Plex sharing streaming habits raises privacy hackles

Trending 3 months ago

A Plex "feature" is adopting aloofness hackles of some users afterwards administration with others what they are watching on the alive account — acutely after their consent.

At the alpha of this ages Plex rolled out "Discover Together," with an "Activity" affection that shows "what you and your accompany are watching, rating, and extenuative to your Watchlists," according to the alive service. It again additionally sends a account email to these accompany account what they are watching on their servers.

And this, unsurprisingly, sparked abuse on amusing media and Plex's own user forum, with abounding pointing out that Plex is "self-hosted," and as such, they believed, added clandestine than added alive casework — like Netflix, for example. 

"This advantage should be off by default," one user wrote. "I was not acquainted this advice was actuality collected, processed, and disseminated. This feels like an acute aperture of assurance and privacy."

Also conceivably unsurprisingly, a altercation about chicanery — who is watching it, whether one should be ashamed about it, and if Plex should acknowledge this advice — ensued. Of course, there are worse things than watching bespatter online.

"I already apperceive my accompany watch way added awkward being than softcore porn, like Marvel Cinematic Universe shows," according to one xeet.

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PLex did not acknowledge to The Register's questions for this story, but in the users' appointment and on X/Twitter, declared it as an it wasn't banishment this on people:

"It is opt-in. To allotment agreeable beheld on a Plex Media Server, you had to opt in to accompany your watch history abstracts and again additionally opt in to accomplish your watch history arresting to friends. Both of those were prompted in the Plex app afterwards screens answer the features."

Several users additionally acknowledged this, and in an email to The Register, one clairvoyant told us: "I accustomed an email of someone's examination habits and they had no abstraction it was actuality sent."

According to addition Plex customer: "When the user doesn't blow anything, but the OK button, the ambience is set to "Friends" unless he ACTIVELY changes that setting." In added words: it sounds added like an "opt-out" feature, which is not best practices back it comes to privacy, or in befitting barter happy. 

A Plex employee, acknowledging to a appointment thread, additionally directed bodies to "tweak your email preferences (including the account review)" by visiting this link. ®