Netflix is cracking down on viewers who share accounts and is testing a feature that aims to stop people from sharing passwords with others who live elsewhere.

Netflix

The streaming service has, up to this point, largely ignored the issue. No longer. If this feature goes beyond the testing phase, those who have been sharing passwords will not be able to so as easily.

Some users are already reporting seeing pop-up messages asking to confirm whether they live with the account holder. The message reads –

“If you don’t live with the owner of this account you need your own account to keep watching.”

Netflix say –

“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so.”

Two years ago chief operating officer Greg Peters said there were no “big plans” to crack down on account sharing, but that they would continue to monitor the situation.

This all goes back to what is outlined in Netflix’s terms and conditions. Per the user agreement –

“The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”

It remains unclear if Netflix will expand this beyond the testing phase. It also appears, for the time being, that this is only being done on TVs. Mobile devices are safe for now.

Netflix currently has more than 200 million subscribers worldwide. But the competition has become far more fierce over the course of the last year. Rival services such as Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Peacock and, more recently, Paramount+, have all entered the fold.

The recent increase in competition may explain why Netflix feels now is the time to do something about password sharing.