Uh oh: Netflix may stop allowing the sharing of passwords

Netflix is announcing that it may stop allowing users to share passwords with others who live elsewhere, in a worrying move for those who love to freeload off of their friends. Some free loaders took to Twitter to share the news of an apparent ban on sharing passwords as they say they were notified that they needed to be subscribers of the service in order to keep watching.

Netflix included an offer in the notice to try the service free for 30 days, according to a copy of the notice that was posted by a user on Twitter.

“Oh no, Netflix doing the purge?”

Netflix currently tries to discourage the sharing of passwords by offering verification to those trying to log into an account by sending a code thorugh SMS or email to the subscriber. The subscriber then can confirme whether of not the other user is, indeed, living with them. A Netflix spokesperson relayed the information to The Streamable, a US media outlet, who first broke the news of the crackdown.

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

But it is not clear whether such a verification process would stop the sharing of passwords. Consulting firm Magid says nearly 1/3 of subscribers to Netflix streaming services share their passwords with people who don’t live with them and the practise has been tolerated for years. Netflix does say, however, that “guardrails” are in place to prevent high amounts of abuse in password sharing, but did not detail those measures.

Due to the Covid pandemic, Netflix took the lead in video sharing by passing 200 million paid subscribers worldwide for the first time. But, it is unclear how much more the company would gain in revenue if they banned the sharing of passwords by those in different living quarters.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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