Netflix accidentally reveals plans for password sharing crackdown

We know Netflix is coming for our shared passwords but we had no idea what that would look like until now.

This week Netflix help centre pages with information about its shared accounts currently live in Chile, Peru and Costa Rica became visible.

The pages have since been taken down but not before being widely shared across social media.

According to the new rules, users will be asked to define a primary location through their TV. All the accounts and devices should be connected to the same Wi-Fi as the TV.

To ensure that a Netflix account is not being shared outside of the registered household, the trial requires users to connect their viewing device – such as a TV, mobile phone or tablet – to the wifi in their home, open the Netflix app and watch something on the streaming service at least once every 31 days.

‘For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru went live in other countries. We have since updated it,’ Netflix clarified to The Verge.

Last month, the streaming giant had said that it was planning to expand its ‘paid sharing’ scheme by the end of March 2023.

Last year, plans to cut password sharing were announced as a response to stem the tide of disappearing subscribers as Covid-19 lockdowns subsided.

Under the ‘paid sharing’, a new validation system will be put in place that detects when users log in from outside of the primary account holder’s home.

The system will require viewers to enter a validation code within 15 minutes.

Netflix will reportedly allow primary account holders to add up to two additional users who won’t be served a validation code.

And those who do share their passwords will apparently be asked to pay a little extra. In some countries, this has been a $3 (£2.50) add-on, although it’s not yet clear if this will be rolled out worldwide.

Users of the main account or the additional households will still be able to access the service while travelling.

Netflix could simply force people to sign up for a second account if it detects multiple logins outside the primary address.

According to the company, over 100 million viewers are tuning in using passwords they’ve borrowed from friends and family.

Many non-paying users are not going to be happy about the change but Netflix is expecting this ‘as some borrowers stop watching either because they don’t convert to extra members or full paying accounts’.

However, the company expects its ‘great slate of programming’ will make borrowers sign up for their own accounts.

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