Netflix’s new password sharing rules could block users who don’t live with the account holder

The company said it uses information such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to determine whether a device signed into an account is connected to a primary location. — AP

Netflix has released details on its Sharing Your Account information guide to include a series of new rules that would require subscribers to verify their home devices every month or risk getting their access blocked.

The streaming service also stated that “any devices not part of the account owner’s primary location may be blocked” and those users would be encouraged to create an account of their own.

To ensure that home devices are associated with an account holder’s primary location, the company will be asking users to connect to WiFi at a primary location, open the Netflix app or website and watch something at least once every 31 days.

The company said it uses information such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to determine whether a device signed into an account is connected to a primary location.

Website The Streamable sighted the new rules on the US Netflix Help Centre in a report on Jan 31. However in an updated report, Netflix said the company had updated its guidelines to remove the new rules, adding that it was currently only applicable in selected countries, namely Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.

These rules are not viewable if you’re accessing the information for Malaysia.

The new rules showcased how the company might be cracking down on password sharing. Last month, it announced in a shareholders report that the company will be rolling out measures for “paid sharing” in the first quarter of the year.

Under the section “Who can use a Netflix account now”, it was stated that Netflix accounts are only shareable within one household or those living with the account owner in a primary location.

Additionally, under the section “Share Netflix with someone who doesn’t live with you”, the company stated that people who aren’t part of the account holder’s household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix. However, those who wish to share Netflix with someone who doesn’t live with them can still add an extra member to their account.

For users who may have concerns about using their Netflix account while travelling, the company said users can request a temporary code via email or text from the service when signing in. This code will give them access to the account for seven consecutive days.

On Twitter, reports about the possible new rules have prompted backlash from users who claimed that they may cancel their subscriptions.

Some posted memes as a response to a Netflix tweet in 2017 where the company said “Love is sharing a password”. One user said: “That didn’t age well, did it?”.

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