End of account sharing: Netflix cracks down on shared passwords

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the role of Beth Harmon in

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the role of Beth Harmon in “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix.

Ken Woroner / Netflix

Netflix is ​​now cracking down on one of the oldest traditions in subscription streaming: account sharing. The company is currently testing a new notification window. It appears when customers use a Netflix account owned by someone outside their household: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to continue watching,” the prompt says.

The users are then asked to verify the account either with an SMS or email code or to start a free 30-day test version. The function is currently only being tested on televisions. Jason Gurwin from “The Streamable” was the first to report on the test. As a Netflix spokesman told, the test is “to ensure that people who use Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

Passing on passwords to people outside of your household is already prohibited in the terms and conditions, but Netflix has not acted consistently in the past. The company is currently limiting the number of devices you can stream from at the same time. However, the streaming service does not currently limit how many devices can be connected to your account at the same time.

In 2016, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that sharing passwords is “something we have to learn to live with”. In recent years, however, there have been repeated efforts to curb this practice. In 2019, Bloomberg reported that Netflix, HBO and a group of television companies formed a consortium to find “consumer-friendly” ways to restrict shared passwords – such as SMS codes or regular password changes.

This article was translated from English and edited by Ilona Tomić. You can read the original here.


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