Netflix Testing Feature to Crack Down on Password Sharing

Pop-up warning asks users to verify the account via email or text

netflix password crackdown test
Image via Twitter
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Netflix password sharing could soon be a thing of the past. As spotted by GammaWire, the streaming service is starting to test a pop-up screen meant to stop viewers from attempting to use somebody’s account.

“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,” the warning reads. It also asks users to verify the account via email or text. However, there is a “verify later” option allowing viewers to bypass the prompt for now, according to Twitter user DOP3Sweet, who shared the image above.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix confirmed the new feature. “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” a spokesperson for the streaming giant said.

THR further reported that the extent of the limited rollout varies from country to country, but one reason for the feature is “to help protect subscribers from security concerns that can arise from unauthorized use of their account.”

According to Netflix’s terms of use, an account can only be shared with members of one’s household: “The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”

It’s worth noting Netflix executives have brushed off the idea of cracking down on password sharing in the past. In 2016, CEO Reed Hastings said “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 kid.”

In 2019, Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said Netflix had “no big plans” to address password sharing. “We continue to monitor it,” he said. “So we’re looking at the situation (and look into) consumer-friendly ways to push on the edges.”

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