Over-the-top content platform and production company, Netflix, has started looking at ways to discourage password sharing between users.
This, according to the company, is both for business and security reasons.
A new feature that was first spotted by GammaWire, prevents people who are not authorized to use the account, from accessing it.
One of Netflix spokesperson reportedly said:
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”
Going by the new move by Netflix, if the company detects that there is an attempt to use an account by someone other than the account owner, the person would be asked to verify (through an email code or SMS code) that they are the owner.
If the person is unable to verify the account within a period of time, they would be restricted from streaming any content, and would be asked to create their account.
Although, this would not prevent all account sharing, as friends could still share the verification code with whoever they share their account with.
However, this will prevent some sort of malicious attempt to use an account without the owner’s knowledge, especially those who got the password through fraudulent methods.
Netflix’s terms of service state that content streaming on the platform is “for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”
That may mean a physical household, in its simple terms, but looking at it, the terms of service are quite ambiguous.
Families that live in different parts of the country may sign up for the family plan, for example.
Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with,” co-CEO, 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.”
Password sharing has long been a concern posed by analysts and investors in the space.
Analysts at Parks Associates have estimated that password sharing and piracy cost companies in the streaming space around $9 billion alone.
Although, Hastings alongside other entertainment executives have shrugged it off as something that companies have to contend with, it seems that changes might be on the way.