28th February 2024 4:55 am
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[UPDATED] Netflix reveals how it will deal with password sharing & it’s a mess

  • Netflix has revealed how it will begin to deal with the rampant password sharing that it says plagues its platform.
  • A new system is set to be introduced that is based on the primary location of your account and if someone tries to sign in at a different location, they will have their access blocked.
  • Simultaneous streams can be accessed through higher subscription tiers.

Netflix has issued a statement about the changes it said would be coming to its platform to deal with password sharing:

For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, went live in other countries. Netflix has since updated it.”

The update in question removes the previously revealed information about the 31-day login requirement and account bans. Readers can find the updated information here with included details about a more streamlined verification process, but sharing passwords and accounts is still something it prohibits.

“Each plan determines how many devices can play Netflix at the same time, as long as those devices belong to people in the same household. Please refer to our plans and pricing for details,” the updated FAQ reads.

HTXT will have more information about Netflix’s plans to crackdown on password sharing as soon as information is released.

Original article follows:

In March last year, Netflix announced a blanket crackdown on password sharing that has been rife among its users. At the time the streaming giant said that sharing of passwords between households was “impacting [its] ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”

After making this initial announcement, Netflix said it was testing a “sub-account” feature in some Latin American countries including Chile and Peru, but this feature never made it worldwide. Netflix estimates that 100 million users are streaming on its platform with the credentials of someone else and the company is dead set on recouping this number.

Netflix was mum on how exactly it would handle its ban on password and account sharing, at least until today.

Netflix’s plan to deal with password and account sharing

According to a newly updated Netflix Help Centre FAQ for the Germany region, seen by GHacks, The Streamable and others, Netflix accounts will now only be shareable with a certain household.

Netflix will begin monitoring the location of the account (through IP addresses and account activity) in question and to ensure that your devices are associated with the primary location of your account, Netflix will require you to watch something on its platform at least once every 31 days. This will make your device a “trusted device” and Netflix will leave it unblocked.

Users who do not use their accounts in the time window will have to follow an email-based verification process.

This means that if you at least watch something in your home once a month, your account will continue to list your home as the primary location. However, those that are sharing your account in other places will be prompted by Netflix to sign up for their own accounts instead.

If they do not, their access will be blocked.

Account Transfer

Luckily, Netflix will be launching a transfer feature that will allow users to transfer their profiles from a household account to a new one. For example, if your profile is on your parents’ account and you move out, you will have to get a new Netflix account, but will be able to transfer your profile, including your watch history and show recommendations.

This system presents a problem for users who wish to still use their accounts while travelling, since logging in when outside of an account’s assigned location will have Netflix ask you to get your own account. If you don’t, your access will be blocked – even to your own account.

Travelling

Netflix’s workaround is that users who are travelling and want to access the platform on a hotel smart TV, company laptop, etc. can request a temporary code from the service when signing in – one which will give the user access to the account for the next seven days.

Right now there doesn’t seem to be any information on how the company will prevent this seven-day pass to be abused by users simply wanting to continue sharing an account. Nor is there any info on if there is a limit to the amount of time you can petition Netflix for this key.

Or what if you are travelling for more than seven days? Then at the end of this time, you will have to wait to use your own Netflix account again.

This seems like an over-complex system, one that Netflix will surely adjust as time passes and end users actually begin confronting it. Despite these concerns, the company says that users shouldn’t encounter any problems with using Netflix and travelling if they use their own trusted device.

The company says that if your account has been blocked incorrectly, you will have to contact Netflix in order to get it unblocked.

There is however always the choice to sign up for a higher tier of the service, which will allow more simultaneous streams on different devices.

These include:

  • Basic with Ads – 1 Device ($6.99 per month),
  • Basic – 1 Device ($9.99 per month),
  • Standard – 2 Devices ($15.49 per month),
  • Premium – 4 Devices ($19.99 per month).

It is not apparent if Premium users will be able to share their accounts across locations for the four devices.

As of right now, these changes are yet to apply in South Africa, but it is only a matter of time before they are rolled out to all the regions where Netflix operates as they expected to launch in early 2023.

[Image – Thibault Penin on Unsplash]

Luis Monzon

Luis Monzon

Journalist. Covering education, AAA gaming and consumer tech. Reach me at Luis@htxt.co.za.

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