The company says it’s simply testing a security feature
By Caitlin Finlay
One of the most popular online streaming services, Netflix, recently began testing a feature that could prevent people living in different households from sharing a single account. Some users have reported seeing a message offering a free trial subscription and stating, “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”
Users are given the option of gaining access by confirming that they live with the owner of the account by entering a verification code sent to the account owner via text or e-mail. A “verify later” button allows a user to delay entering the code and continue watching, but the warning message will reappear; eventually, an unverified user would need to create a new account.
In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson said, “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” adding that it was intended to block hackers. It’s unclear whether household verification will remain a requirement beyond a small-scale testing phase—the test may in fact be part of a campaign to acquire new subscribers. The primary message that appears on a user’s screen is, “Start your own Netflix for free today” and under that is a clickable button with the words, “Join Free for 30 Days.”
If you’ve shared your password in the past and wish to limit access to your account, now may be a good time to change your password.
Photo: iStock: tcerovski.