29 July 2019
Netflix, the streaming video service wants to know whether you’re or running or walking. The app is reportedly testing this feature and asking some users if it can access their physical activity. The app like any other app installed on your phone collects certain data about you but it’s now willing to access sensor data as well. The exact reason behind collecting the physical activity is unknown but what is reported to a user who asked about the same, at least, reflects the company's intentions.
A user who got this prompt about the permission reached out to Netflix on Twitter to ask why its app would want to have his permission on physical activity.
Netflix didn't reply but The Next Web reached to Netflix to know about the same. In reply, Netflix said,
We are continually testing ways to give our members a better experience. This was part of a test to see how we can improve video playback quality when a member is on the go. Only some accounts are in the test, and we don’t currently have plans to roll it out.
Netflix wasn’t particular about its answer but we suspect it wants to track the users when they are on commute. Netflix may use the data to figure out how to buffer video or stream when you’re traveling and a weak network hops in.
The Next Web which first reported on the issue believes that Netflix is making use of an update to Android Q via which the developers can access sensor data of their apps. It’s the activity recognition permission on Android Q which lets the developers understand whether their users are in motion while using the apps. This doesn’t appear to be a vague guess; this feature does make sense and look a proper reason behind this testing.
Well, we will hear more about this feature soon, currently, this testing is limited to some users and not rolling out widely.