Netflix has a trick that proved it knows me better than I know myself – it even predicted a huge change in my love life | The Sun

A BBC journalist has revealed that streaming giant Netflix and other big tech companies 'knew' she was bisexual before she realised herself.

Ellie House, a producer and researcher at the BBC, made the confession on her new one-off BBC Sounds podcast, Did Big Tech know I was gay before I did?

Also airing on the BBC World Service, Ellie discovered that companies such as Netflix had stored information about her which was able to predict her interests – before she even knew she was interested herself.

The 24 year old recalled being recommended a series of LGBTQ+ programmes on the streaming site, including the show, You Me Her.

You Me Her follows a woman in a heterosexual marriage who falls in love with a bisexual woman.

Ellie was recommended the programme before she came out in 2019, which was shortly after the breakdown of a long-term relationship with a man.

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As part of her new documentary, Ellie explored just how the sites 'knew' and was able to discover some rather interesting facts.

She soon discovered that both TikTok and Spotify also appeared to be recommending her such content.

Ellie found she was being suggested a series of bisexual content creators on TikTok as well as being recommended a playlist on Spotify titled 'sapphire' – a term to describe women who love women.

As part of her investigation with the BBC, Ellie said: "Under UK data privacy laws, individuals have a right to find out what data is being held about them by an organisation.

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"I downloaded all of my information from eight of the biggest platforms. Facebook had been keeping track of other websites I'd visited, including a language-learning tool and hotel listings sites. It also had the coordinates to my home address, in a folder titled 'location'.

"Instagram had a list of more than 300 different topics it thought I was interested in, which it used for personalised advertising.

"Netflix sent me a spreadsheet which detailed every trailer and programme I had watched, when, on what device, and whether it had auto-played or whether I'd selected it.

"There was no evidence that any of these platforms had tagged anything to do with my sexuality."

In response, Netflix stated on it's website: "The titles you watched more recently will outweigh titles you watched in the past in terms of driving our recommendations system.

"We take feedback from every visit to the Netflix service and continually re-train our algorithms with those signals to improve the accuracy of their prediction of what you’re most likely to watch.

"Our data, algorithms, and computation systems continue to feed into each other to produce fresh recommendations to provide you with a product that brings you joy."

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