Netflix’s password sharing crackdown is coming: What we know so far about how it will work
Netflix’s plan to stop users from sharing their passwords with each other is starting to take shape.
The streaming giant, which last month announced that it will soon begin the preliminary rollout of its strategy, has updated its FAQs page with some details about what users can expect.
The main hurdle that Netflix will place in front of password sharers is device verification when phones, computers and streaming devices are logged into an account that isn’t the primary user’s home network.
This will be triggered when someone accesses your account on a new device that isn’t associated with your household, or if your account is repeatedly being used outside of your home.
Netflix will send an email to the primary account holder with a 4-digit verification code which they will have 15 minutes to enter before it expires, the FAQ site says.
Netflix says that it uses IP addresses, device IDs and account activity in order to determine which devices are part of the same household.
A previous version of the FAQ that has since been removed read that “to ensure uninterrupted access to Netflix, connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days. This creates a trusted device so you can watch Netflix, even when you’re away from your primary location.”
Netflix has in the past said that more than 100 million households use a shared password.
If you get caught sharing a password, don’t worry about being hit with a fee right away. Netflix says that it “will not automatically charge you if you share your account.”
While a representative for the company did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment about how users might be billed, the company’s efforts to crack down on password sharing in the past may give an indication of what’s to come.
In Peru, Costa Rica, and Chile, Netflix charged fees up to $3 per month to add “sub accounts” for users who reside outside the account holder’s home, CNBC reported last year.
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