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Frosties or Sugar Puffs, Netflix stored all of your Black Mirror: Bandersnatch choices

Netflix says it stored ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ user data to “improve this model of storytelling in the context of a show or movie.”

tech Updated: Feb 13, 2019 18:51 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
Netflix’s first ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ movie debuted with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Netflix’s first ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ movie debuted with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.(Netflix)
         

Netflix servers have stored all of your choices made in its ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ interactive movie ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’, according to a UK-based technology researcher.

Michael Veale from the University of London used his GDPR right to request information on data being stored by Netflix. The company acknowledged that it indeed stored users’ choices on its servers. Netflix, however, defended the move saying it was aimed at personalising viewing experience for users.

Netflix cited an example from the scene where viewers had to choose between Frosties or Sugar Puffs for Stefan. If users chose Frosties, they might see an “advertisement on television in the background for that cereal in a later video segment.”

Netflix also said it stored data to “improve this model of storytelling in the context of a show or movie.”

“…when you make a choice branching narrative, we use that choice to determine which video segment to display. The connection of choice and video segment is pre-determined by how the story was constructed,” explained Netflix.

 

Veale, in an email to Motherboard, said “I thought it would be a fun test to show people how you can use data protection law to ask real questions you have.”

The researcher also received a web link where an encrypted file stored all his choices on Bandersnatch. He could unlock the file using a key provided by Netflix in a .csv and PDF file format.

Veale also noted how his request to Netflix for data storage had to be specified with detailed reasons.

Last month, Netflix had officially shared some insight on some of the Black Mirror: Bandersnatch choices users had made. CEO Reed Hastings said that most of users had chosen ‘Frosties’.

“On the biggest day of Stefan’s life, over 60% of his friends from the future fed him Frosties,” said the company in a tweet last month.

 

First Published: Feb 13, 2019 18:29 IST

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