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A Thumbs Down for Streaming Privacy

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Illustration of a family watching television inside of an eyeball, to imply some entity is watching

Streaming companies could be doing more to keep to themselves the data they collect from American households and offer more assurances that it won't be used to blitz customers with advertisements.

There's an expression about the personal-information-grubbing practices of free digital services that sell ads: If you don't pay for the product, you are the product.

But sometimes you can pay for a product and be the product, according to a new report from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit advocacy group for children and families. The group found that most of America's popular streaming services and TV streaming gadgets, such as Netflix, Roku, and Disney+, failed to meet its minimum requirements for privacy and security practices.

The problem is that Americans, with limited exceptions, simply cannot know what companies do with all the information they gather, contributing to mistrust of tech companies and concerns about what happens to our personal data.

From The New York Times
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