steady inside track to the social network. With this amendment awaiting to be signed into law, their partnership looks like it will be a fruitful one.