Netflix Fails to Break Down Password Sharing Restrictions

Netflix Fails to Break Down Password Sharing Restrictions

According to Netflix’s latest Password Sharing page, Netflix users should periodically recheck devices not connected to the primary home IP address. Photo: wisely (Shutterstock)

As much as Netflix account holders dreaded the day the company finally cracked down on password sharing, the streaming giant’s first glimpse of what it has in store for users was both puzzling and concerning. People online have been stunned by some unverified reports that Netflix’s password sharing forces users to log devices into their account every month, or block that device.

Without any official announcement, Netflix updated its support page on Tuesday to detail how it plans to prevent users from sharing an account with people outside their immediate household. However, the company made changes to the page after its initial release, and it’s still unclear how the upcoming restrictions on password sharing will work.

As posted on the Wayback Machine, Tuesday’s version of the Help Center page details how “anyone in your household…can use your account,” but all devices not logged into that “primary location.” will need to connect to home Wi-Fi. with the Netflix app or website and watch something “at least once every 31 days”. Any device that does not connect may be “blocked from watching Netflix”.

The old page also offers insight into specific ways to unblock Netflix if a user is traveling or “away from your primary location for an extended period of time.” In cases where users are traveling, Netflix would give them a temporary code to access Netflix for seven consecutive days. Otherwise, the streaming company reiterated that if you are not part of the users’ “household”, you will need to register for their own account or else transfer their account.

These clauses are no longer part of the latest version of the page. As of Wednesday morning ET, there is no hint of the 31-day restriction. Instead, the streaming giant clarified that when a device used outside the home logs in or is used repeatedly, Netflix will ask the user to verify that device by clicking on a link sent to the email. e-mail or telephone number of the account holder. Users must then enter a provided code within 15 minutes of requesting the link.

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If that’s already enough, the page also says “Device verification may be required periodically.”

Netflix’s support page details how users who travel or live between different homes “shouldn’t” need to check their devices. However, if a user is away from “home” for any period of time, they may need to recheck the device.

Gizmodo reached out to Netflix to see if the company could sort out some of this confusion, but we didn’t immediately respond. We’ll update the story if we hear more. Just a moment, let’s remember that just a few years ago, Netflix encouraged users to share their passwords with loved ones.

The company continues to use the word “household” to describe the account owner’s immediate family, although at the time of reporting, the page defining “household” is currently blank. The company says it detects devices in a household using IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity from devices connected to the account. However, older versions of the Household page detail how the household may change during the device verification process.

What makes this even more confusing is that depending on the Netflix package you pay for, multiple people on the same account could be watching Netflix at the same time. It’s also odd that none of these references refer to “paid sharing,” which was how Netflix previously described its anti-password sharing initiative. The company had told investors that users would have to pay extra to share accounts with people they don’t live with, although there was no reference to such a program in the new help page.

Last year, Netflix rolled out a beta crackdown on password sharing in several Central and South American countries, though users complained that the system failed to identify when users were using their passwords. own devices outside the home. The fee for adding an extra person outside of the household was $2 per month, but it’s still unclear how much that will cost US users and the rest of the world. Still, Netflix was pleased to see an increase in new account signups for these test markets, so the company was undeterred in its attempt to prevent users from sharing accounts.

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