Netflix is testing a new "Privacy Mode" that allows users to hide what they're viewing.
"At Netflix we continuously test new things. In this case, we are testing a feature in which a user watching a movie or TV show can choose to view in 'Privacy Mode,'" a Netflix spokesperson wrote to Mashable.com
"Choosing that option means the program will not appear in your viewing activity log, nor will it be used to determine recommendations about what you should watch in the future."
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If and when the new feature is deployed to all Netflix users, it could help hide those embarrassing choices — like "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" — from a significant other, parents, kids, or whomever else you happen to share your account with. If users have linked their Facebook accounts to their Netflix accounts, it would also hide those choices from their wider circle of friends.
Cliff Edwards, Netflix’s director of corporate communications and technology, reminded VentureBeat
that the feature is only tentative, and might not ever make it past the company's internal trials if it doesn't do well.
Still, it's easy to imagine it would do well among customers who use other privacy-oriented technologies that are growing in popularity — like Snapchat and Secret.
In reality, Netflix's technology isn't much more than a carbon copy of Google Chrome's "Incognito Mode," which allows users to surf the internet without leaving a record in their browser history or search engine history. That said, it's likely the new feature will eventually be deployed to all users, assuming it's not too difficult or costly for engineers to program. Then again, Netflix has also enabled users to set up multiple profiles under one Netflix account, which helps keeping viewing histories and recommendations siloed and un-muddled — solving some of the problems "Privacy Mode" may aim to address.
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