Senate amendment would allow Facebook users to share Netflix videos

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Congress passed the Video Privacy Protection Act, which was also authored by Leahy, in 1988 after the Washington City Paper published a list of video rentals by Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork during his contentious nomination process. Although Bork's rental history was mostly innocuous, members of Congress were outraged at the breach of privacy.

The change in the privacy law is Netflix's top lobbying priority in Washington.

Netflix has spent $395,000 so far this year lobbying Congress to update the law, as well as on other issues such as net neutrality. 

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year, Netflix General Counsel David Hyman argued that it makes no sense to single out a single type of data-sharing.

"Instead of trying to graft specific notions about video privacy from almost 25 years ago into the dynamic information age of today, we would encourage a measured and holistic review of privacy for the 21st century, one designed to foster continued innovation while balancing the desires and privacy expectations of consumers," he said.

The House passed legislation, authored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), late last year to allow social media users to share their video history online.

Leahy's amendment to the cybersecurity bill would also enhance email and cloud computing privacy protections in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.