Netflix moves to curb password sharing

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Netflix, US streaming service, is considering a new initiative to curb the sharing of password among unauthorised users.

According to BBC, the company’s spokesperson said the development has become imperative to ensure only subscribers enjoy its services.

“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

There are indications that the initiative — currently undergoing trial — may lead to a larger crackdown around password sharing when completed and applied.

Some users said they have started seeing a notification which read “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching” on their screen.

With the new arrangement, users can verify they are allowed to access the account by a code, sent via text or email.

Although the streaming giant has not revealed statistics of people using its services without approval, password sharing among users is said to have increased since the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent report by Magid, a market-research company, showed “one-third of subscribers to services like Netflix share their password with someone outside their household”.

While Netflix and other streaming giants support the creation of multiple profiles within an account among users, the terms and conditions specify they are meant to be used by people in the household.

Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive, had during a 2016 webcast, spoken on the seeming impossibility of addressing password sharing among users.

“Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids, so there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is,” he had said.