Netflix is cracking down on account sharing globally, which will affect their current 230 million subscribers, with the tech giant recently confirming that its anti-password sharing enforcement will arrive in the UK by the end of March.
The streaming platform previously stated how account sharing “undermines our long-term ability to invest and improve Netflix.”
The trial to prevent more than 100 million households from sharing accounts is the closest thing to Netflix’s new global approach.
The streaming company has already introduced sharing fees in South America, which are the equivalent of around £2 a month. The announcement followed the introduction of profile transfer, which allows users to transfer details of their viewing history, games, lists and settings to another account. Profile Transfer is designed to encourage people to set up their own accounts.
What is Netflix’s new trial to combat password sharing?
In countries where the new rules are already in effect, Netflix said it will limit access to its service to a single primary location based on the account holder’s Wi-Fi network and the devices connected to it.
However, users must ensure that they check the service on a device at least once every 31 days to verify it. Otherwise, Netflix said the device may be blocked, effectively preventing them from accessing the streaming service on it.
Monitoring devices by location allows Netflix to track information via IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity.
The popular streaming platform can then find out which viewers regularly watch accounts from different locations.
All other devices that are frequently connected to other Wi-Fis will then be flagged as suspicious.
Social media response to Netflix trial
Needless to say, it has caused a stir on Twitter, with thousands posting their thoughts on this global ban, despite an ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
One described user is like “Domino’s stopping people from splitting pizza”, adding that the platform was “a graveyard of obscure and canceled shows – no one watches it enough to warrant their own subscriptions”.
@ClTYOFMON shared a similar sentiment saying, “The funniest thing about this whole netflix debacle is they think password sharing is their money when in fact it is the dwindling selection and cancellation of popular shows after about one season lmfao”.
According to Netflix, they send a link to the primary account holder’s email address or phone number with a four-digit code that must be entered within 15 minutes on an “untrusted” device.
This means that if your friend is using Netflix on another device in a different location, they will need to enter the code within 15 minutes to sign in.
This authorization may also be necessary if an individual is going on a long-term trip, with comments from Twitter showing their frustration for account holders.
User @photonsmight wrote: “Not only are Netflix’s new password sharing rules regrettable, there are so many ways it can prevent people living in the same house from accessing their own Netflix, you shouldn’t be jumping through hoops to use your own service.”
“People traveling for work, kids with divorced parents, college students, elderly relatives who rely on password sharing because they don’t know how to set up an account…yes RIP Netflix,” @PopBase added.
Recently, Netflix accidentally posted information about their trial and shared it on South America help center pages.
“Yesterday a help center article with information only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica and Peru went live in other countries. We have since updated it,” the tech giants said.
The post has since been deleted, but hasn’t stopped some from questioning Netflix’s approach.
“Has anyone taken a deep dive into the privacy and security implications of Netflix fingerprinting your home Wi-Fi network and essentially creating a record of when you’re home or not… just to address password sharing,” asked @evan_greer.
Another user summed it up perfectly, mirroring the general reaction by most saying, “Netflix has practically built its current user base on shared passwords and is now trying to fight it…in a recession…during record-breaking inflation. .. really couldn’t see how this turned out.”