Plex backtracks on its plans to block users from opting out of data collection

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read
plex privacy policy

A short while after the media server software Plex decided that you won’t be able to opt out of data collection anymore due to a security update, it backtracked the whole thing.

The original decision upset Plex users

Plex updated its privacy policy, and among the changes, there was also a notification that future features may collect and share details about what users are streaming. Of course, no one was happy to hear such news. As a quick reminder, usage statistics are usually collected by companies to improve their products and services.

Users spoke out their revolt about all this on various forums telling the Plex team that they’re not allowed to access such information and that by doing this, they are “making the world a worse place.” More users stated that they would not install the latest update. Others said that they would implement stronger firewall rules to protect their privacy. Users’ revolt made Plex reconsider its decision.

The new Plex privacy policy

Take a look at the changes that Plex made to its privacy policy before backtracking:

  • Future services and features that involve third-party and ad-supported content were supposed to require Plex to collect and share info about that third-party content that users stream.

Plex meant that it would gather usage statistics such as “device type, duration, bit rate, media format, resolution, and media type (music, photos, videos, etc.)” and users were supposed to accept this, lacking the possibility to opt out of the statistics collection.

After users got so revolted, Plex reconsidered the whole situation. Such additional changes to privacy policies are always seen as suspicious by users and Plex is aware of that. The new privacy policy is set to come into effect on September 20, and the planned changes made many users think about whether they should continue using Plex or not. You can check out the full revised policy here.

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