Have you ever been pumping some iron, pouring sweat, getting that heart-rate pounding as you add inches of solid beef to your body while watching GLOW, and thought to yourself, “Boy, I sure do wish big daddy Netflix could see me now!”
No? Are you positive? Because for some reason Netflix thinks you did, and I’m not sure who gave them the idea.
The streaming giant looks to have started asking to track the physical activity of certain users via its Android app. It’s apparently meant to test how it can “can improve video playback quality when a member is on the go,” which makes no sense.
Selling people’s physical activity data is a big business, and perhaps with slipping subscription numbers (something that was bound to eventually happen), Netflix is looking to find other ways to make money and assuage investors’ fears.
Is this blatant speculation? Sure. It does, however, make as much sense as Netflix needing to improve video stability while you’re moving around. A cell phone isn’t a CD player. The video isn’t going to skip just because you’re bouncing about. Also, if you’re walking, jogging, or riding a bike you shouldn’t be watching Netflix, anyhow.
All told, a person’s control over his or her digital privacy is shrinking at a dramatic rate, and I think a good rule-of-thumb is that if you don’t understand why an app is asking for your data, then don’t give it to them.