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Monday, June 24, 2024

Netflix is ​​about to block account sharing, here’s what’s going to change

Officially it is a measure to protect the security of the profile, but the goal is to stem password sharing outside the family

Netflix continues its global rise which, also thanks to the pandemic, has allowed it to reach 200 million subscribers worldwide . An exceptional achievement for the streaming TV app that testifies to the quality of movies and TV series and the abundance of demand from users around Europe and the United States. But precisely because the demand for new Netflix accounts grows dramatically, the production company is working on a way to protect itself by lowering the tolerance threshold around the phenomenon of password sharing .

What is it about? Basically, by paying a few euros more per month (15.99 euros) you can subscribe to streaming TV by enabling the vision of up to 4 devices at the same time . The idea is designed to have only one subscription in the family to use with wife and children, but the lack of controls has widened the boundaries of multi-user use outside the narrow family circle by extending to roommates, friends and distant relatives. It’s not illegal – Together Price has built a fortune on it – but it plays on the thin edge of violating the terms of use of the Netflix subscription .

Theoretically, you can share your account password with 10 friends, agree on the simultaneous viewing of content and get away with it: if you did, it would be a breach of the contract that binds you with Netflix which can lead to suspension and deletion of your profile, but since there are no fixed forms of control by the streaming TV this mechanism has proliferated over the years . According to an analysis by Parks Associates, this phenomenon causes a hole in the accounts of streaming apps equal to 9 billion dollars in lost revenue. Now, however, Netflix is ​​ready to put a piece of it by promising more rigid limits for the use of multiple devices at the same time .

Contrary to what leaked two years ago , when there was talk of the hypothesis of tying the account to a single Wi-Fi network, the US giant is thinking of introducing a sort of two-factor authentication linked to the profile. Every time a user tries to authenticate himself on the application, he will have to enter a PIN received on the account registration email : a security mechanism we are now used to for email addresses, current accounts and many other services, but which could crisis the slys of the shared account of Netflix.

So, officially it is a function designed for account security , but which aims to counteract the phenomenon, since if someone is not able to verify the ownership of the account within a certain period of time, they will not be able to stream any Netflix content; instead, they will be asked to create their own account. While this may not be the mechanism – hypothetically, an account owner could send their friend the code as soon as they arrive – it is a good way to discourage sharing with strangers or with friends who are too far out of their inner circle. Of course, at this point you could create a shared email only and exclusively for the creation of a Netflix account, but the giant founded by Reed Hastings knows well that it would be such a small niche as not to cause concrete damage to its ecosystem.

For the moment this new feature is still being tested in the United States and it is not yet clear if it will be implemented soon on all accounts and if, above all, it will also affect Italy. What is certain is that the free and stress-free sharing of passwords as it happens now seems to be destined to end soon.

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