Is there any hope of privacy with streaming services?

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by x509, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

    Sep 20, 2009
    so the wife wants to get some steaming service like Netflix and maybe one of the services so we can stop paying for cable TV. Say on a Roku box. But Roku’s privacy policy says they collectyour IP address and such, and that they can share all that customer data with any services you sign up for with your Roku account.

    Well what if we don’t want Netflix to have our IP address and other customer data? Or any other streaming service? I’m not looking to do anything shady. I just want my data to stay private. Is this even possible? Do I need a firewall that allows custom rules for blocking outgoing traffic?
  2. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

    Sep 29, 2001
    Netflix is going to have whatever IP that you connect to them with so if you use a VPN, they will have that IP.
    You can maybe get a Netflix Gift card for service, setup a fake name and whatnot with a valid alternate Email you use for streaming services and just do it that way.
    I can't remember if Netflix requires a valid home address though.
  3. TrailRunner

    TrailRunner Limp Gawd

    Feb 15, 2012
    And you better believe that when you rewind to rewatch that .5 second boobie scene in Starship Troopers, they're tracking you.
  4. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

    Sep 13, 2008
    anyoen you communicate with get you IP. if not they would not be able to send you data.
    Same as if somebody nees to mail you a product. they need you adress to send it too

    you cna use a vpn as suggeted above. but then you vpn service provider know you ip.
  5. Shoganai

    Shoganai Limp Gawd

    Dec 5, 2018
    No and probably not ever.
  6. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 [H]ardness Supreme

    Oct 4, 2007
    A firewall is not going to do anything to prevent a service from selling and/or sharing information about you, including the IP addresses from which you connect to the service, email addresses, phone numbers, browsing habits, preferred content, how long you've watched a horror film, how many times you paused on your secret man-crush's butt, or any other valuable information you have to provide to receive the service. Once you've signed up, your data is out there being shared regardless of what you are permitting in and out of your network. Your compliance is implicit to use the service - you can't choose 'no' and still get the content.

    However... A properly configured firewall or service like Pihole can prevent advertising, redirects, telemetric or other unwanted domains and content from leaking through your normal web usage at home - including IoT and other 'smart devices' that phone home regarding usage statistics or other marketable data the big corp has seeded into your domicile. It's important to remember that this can in no way prevent content providers or basically anyone else from sharing already known or provided information about you. These types of setups can only aid in preventing additional data harvesting from IP connected devices.
    Dead Parrot and Farva like this.
  7. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

    Mar 4, 2013
    The streaming service you pick has to know your IP or at least the public IP of your VPN service. Also has to know your contact info and enough financial info to bill you. Has to be able to receive data on what shows you want to watch/buy and when. Your only control over data on what you watched and when is the privacy policy between you and the service. Given how most are worded, within minutes of watching Show X, expect Large Data Corps to have the info and be auctioning it off to advertisers.

    Firewall is useful in keeping 'Smart' gizmos from harvesting the same data and sending it to the manufacturers and any companies they have sharing agreements with.

    Long shot but contact your Legi-critter(s) and ask for real privacy laws. That is where the changes have to happen.
  8. EniGmA1987

    EniGmA1987 Limp Gawd

    May 2, 2017

    Streaming service is no worse than your current cable subscription. Your cable not only knows your home address, age, credit score, etc, but they also track what channels you watch, how long you watch them, what shows on those channels you are watching, and sell that watch data to ad services. Some companies even hijack your cable stream and inject their own ads over the ads that are supposed to be displayed. Charter is a big one I know for sure does this. So a streaming service collecting the exact same info and also selling it to ad companies is not any worse than you already have.
    ZeqOBpf6 likes this.
  9. gangolfus

    gangolfus Gawd

    Aug 8, 2005
    I can't imagine an IP address has all that much value to data buyers. Most people have dynamic IP's so there can't be a reasonable expectation that any data associated with an IP address is still relevant after it is collected.
  10. tedych

    tedych Limp Gawd

    Jan 18, 2013
    Hope?! :)
    It really depends on what you put into this word. Nothing terrible is happening (or will hapen) to your personality or (legal) rights just by watching TV or browsing the net. Things like IP address, browser type etc (the latter can be mitigated but why really..) are normal data that you need have available to the public as part of your share participating in this global network. Ads can be coped with easily, and that's the major reason why your online "data" is being sold here and there.
    There are some grounds for worries as part of a real discussion about the balance between rights/engagements and privacy, but I think things are not that black as some people tend to make it out. These considerations can be extended to software like Windows (or closed software) the same way, and except for viruses, there are not so many arguments or evidences comapnies or corporations have been exploited by the result of purposeful Microsoft (or any "big" author) espionage etc. You get the point :) .