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12th Mar 2021

Netflix testing feature that could lead to password-sharing crackdown

Do you know anyone who this could affect?

For anyone still using someone else’s Netflix account, your days might be numbered as the streaming service is currently testing a feature that could lead to a crackdown in password sharing.

Some Netflix users have said they have been blocked from accessing the service, with a message appearing on screen reading: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”

Viewers are then given the option to either verify their identity through a code sent to the Netflix account’s owner, or they can choose to complete the action later.

A Netflix spokesperson has confirmed to JOE that the message is part of a test being trialled by the streaming service.

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

As it is a test, not everyone will see the message.

Speaking in 2016, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said during a company webcast they had “no plans on making any changes” with regards to password sharing.

“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,” Hastings said.

However, the streaming service’s terms of use states: “The Netflix service and any content viewed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”