Netflix won’t turn subscriber information over to Canadian broadcast regulator

24 Sep 2014

Netflix has said it won’t adhere to a request from Canada’s broadcast regulator to turn over confidential subscriber information.

CBC News reports that the on-demand internet streaming company was last week ordered to provide the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) with the data, as well as information on Canadian content.

However, Netflix have responded to the requests by telling the CRTC it is not “in a position to produce the confidential and competitively sensitive information”.

The commission recently launched its ‘Let’s Talk TV’ initiative on the future of the Canadian television system which includes hearings on the future of broadcasting rules. As Netflix is not a conventional broadcaster, it’s unclear whether the CRTC has jurisdiction on the company. The order to turn over subscriber information has been seen as an important part of a wider issue: whether the commission has the authority to regulate online new media.

“Netflix believes that regulatory intervention online is unnecessary and could have consequences that are inconsistent with the interests of consumers,” Corie Wright, Netflix’s global public policy director, told a CRTC panel at the hearings.

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic