If you’re currently leeching your Netflix account from an old acquaintance (or perhaps an ex), then we have some bad news. Netflix is cracking down on password sharing by testing out a new feature on users who aren’t account holders.
The news was first reported by GammaWire, in which a user spotted a screen when trying to log in which states, ‘If you don’t live with the owner of the account, you need your own account to keep watching’, and then a button to create a new account.
Underneath this there’s three options for verification. Netflix will send the account holder either a text message, an email, or give the user the option to do this at a later date. The code sent out will have a countdown on it, and if the user can’t enter it in the timeframe, they won’t be able to get into Netflix.
In a comment to The Verge, a spokesperson for Netflix clarified the following: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”
It should be possible to get round this feature – you can always message the account holder and ask for the code. However, they’ll need to be ready to send it to you quickly so you don’t get locked out.
Technically password sharing is only meant to be limited to members of the same household. However, Netflix does make exceptions for students who are away from home for university, so the areas are very grey.
This will however be good news for anyone who is worried about the security of their account – and will mean that you can free up simultaneous streams and profiles for people who you trust and know.
Nonetheless, this is obviously a feature designed to ramp up subscriptions. With the ongoing pressure of growing streaming services like Disney Plus and HBO Max, Netflix is combining this with rising prices to stay competitive.
The test isn’t designed for just one country or for a specific amount of time, so we don’t know yet when or where it will be rolling out on mass scale. In the meantime, keep an eye out on when you next have to log in to Netflix.