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Personalization of the Algorithm on Netflix and Hurdles of Privacy

Personalization of the Algorithm on Netflix and Hurdles of Privacy

Personalization of the Algorithm on Netflix and Hurdles of Privacy

Many video-on-demand platforms claim to prioritize audience preferences. With the proliferation of televisual and other content, consumers now have greater control. However, the extent to which online users actively select their consumption is debatable.

The growing number of consumers is increasingly worried about how companies utilize their personal information. Netflix revolutionized personalized movie recommendations with the introduction of a cutting-edge algorithm that utilizes member ratings to accurately predict their movie preferences and deliver a tailored viewing experience. By employing collaborative filtering, the company has transformed the way we discover and enjoy films.

Protecting Your Data on Netflix

As personalization is integral to the user experience, there is no option to disable it. The default settings do not allow for much limitation on the collection of device, connection, and activity information. You can also learn how to delete Netflix search history and the information about content you have watched. Simply select the “Hide All” option located at the bottom of the page. This feature ensures that your viewing history remains hidden from others. However, the site will still have access to your viewing activity. 

To access the Communications Settings, simply click on your profile. By default, these settings are turned on. However, if you prefer not to receive updates on new shows and personalized suggestions, you can easily disable them by unticking the corresponding boxes. Additionally, in your profile’s Marketing Communications section, you have the option to review and adjust whether or not Netflix is permitted to use your contact information for promotional communications on third-party services. 

Principles of Functioning

The Netflix algorithm uses item-item similarity measures to find and recommend content that is similar to what the member has already watched. This ensures that the member is presented with content that closely matches their preferences and viewing history. The company gathers additional data alongside your viewing activity, allowing it to enrich your experience and personalize its service. This information encompasses various aspects such as the devices involved in your interactions, your IP address, interactions with advertisements, and much more. Users have complete control over their streaming experience and can personalize their interactions thanks to the system’s capability to gather and suggest content based on their preferences.

The revenue of the company reached $26 billion. Netflix’s personalization experience revolves around the understanding that individuals may have varying preferences for the same content. This practice is evident in the show art and trailers for original content. As a prime example, when launching House of Cards, the company created 10 distinct trailers, each tailored to appeal to a specific audience. 

Netflix employs an effective customer retention strategy to keep its customers informed and engaged. By utilizing marketing automation, they consistently provide personalized recommendations and reminders to their audience. 

Privacy Issues for Netflix

Utilizing its advanced big data analytics, Netflix excels in providing personalized recommendations for future viewing options. Online content streaming platforms are now heavily reliant on gathering extensive data about their users. This includes information on what you watched, when you watched it, where you paused or stopped, the devices you used, and even your location at the time. Every piece of data collected holds valuable insights about you. 

The company already has 238 million subscribers. By understanding key trends, it can enhance their experience in the future. House of Cards united an Oscar-winning actor and a highly respected filmmaker in a dark, antihero-driven story set in the realm of politics. It foreshadowed the merging of film and television but still adhered to the traditional notions of prestige associated with both mediums: featuring a prominent star, a cynical tone, and a distinctly masculine perspective.

Netflix: Diversity and Representation

Netflix’s programming choices, like Orange is the New Black, may appear unconventional or daring to the average viewer. After all, prison is not a common subject for network TV shows. However, for the team, these decisions were not seen as risky or audacious at all. 

Several years ago, discussions on diversity and representation were not as prevalent as they are today. This is partly because OITNB had not taken the initiative to start these conversations yet. It is important to recognize that people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, and those with disabilities are not just a passing trend. These communities and the need for art that represents them have existed long before any particular show came along. However, Orange made important steps in bringing these problems to the forefront of public consciousness. 

While the streaming giant emphasizes that humans, not machines, have the final say, they do utilize a projection model to ensure that the projects they commission or renew align with specific criteria. Essentially, they assess the performance of similar programs in the past. By analyzing past successes, Netflix maintains a calculated approach to content creation, allowing them to make confident decisions that captivate audiences.

IIT experts have discovered critical security vulnerabilities in Netflix’s system. These flaws pose a risk of unauthorized access and monitoring of data exchanged between the platform and users’ computers. While Netflix employs encryption for the majority of its data, the researchers were successful in accessing information regarding users’ viewing choices during the release of the interactive film Black Mirror in 2018.

Takeaway: The Intersection of Personalization and Privacy in Netflix’s Algorithm

Streaming video poses a new potential threat for unauthorized access to personal data, both legally and illegally. While encryption can protect the content itself, it cannot hide traffic patterns, leaving room for important information to be exposed through traffic analysis without breaking encryption. While there are certain limitations in place for data collection, ultimately, the decision to use the service and weigh its benefits lies in your hands.

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