Netflix is testing a new way to curb the sharing of passwords. According to BBC, some users have reported seeing a message on their screen saying “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”
According to a Netflix spokesperson, users can then verify authorization to access the account using a code sent via text or email.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.” the spokesperson said.
A decision has not been arrived at regarding the roll-out feature and although Netflix is keen on cracking down on ineligible users, it is still not clear how many people use the service against their terms.
Netflix allows users to create multiple profiles in a single account with conditions that all users are within the household. The company has however expressed no concerns with the issue until now.
“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.” Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings said during a 2016 webcast.
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A combination of factors including lockdowns, new shows such as the Queen’s Gambit and increase in prices saw the company record $25 billion (Sh2.7 trillion) in revenue and $2.8 billion (Sh306 billion) profit.
In October 2019, Netflix Chief product officer Greg Peters said the company was looking into the issue of password sharing but had nothing to report regarding any changes or actions to be taken.
Netflix users surged during the Covid-19 pandemic to around 200 million globally.