Categories: Technology

Netflix cracks down on password sharers, limits access moving forward

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Netflix is cracking down on password sharers, making it difficult for account owners to share their accounts for free to others.

Netflix and other streaming services alike have gotten people through strict worldwide lockdowns. It is a fact that no one can deny, as shown by the increase of subscriptions across all streaming sites.

Unfortunately, that number doesn’t show the actual rise in the numbers of people using the new accounts. After all, it is also a fact that some users leech off from other paid accounts. People forming this group could be family, friends, or lovers.

Netflix cracks down on password sharers

Since its inception, Netflix has been quite lenient about password sharing across users. Netflix’s Chief Product Officer said that it has been monitoring the situation.

Naturally, Netflix wants to keep its subscribers and users engaged. However, it will not be easy to do because of the desire for user base retention. As such, engaging a strict crackdown on password sharers might cause a huge turn-off.

All Netflix could do is limit simultaneous streaming on a group account. That was until The Streamable broke the news on a new limitation on password sharing. Once a user tries to log in using another logged-in account in an actually different location, a prompt will pop up. It says,

“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”

In order to continue logging in, a text or email confirmation will be required. A representative from Netflix says that this barrier for logging in is currently limited to TV devices. He said,

“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

After all, Netflix’s user terms limit the use of a group account to people actually living in the same household. Also, it may not be used for any commercial purpose.

Will this be a permanent thing?

It remains to be seen if this setup will roll out to all devices where Netflix is present. Nonetheless, it is quite an effective way to deter people from sharing their account information liberally with friends and family.

A quick verification will not be difficult if everyone has access to the email or the phone number. However, if not, it provides a little bit of friction enough to probably force a leech to get his own account.

The same measures can be expected from other streaming sites as the industry matures.

Image from Mollie Sivaram/ Unsplash

Steven Hung

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Steven Hung

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