It’s known that Netflix tracks your viewing activity to make its content more relevant (which hasn’t been the case for me). But now it wants even more from the users.
It’s being reported that the streaming giant is now collecting physical activity data from the devices of selected users.
It was first spotted by a security researcher, @BetoOnSecurity, who posted a screenshot on Twitter, soon to be picked up by a TNW reporter who also saw the said change on his device.
— Beto on Shrooms on Security, Shitter of Posts (@BetoOnSecurity) July 27, 2019
“We are continually testing ways to give our members a better experience. This was part of a test to see how we can improve video playback quality when a member is on the go. Only some accounts are in the test, and we don’t currently have plans to roll it out,” Netflix said in a statement via email.
A spokesperson also told Fossbytes that by “on the go” they are referring to people who watch Netflix during activities such as during commute. It’s certainly way better than people binge-watching something while walking on the road.
To do so, Netflix appears to be using the new physical activity recognition permission that Google has added to Android Q. It allows an app to track a user’s step count or identify their physical activity such as walking, biking, or moving in a vehicle. Google says developers can also enable permission in Android 9 or lower versions.
What could be the reason?
We recently heard about Netflix and YouTube support coming to Tesla cars. It can’t be said with confirmation, but this bizarre testing could be a part of Netflix’s effort to bring its streaming service to Elon Musk’s EVs.
Musk said in a tweet that Tesla owners will soon be able to watch Netflix and YouTube in a “stopped car” where users will get an “amazingly immersive, cinematic feel due to the comfy seats & surround sound audio.”
He added that if regulators give a green signal to full self-driving, Tesla will offer a “video while driving” feature in the future.