Blockbuster and Facebook have recently come under attack for some aspects of Beacon, Facebook’s semi-new intrusive marketing tool. Years ago, when I actually worked at Blockbuster, it was fairly well known that you couldn’t divulge what movies someone has watched. Similar to how you have the primary member at a CU, the account holder of a Blockbuster account had to given written permission for their history to be divulge to a third party, even if that person was a spouse or a "joint" account holder. When wives frequently called up to ask what movies they had out, if the account was under the name of the husband we couldn’t tell them. Not to customer friendly, but it was the law.
Movie Clique, Blockbuster’s Facebook app, lets you share your movie watching history with other Facebook users. While this sounds cool and very web 2.0, it also appears to be illegal. According to a law professor at the New York School of Law, the two companies should be preparing for incoming lawsuits.
So what does this mean for CU’s? First off, that it is actually harder to share movie rental history with a spouse than it is to share banking transactions. Personally, I feel like banking transactions are a little more private than that, yet they are not afforded the same legal protection. With the recent advent of Mint, Wesabe, Cake, etc, our member’s information is getting spread all over the web and we to be very aware of how this info is being consumed. It would also be a good idea to ensure your branch staff are relatively tight-lipped about the info they give out.