With a new test, Netflix intends to prevent password sharing

Netflix is experimenting with a new feature that seeks to prevent password sharing. The new functionality, which is currently available on Netflix on TV, prohibits users from accessing the service if they are not the account’s approved owner.

GammaWire was the first to notice the new Netflix feature, which showed a message instructing the unauthorized user to create their own Netflix account. “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching”,   the message says. Users must also confirm their Netflix account with a code sent via email or text. Users would have a certain amount of time to check their account before having to make a new one in order to watch Netflix.


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“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so”, Netflix told The Verge.


However, It is unclear as to how Netflix decides who is authorized to use the account. Netflix’s terms of service state that the service is “for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household”.  Given that people who do not live in the same house could be sharing a family plan, it’s unclear how Netflix describes a “household.”


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Netflix’s streaming plans do have drawbacks, but nothing like this has happened yet. It does not restrict the number of devices on which your Netflix account can be accessed, but it does limit streaming to one, two, or four devices, depending on the plan.