Netflix appears to be pushing through with its plans to restrict password sharing on the streaming platform, or at least it definitely has the capabilities to. In a report by The Streamable that has since gone viral, the Netflix US terms and conditions page had been updated with a number of new restrictions in an effort to combat password sharing.
According to the report, the Netflix US help center had for a moment been updated with new rules that claims it will check what devices are being used with your account. Indeed, it will then try to ensure that only devices in the same household will be able to share an account by tracking if the devices logged in are connected to the same internet connection. It seems that Netflix will ask users to connect back to the WiFi of the primary user’s location and watch something at least once a month in order to verify that they’re all part of one household.
Specifically, Netflix will use information such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to determine if a device that’s signed into your account is being used at the account’s primary location. If it registers that a device has been using the same primary WiFi connection once every 31 days, that device will be deemed a trusted device and leave it unblocked. A suspicious login though will see Netflix blocking access and prompt you to sign up for your own account instead.
For what it’s worth, Netflix now says that this was a mistake. The streaming platform had told The Verge that these updated terms and conditions were not meant to make its way to the Netflix US FAQ page. Instead, these password sharing restrictions are only supposed to be applied in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru; Netflix had rolled out these password sharing restrictions to these countries back in March of last year. Indeed, if you try and see the Netflix US FAQ page now, any mention of these password sharing restrictions have been scrubbed off the website. Nevertheless, it’s still a glimpse at how Netflix could possibly one day crack down on password sharing in the future if it rolls it out to other major countries.
It’s also perhaps worth mentioning that technically speaking anyway, password sharing is also deemed against Netflix Malaysia’s terms and conditions. When checking the conditions set about by Netflix Malaysia, it states that a Netflix account is only for people who live in the same household together. This means that they do not allow people who aren’t living in the same household as you to use your Netflix account. They also add that they may ask you to confirm the identity of a user when it detects your account being used to sign into a device outside your house.
“When a device outside of your household signs in to an account or is used persistently, we may ask you to verify that device before it can be used to watch Netflix or switch your Netflix household. We do this to confirm that the device using the account is authorized to do so,” – Netflix Malaysia FAQ
Netflix Malaysia then goes on to say if it does want to verify a device, it will send a link to the email address or the phone number linked to your Netflix account. This link contains a page with a 4-digit verification code, which then needs to be keyed into the device requesting access within 15 minutes.
For more information, you can click here to see the full terms and conditions for sharing your Netflix account as listed by Netflix Malaysia.