Netflix refuses to turn over ‘sensitive’ data to CRTC

A viewer watches a live stream of Netflix global public policy director Corie Wright speaking before the CRTC. Canadian regulators held hearings into the future of Canadian TV services last month.
A viewer watches a live stream of Netflix global public policy director Corie Wright testifying before the CRTC on Friday September 19, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Netflix says it will not turn over confidential subscriber information to Canada’s broadcast regulator in order to safeguard private corporate information.

The video streaming company was ordered last week to provide the data to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission by the end of the day Monday.

It was also told to hand over information related to the Canadian content it creates or provides to subscribers.

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The CRTC issued its demands during public hearings on the impact of Netflix and other online video providers on the country’s traditional TV broadcasting sector.

A Netflix spokeswoman says while the company has responded to a number of the CRTC’s request, it is not “in a position to produce the confidential and competitively sensitive information ordered by the commission due to ongoing confidentiality concerns.”

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Anne Marie Squeo says in a statement issued Monday night that the CRTC’s orders are “not applicable” to Netflix under Canadian broadcasting law.

But she says the company is “always prepared to work constructively with the commission.”

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Netflix has argued that regulating the Internet to boost Canadian content would only hurt consumers, and that the CRTC should let market forces decide what people can watch.

CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao said the commission was not prepared to comment on Netflix’s decision at this time, adding she wasn’t aware if the regulator had received notice of it in writing.

Valladao said the panel behind the order would have to discuss its next steps but couldn’t say whether a statement would be issued Tu

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