Not the best news for people who share Netflix passwords as the streaming platform has begun testing an account security feature that cuts off non-registered users.
Some Netflix users are reported to have received a message asking them to confirm they live with the account owner by entering a code included in a text message or email sent to the subscriber.
“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,” the message states.
So far, viewers have been given the option to delay verification and keep watching Netflix.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so,” a spokesperson for Netflix said.
Netflix has previously said it was comfortable with users sharing their passwords, with Reed Hastings, the company’s co-founder and co-chief executive, saying there were “no plans” to crack down on the practice.
“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,” he said, speaking in 2016. “So there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”
Interestingly, the common practice of sharing passwords violates the Netflix terms and condition which prohibits shared usage of accounts with individuals beyond a subscriber’s household. “The Netflix service and any content viewed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household,” the T&C reads.
Users who have received the new notification also get the option to delay verification but it appears that might only be temporal.