Why I Objected to the Netflix Privacy Settlement

Why I Objected to the Netflix Privacy Settlement

Like millions of Americans, I received an email informing me of a proposed settlement of a lawsuit against Netflix.
Like everyone else, I hadn’t known about the lawsuit, and I suspect, like many, I was not pleased with the terms.  Unlike others, I submitted written objections to the settlement.

The first basis of my objections was that the proposed 25 percent fee for class counsel would be, in my opinion, excessive given what I perceive to be a minimal amount of legal work and a relatively low level of risk.  Generally, class action fees are justified either by a percentage of the recovery to the class or a “lodestar” approach that weighs the hours spent and a risk factor.  I don’t believe that $2.25 million is appropriate under either approach.  The second basis was that the Settlement Agreement does not give class members adequate notice of or a chance to participate in the selection of the non-profits or foundations who will receive the bulk of the settlement.

I did not exclude myself from the class because I have no interest in pursuing a separate lawsuit.  The Settlement Agreement does state that Netflix may withdraw its consent to the agreement if an unspecified number of members opt out. But I do not believe that even a widely organized campaign to opt out would result in a result that would have substantially different terms.

Later this fall, Netflix and plaintiffs’ counsel will respond to the objections.  I hope that my objection is joined by others who feel the same way.

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One comment

  • I agree with you but It would be nice if you cite your sources next time. I think it’s really important. TY.

    August 1, 2012

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