Video Privacy Protection Act Of 1988

Created by Laura Biber on March 11, 2016 1678

The Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (VPPA) bars "videotape service providers" from knowingly disclosing personal information, including the titles of videos rented or purchased, without the individual's consent. The VPAA defines "video service provider" as "any persons engaged in the business . . . of rental, sale, or delivery of prerecorded video cassette tapes or similar audio visual materials." This language has allowed VPPA to include DVDs, and more recently, online delivery of movies. 

VPPA's "Opt-in" requirement for the sharing of video rentals or purchases has recently come under fire from online providers of video content. They argue that requiring users to consent each time before their video preferences could be shared on social media was preventing these online providers from integrating into Facebook. The online providers lobbied Congress, and in 2012 Congress passed the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act. These amendments make obtaining consent easier by allowing consent via electronic means and providing for a two-year "advance consent." Consumers still retain the ability to withdraw this advance consent if they so choose. 

There are other statutory exceptions to this consent requirement, including if the disclosure is exclusively for marketing goods and services to the consumer, if the disclosure is to law enforcement pursuant to a warrant or subpoena, or if the disclosure is for civil discovery where there is notice and an opportunity to object. 

In addition to the consent requirements, VPPA also requires that the records of personal information be destroyed as soon as practicable. 

The VPPA creates a private right of action for the unauthorized disclosure of video records. VPPA provides for the recovery of actual damages and liquidated damages of $2,500 per disclosure. Recovery of punitive damages, attorney's fees, and injunctive relief are also available under VPPA. Damages are only a...

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Written by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 2506
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Supporting Authority

Sterk v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, 672 F.3d 535 (7th Cir. 2012)
Link to Supporting Resource

The court held that the VPPA does not authorize a private right of action for the unlawful detention of personal information portion of VPPA.

Created by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 2865

Daniel v. Cantrell, 375 F.3d 377 (6th Cir. 2004)
Link to Supporting Resource

 The court held that law enforcement members, parents of victims (Mr. Daniel was convicted of child molestation), and an attorney representing the victims were not video service providers as defined in VPPA. For this reason, the court held that these individuals were not proper defendants under VPPA. This case should be contrasted with the decisions reached in Dirkes and LLC v. Lay, as those two cases reached the opposite conclusion concerning proper defendants under VPPA.

Created by Laura Biber on March 21, 2016 0 2851


Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (18 U.S.C. § 2710)
Link to Supporting Resource

§ 2710(b)(2)(B) reflects the changes incorporated by the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act, signed into law in 2013. The changes include the opportunity for electronic consent and advance consent of up to 2 years.

Created by Laura Biber on March 21, 2016 0 2653
Just You And Me And Netflix Makes Three: Implications For Allowing “Frictionless Sharing” Of Personally Identifiable Information Under The Video Privacy Protection Act
Link to Supporting Resource

This article addresses the issue of VPPA's application to online streaming providers. The author also argues that the recent amendments to VPPA, allowing for one time consent (good for up to two years), is contrary to the original intent of VPPA.

Created by Laura Biber on April 22, 2016 0 2620

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC): Video Privacy Protection Act
Link to Supporting Resource

This article contains a brief overview of the VPAA and a list of the states that have enacted similar laws. Some of these state laws protect more content than VPPA does, while others provide greater protection to the same data covered by the VPPA. 

Created by Laura Biber on April 24, 2016 0 2628