Netflix Attempts to Crack Down on Password Sharing

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(Image credit: Netflix)

LOS GATOS—The days of mooching off a parent’s or a friend’s Netflix account may be coming to an end. Multiple outlets have reported on a new feature that some Netflix viewers have run into this week that is an attempt to crack down on password sharing for the streaming service.

Netflix confirmed the new feature is being tested to The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab).

Currently used in limited cases, when a viewer attempts to use another person’s account they are being prompted with a message that says, “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”

Viewers are then given the option to verify their identity with a text or email with a code sent to the account’s owner, or they can choose to “verify later,” allowing them to continue watching and later confirm they are a valid account user. If they are not able to verify, Netflix then provides the option to create a new account with a 30-day free trial.

A Netflix spokesperson has said, “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

Password sharing has been a common practice with streaming services. According to a report by Hub Entertainment Research from 2020, 31% of consumers have shared account passwords with people not in their house. The report also reported that Netflix was the service that had the most password sharing.

There is no information as to if or when this feature could become permanent for Netflix.