Is Widevine a privacy threat?

I have noticed that there is a plug-in called Widevine on Mozilla. I had assumed that plugins were a security concern and have been deprecated of for a long while, much less one from google. I also have NO notion if I ever need its function, or is critical to a browser, or in between.

Are there guidelines (for complete non-expert) to decide whether it is needed?

I’m not an expert, but here’s what I know about Widevine.

Widevine is a encrypted media plugin, which is needed to view videos that have been encrypted for digital rights management (DRM). In other words, the owner of the video wants you to be able to view the video but not make a copy, take screen grabs, or otherwise remix the video content.

It is necessary if you use Firefox to watch video from Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and other video streaming services. See for a sample of the video providers that use widevine.

If you want, you can go to about:addons (paste that in your URL bar), then plugins, to view more information. This includes disabling the plugin:

I don’t recommend disabling it, because of the risk of forgetting you did it and wondering why video on a website is broken. It will take a long time for someone to guess you disabled the widevine plugin.

The privacy policy is the general Google privacy policy, so it is as risky as other Google services. At the same time, it is mostly to protect the copyright holder, not to spy on you or serve advertisements.

If you want to become a Widevine expert, Wikipedia is a good place to start:

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Thank you JW.
All that makes sense. I went to see what alternatives there are for it, and although several articles show many others, they seemed to do a variety of things, with some overlap in names of those functions. I didn’t know enough to select one as a direct substitute, hence the question. I’ll try a few with the google tool disabled and see. But if you know of a simple minimal substitute, please don’t hesitate to recommend.