Last year, Netflix mentioned an update that would stop users from exchanging passwords across several devices. Just days after announcing new rules aimed at cracking down on password sharing amongst users, Netflix has claimed that these were posted by accident.
Earlier this week the ever-popular streaming giant revealed that devices using a Netflix account would need to be logged into their “home” network every 30 days, otherwise the account would be blocked.
This is done by tracking information through IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity. Using this, Netflix planned to work out which users were logging in from different locations and therefore step in if it believed the account was being used by a non-household member.
The platform noted that a “Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household” adding that “people who do not live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix.”
To enforce this, Netflix wants to treat devices that use your account as trusted. In practice, this means using them on your home Wi-Fi network on a regular basis. Which meant opening the app and watching something on the trusted device at least once every 31 days.
“When a device outside of your household signs into 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,” the company wrote.
After facing a huge backlash from users, Netflix reported that certain new account regulations were unintentionally posted to its help sites after receiving massive backlash on social media and numerous threats to cancel their memberships as a result.
“For a brief time yesterday, a help [center] article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru went live in other countries,” Netflix said of the page. “We have since updated it.”
The option, which has so far only been tested in South Africa and costs an additional £2–£3 a month, allows users to add sub-accounts for up to two persons they do not live with. A help page on “paid sharing” expanding to other nations went available elsewhere “for a brief time” before being taken down, according to Netflix.
Netflix users, took this to social media to call out the new rules – especially during a cost-of-living crisis.
“This new @Netflix anti-password sharing rule is so stupid. What about students? What about people who travel? I literally pay for one and won’t be able you use my own account after 30 days of leaving home?? Make it make sense,” one person tweeted.
Netflix emphasized that they will not implement any significant changes without prior notification to their customers. The implementation of the paid-sharing feature in countries other than Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru remains uncertain.