Netflix is testing a crackdown on password-sharing after years of letting people get away with not paying for their own accounts

Beth Harmon Anya Taylor Joy The Queen's Gambit Netflix TV show
Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon in “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix.

  • Netflix is testing a crackdown on sharing passwords with those outside your household.
  • The practice is already forbidden, but Netflix hasn’t enforced it in the past.
  • The streaming service currently places limits on streaming from multiple devices simultaneously.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix is going to start cracking down on one of the oldest traditions in subscription streaming: password-sharing.

Netflix has started testing a new prompt when customers attempt to use a Netflix account that belongs to someone outside their household: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,” the prompt says.

Users will then be directed to either verify the account with a text or email code, or start their own free, 30-day trial. The feature is currently being tested only on TVs.

The Streamable’s Jason Gurwin was the first to report the test.

Read more: New data shows how heavily Netflix is leaning into international TV shows, especially in its upcoming projects

A Netflix spokesperson told Insider that the test is “designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

Sharing passwords with people outside of your household is already forbidden in Netflix’s terms and conditions, but the streaming giant hasn’t enforced it in the past. The company currently limits the number of devices on which you can simultaneously stream its content, which is dictated by your subscription tier.

Netflix does not currently place a limit on how many devices can be logged into your account at one time.

Although Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said in 2016 that password-sharing is “something you have to learn to live with,” there have been increased efforts in recent years to clamp down on the practice. Bloomberg reported in 2019 that Netflix, HBO, and a group of cable companies had formed a coalition to figure out “consumer-friendly” ways to limit shared passwords, like text codes or required, periodic password changes.

Read the original article on Business Insider