Users have recently reported that they noticed that the Netflix Android app requested users to track their movements. The researcher from BetoOnSecurity tweeted that the Netflix had requested permission to access his Android phone’s physical activity sensors.
— Beto on Shrooms on Security, Shitter of Posts (@BetoOnSecurity) July 27, 2019
TheNextWeb contacted the Netflix to gain more information about this and got a respond:
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.
Here the question may arise whether a streamlining service provider such as Netflix essentially require such access and how exactly they improve the video. Perhaps the answer is that the playback quality of the video when the users are in motion is questionable. Hardly, a company performs such tests if there is not any motive of profit.
Android Q allows to access physical activity and thus to improve the transparency of sensor data use and helps in collecting movement data. Further, The data that enable to indicating whether users are in moving or not could be used for ad engagement –this probably helps the advertisers to understand how users response to an ad in different conditions –and so the users will be the targets for customized advertisements. Nevertheless, the Netflix claims that they are not going to roll this feature now. They can roll it in near future. Furthermore, many other companies may take the advantage of motion detection and movement data.