So much for Netflix and chills. Android users will no longer be freezing while playing the Netflix app, at least if you don't want the streaming company to think you are a lazy couch potato. New reports indicate that Netflix has begun tracking "physical activity" for certain Android users to test how "it can improve video playback quality when a member is on the move."
Last week, a security researcher at Twitter noticed that the Netflix Android app has added a menu asking for permission to access physical activity.
– Beto on Shrooms on Security, Shitter of Posts (@BetoOnSecurity) July 27, 2019
This was confirmed by Next Web (via Gizmodo) who received a statement Netflix said the tracking was "part of a test to see how [it] can improve video playback quality when a member is on the go." This feature is reported to be tested only in some accounts, without current plans to deploy it on a broader basis. Tracking functionality seems to be limited to Android users so far, which may be related to Android Q updates that allow app developers to access sensor data or the number of steps. The developer's page describes it as nothing more than "classifying a user's physical activity as walking, biking, or moving in a vehicle." hopefully no bikes are included!) this kind of activity makes sense to track. Maybe Netflix wants to tweak its algorithms for its more active users – push more fitness documentaries to them, or something. But that doesn't stop him from feeling scared. I already feel judged when my Netflix account asks me "Do you still watch?" I don't want to know that Netflix is watching me.
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