Netflix is cracking down on password sharing by requiring verification

There are so many streaming services now and the costs add up fast. It’s not surprising that people are sharing passwords. In fact HBO’s CEO sort-of encouraged it, although that was in 2014 pre-HBO Max. I share my passwords with family (“family”) and my family shares theirs with me. However we don’t all live together. Netflix is now cracking down on that. They’re prompting people, I assume with different IP addresses than the primary account holder, to verify their account. People Magazine has more on that.

Netflix is cracking down on password sharing.

Some users who are suspected of borrowing account information have been asked to verify they are using their own account.

The screen — which was first flagged by GammaWire — reads: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”

The user then has the option to have a verification code sent via text or email, or they can choose to “verify later,” though it’s unclear how long the verification can be put off.

The streamer confirmed the limited rollout of this new feature to PEOPLE on Thursday.

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

In the past, Netflix has said it looks the other way when it comes to password sharing. In 2016, CEO Reed Hastings said that users sharing their account information was a minor roadblock that they had to “learn to live with.”

“In terms of [password sharing], no plans on making any changes there,” Hastings said, per CNBC. “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.”

[From People]

So it sounds like they’re just making sure that people who aren’t at the same IP address (wifi address) will be required to verify that they can use the account. Netflix emails me whenever there’s a new login to my account, so I don’t know how useful this will be. As long as the person using the account is on good terms with the account holder it should not be a problem to get the verification code. Plus you can put it off as the article mentions. I’m sure my brother will be texting me soon. It’s also a nice passive aggressive way for people to kick others off their account, although changing the password accomplishes that quicker.

These are photos of the LA Netflix headquarters. The background in that lounge is virtual and can change! There are also stills from Ginny & Georgia, the number one show on Netflix in the US now. Credit: Netflix.





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12 Responses to “Netflix is cracking down on password sharing by requiring verification”

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  1. Jessi says:

    I heard a podcaster say she shares her Netflix password with her nephew, and when she feels like he isn’t calling his grandparents enough, she changes the password and won’t give it to him until he calls his Nana. I think that’s genius.

  2. Noki says:

    In my country ,i dont know many people who use streaming services. There are small movie shop places you can go to and either give them a list of what you want or chose from the hottest or most popular shows they have. I usually get an idea from sites and review pages,go there give them my external and done.

  3. MM2 says:

    I dated a troubled man & all I got was access to his hulu account after, so I’m personally miffed by this.

  4. Ariel says:

    We use netflix on a tv and a computer in my house, and almost daily i get an email from netflix about a new login.
    It is incredibly irritating.
    I changed the password several times, thinking some stranger is using my account, but nothing helped.
    So i sent all those emails to junkmail.
    They still come in all the time. No idea why.

  5. (The OG) Jan90067 says:

    Eh… just set up a throw-away email address that everyone you share with has access to. Everyone can “approve” their own sign-in.

    You’re welcome 😊

  6. Shells_Bells says:

    We share accounts with other people… It’s the only reason we have access to them all.
    Apple TV does this already. When the verification number pops up on my phone I just screenshot and text it to the person trying to log in (it tells you the location, so it’s easy to know who it is).

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    They do add up. And God forbid some people pay the full tv access costs (we do not). The upside, however, is we are in an age of choice. Since the 90s, my husband and I complained about cable and satellite costs. All we wanted was an a la carte viewing menu. When Netflix started streaming around 2005’ish, we dropped their mail service and about a year or two later, with the purchase of Roku, we dropped cable tv. And since then, we haven’t missed it or wished we had……

    We paid the small fees for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime basically for as long as they’ve been around. And through Roku, Prime or standalone apps, we subscribe to whatever channels we want and drop them when we want, then resubscribe if they’re broadcasting something of interest. It’s a beautiful beautiful thing lol. But if you add up YouTube premium, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max and any other sporadic channel, it can get interesting lol. As for the sharing, once the two older kiddos left, they started paying for their own, but for some reason the middle kiddo uses my premium youtube lol. I don’t think they like sharing everything they’re watching winky winky.

  8. lucy2 says:

    My brother (and his wife) and I share accounts. Except I pay for several of them, and they pay for 1. And then told me they aren’t renewing that one. Hmm. I may be slow to respond if I get one of these Netflix notifications…

  9. Becks1 says:

    We have a lot of streaming services – Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Amazon, I think Britbox but it may be acorn (that was the fault of you all here on Celebitchy, I had to sign up for it to watch North and South and then I keep forgetting to cancel lol), and I may have just signed up for Discovery Plus bc I want to watch my david attenborough documentaries. (I cant help it, I love his voice.) And we do pay for all of them and full cable. It’s kind of embarrassing. But oh wait! I just remembered! Our cable package includes HBO free so we get HBO Max as a part of that (if anyone wants to watch the best Darcy, aka Colin Firth, its there) and our cable for some reason covers Netflix (we pay a slight upcharge so we can get things in whatever my husband needs them….4k or UHD or whatever.) And I paid something like 150 for three years of Disney+ up front, so I dont even really count that at this point.

    I also dont really count Amazon as a streaming service bc we get that for the prime shipping, the streaming is a bonus.

    Anyway now that I’ve broken all that down I dont feel as bad, I guess we’re only paying monthly for cable and Discovery? And apple. Okay I still feel bad lol. I am NOT getting paramount plus, I have to draw the line somewhere.

    Okay so all that to say – it does add up but I think the bigger issue for many people now is that things are becoming so specialized. So maybe you dont really want HBO Max but you want to watch Friends, so you have to get it. Or maybe you dont need Netflix in general but you want to watch Bridgerton. So people borrow passwords because its not worth it to pay for Netflix for months on end when you watch one show on it a year. And people dont want to be like me with a ridiculous amount of streaming services lol, so they borrow passwords to streamline things a bit. “you pay for Hulu, i’ll pay for netflix, and we’ll swap.” I think back in the days when one streaming service encompassed a lot more, people were more willing to pay.

  10. Jamie says:

    I’ve always wondered how Netflix makes any money because pretty much everyone I know just shares their passwords.

    I have only Hulu and Netflix and I refuse to pay for another streaming site. The whole reason why I ditched cable was to reduce my entertainment spending. If what I want doesn’t show up on those platforms, then I just wasn’t meant to see it.