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Netflix is bringing password sharing to a halt

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We all know that one Netflix account that we piggyback off of, the one with the six different profiles all from different households. Well, Netflix is cracking down on password sharing by starting a new feature that aims to prevent users from sharing passwords. This means that you may have to bite the bullet and foot the bill to watch The Office reruns. Many members outside of a household will not be able to share passwords like they usually do. According to a Wired article, this entails that for some accounts to continue using Netflix, there will be a two-factor authorization prompting the owner of the account to enter in a code that is sent to them via text or email.

Netflix can enforce this issue, as it is stated in the terms and conditions that an account is “for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” Because of this, stocks are expected to go up for Netflix, and according to MarketWatch, stocks that were previously worth under $500 per share will likely be worth over $1,000 per share in five years. More accounts mean more money for the company.

So, what does this mean for users? With platforms available for watching favourite television shows, such as Crave, Hayu, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV, this may encourage some users to step away from Netflix and turn to more “user-friendly” options. Some people “will probably stop using it, or still give it to (their families).” says Jolene Milberry in a Facebook comment on a poll about the issue on a page called Edmonton Girls Ask. “I pay for it, so I don’t think (Netflix) should get a choice on what I do with what I’ve paid for,” she says.

Some users are already planning ways to get around the nuisance of two-factor authentication. Kelsey Duthie, a Netflix user, says in a Facebook comment on the same poll, “If I am willingly sharing with my family and friends, I would just give them the verification code it sends me.” 

A basic Netflix account for one device starts at $8.99 per month and offers upgrading options to add more devices. Netflix’s new security tactic may do quite the opposite of encouraging new accounts to open. As a Netflix user myself (and the primary owner of my Netflix account), I will still willingly share my password and account with family members and close friends. This new strategy will not stop users from sharing their accounts, even with the two-factor authorization, simply because it is just as easy to share a code as it is to share a password. Finally, this crackdown on account sharing could cause more harm than good by pushing users to turn to competitive platforms that allow sharing for multiple devices.

Image courtesy of rawpixel.

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