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Netflix cracks down on illegal accounts

Streaming giant Netflix on Friday says it is testing a feature to clamp down on customers sharing passwords.

Consequently, some users of the application who appeared to be tapping other accounts shared news of the crackdown containing messages informing them of the need to be subscribers to keep enjoying the service.

Other users say they started receiving notifications asking them to verify their personal details and location.

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

Users are prompted to use a code texted or emailed to the account owner to continue.

According to Netflix, “hundreds” of tests are done every year with customers on this issue.

The trial could also be used to help with account security, and not necessarily just for cracking down on password sharing.

A statement from the company said: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

It was not certain the test of the account-user check would turn into a crackdown on password sharing across the service.

Nearly a third of subscribers to television streaming services such as Netflix share their passwords with people who don’t live with them, according to a survey last year.

The practice has long been tolerated by California-based Netflix, which has said that “guardrails” are in place to prevent extreme abuses in password sharing.

People stuck at home due to the pandemic have turned to the internet for entertainment from streaming television to online video gameplay.

By the end of last year, Netflix solidified its position in video sharing by passing the 200 million paid subscribers worldwide for the first time.