Netflix test stops you from using someone else’s password

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It’s a reality: Netflix passwords are shared. At this point, I’m pretty sure half of New York City has borrowed my Netflix password at one point or another, and so far the streaming service has been rather nonchalant on the password sharing. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has even said on several occasions that sharing a connection is “a positive thing.”

Now it looks like the company is planning to tighten the reins a bit. As first reported by The Streamable, some Netflix users have started seeing a prompt telling them essentially to get their own accounts.

“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to continue watching,” the post read. It then asks users to sign up for a trial or verify their identity with an email or text.

If you are really tight with the real owner of the account, you can just ask that person to send you that verification code, but you might have problems if you still use your ex-roommate’s password that he gave you. gave five years ago. It’s also unclear how Netflix defines a household. It could theoretically use IP addresses, but that won’t cover the wealth of devices that people tend to watch Netflix on (that said, the test appears to be limited to TV devices for now).

For its part, Netflix does not specify the degree of permanence of the functionality. A spokesperson told Streamable: “This test is designed to ensure that users of Netflix accounts are authorized to do so. This could be billed as a security measure against, say, stolen passwords, but the way the prompt is worded makes it clear that the primary intent is to limit password sharing.

Truth be told, it seemed such a decision was inevitable. While this test doesn’t mean Netflix will be implementing the full-scale crackdown anytime soon, there are a large number of Netflix viewers who aren’t actually paying for the service. Research suggests that a third of Netflix users share their account information with someone outside of their household; it’s hard to imagine that Netflix will allow all this potential money to go untapped for long.

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Published March 11, 2021 – 22:24 UTC


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