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Netflix cracking down on password sharing

Netflix confirmed that it was testing a new feature that would more strictly enforce its rule against password sharing with those who do not live in the same household.

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San Francisco โ€“ Streaming service giant Netflix is testing a new feature that would prevent non-subscribers from riding on a friend’s or family member’s account to curtail password sharing among users.

Netflix confirmed on Friday (Mar 12) that it was testing a new feature that would more strictly enforce its rule against password sharing with those who do not live in the same household.

Twitter went abuzz on Friday after users began sharing news of a possible crackdown as some received notifications that they needed to be subscribers before streaming.

Twitter account @PopCrave wrote: “Spotted by GammaWire, some viewers attempting to use somebody else’s account are now being stopped by a screen that says, ‘If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.'”

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Netflix confirmed that the new feature had been launched among a small, random sample of customers worldwide, reported cbsnews.com.

Selected users are being asked to confirm if they were, or live with, the account holder upon logging in to the streaming service. A verification code would then be sent to the account holder. There is currently an option to skip past the step and verify the account later or create a new account.

“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” said a Netflix representative to CBS MoneyWatch.

According to a source familiar with the test, the initiative does not constitute a “crackdown” but a way for the platform to provide “consumer-friendly ways to address password-sharing and protect members in the process.”

“The only way to rein that in is testing our way into this type of verification,” said the source, noting that Netflix’s course of action remains “up in the air.”

Meanwhile, members from the online community note that giving someone their Netflix account password meant authorizing them as a user.

“Speaking as a Netflix account holder, if I give somebody my Netflix password, it’s because I want them to have it. Netflix is charging way too much, considering they used to be like $8, to be putting up with bs,” said @DarrellC_Scott.

With over 200 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix has secured its spot as one of the top streaming platforms. It also recently raised its subscription plans (between $9 and $18 (S11.98 to S$19.98) per month) in response to increased popularity amid the Covid-19 pandemic./TISG

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