Common Sense Media study reveals that most streaming services at all levels share poor privacy practices and may even prove to be cybersecurity risks.
Streaming services are everywhere, and almost all of the major media companies are doing their best to create one. There is Netflix, which proudly presents itself as both a trailblazer and a trailblazer. There is Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, AppleTV +, YouTubeTV, etc. In a world where much of the technology is focused entirely on bringing more and more convenience to life, streaming services are a neat addition. They take the hassle out of renting or purchasing physical copies, their collections can be looped for months on end, and can even serve as platforms for studio-exclusive content (like Disney + and MarvelCinematic Universe). Streaming services are just the next step up from Blockbuster, and will likely be around for longer.
Common Sense Media is an entertainment-based company that strives to provide users with recommendations and reviews. This research is less an advertisement than a general warning about the cybersecurity threats the individual faces. Due to the commoditization of streaming services, one would expect their security measures to be top notch. However, this is not the case for all. The Common Sense Media study evaluated over 150 different factors and 10 different streaming services.
The service with the best overall sense of online safety ended up being YouTubeTV, verifying the highest number of Common Sense Media criteria. However, it is AppleTV + that takes the cake for the most secure, with YouTubeTV still proving potentially inconvenient for users. The streaming service with the worst possible practices of all our options ends up being Netflix, surprisingly enough. The service that started it all is also the best example of what not to do with online service security measures. Despite such a poor security score, Netflix, along with Amazon Prime, Disney +, and YouTubeTV, are the only streaming giants that don’t sell a user’s personal data.
At the end of the day, there’s a lot of push and pull, when it comes to those results. Many bad cybersecurity practices balance out, because every streaming service has something unique that provides users with a safe haven. Whether it’s Netflix’s refusal to sell data, AppleTV + and its management of ad tracking and transparency, or even the educational value of YouTubeTV for young people, there is a lot of good and bad to sift through. However, given the popularity of these platforms, one wishes it wasn’t such a cybersecurity risk in the first place.
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