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Abstract

The Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) prohibits video tape service providers from disclosing their consumers’ video rental or sale records. Although the VPPA was originally enacted to regulate disclosures by brick-and-mortar video rental stores, litigators have more recently used the VPPA as a vehicle to regulate disclosures by online video content providers.

The application of the VPPA to video streaming via web browsers and mobile devices raises new questions of statutory interpretation. One key question is whether the scope of the VPPA is broad enough to cover a disclosure of a unique device identifier of a user’s device, rather than a user’s name, in conjunction with the title of a video streamed by the device. With this question in mind, this Note reviews the scope of personally identifiable information (“PII”) under the VPPA and argues that the scope of PII should include a disclosure of a device’s unique device identifier and the title of a video viewed on the device.

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