Netflix is testing a new feature that could prevent non-subscribers from a friend’s or family member’s account and effectively stop people from sharing passwords for the streaming service.

The new feature is being tested among a small, random sample of customers worldwide. The selected users are being asked to confirm they either are or live with the account holder when they enter credentials to log in to the video streaming platform. A code is sent to the subscriber, which the user is then asked to provide. Test subjects also have the option to move past the prompt and verify the account later in order to continue streaming or to create a new account.

 

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“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” a Netflix spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. A source familiar with Netflix’s trial says that the company is still in the very early stages.

Streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime and Disney+, allow users to create multiple profiles within the account, but the terms and conditions specify they are meant to be used by people in the household.

During a 2016 webcast, Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings said: “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.”

In October 2019, chief product officer Greg Peters said the company was looking at the issue of password sharing but said it had no “big plans to announce at this time in terms of doing something differently there”, as reported by BBC. 

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