Netflix may crack down on password sharing and people are furious

Liam O'Dell@LiamODellUK
Friday 12 March 2021 09:13
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(Getty Images)

Netflix has revealed it is trialling a new warning to prevent password sharing, in a move which has angered users reliant on friends and family members’ accounts to access the streaming service.

The message, which has rolled out to a limited number of users in the last week, involves a verification process – asking them to confirm their identity by texting or emailing the account owner.

The option to “verify later” is also available.

In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson said: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so.”

According to GammaWire, the message displayed states that a viewer “[needs] your own account to keep watching” if they don’t live with the account owner.

The text echoes the wording from Netflix’s official terms of use, which states that content on the platform “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household”.

Account holders responded with fury at the site’s latest experiment, with Twitter users accusing the platform of being “greedy” and telling the company to “mind their own business”:

Others pointed out the very obvious fact that we’re currently in a pandemic:

While it is only a test at this stage, users are already considering leaving the service – turning to rivals such as Disney+ or HBO Max – and warning that piracy could increase if the message is rolled out further:

Netflix’s latest experiment comes despite its CEO previously saying said that password sharing is “something you have to learn to live with”.

In 2016, Reed Hastings said: “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.

“We love people sharing Netflix whether they’re two people on a couch or 10 people on a couch. That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.”

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