BYU students discuss Netflix’s plans to limit password sharing

Netflix plans to limit password sharing to single households in the coming months.
Netflix plans to limit account sharing to single households in the coming months. A household is defined as a location in which the account owner and people sharing the account live at. (Netflix)

Streaming industry giant Netflix shared a plan to crack down on password sharing to only single households in a recent announcement.

Netflix defined a household as a location in which the account owner and people sharing the account live.

The company said it will use IP addresses, device IDs, account activity and other available information to verify authentication. Account owners, household members and household guests connected to the home Wi-Fi network can use email verification while traveling to stream. Email verification in these instances is valid for seven consecutive days.

As seen in Netflix’s password-sharing trial in Latin America, account owners can pay additional fees to share their passwords with family members or friends who do not live in the household. As a result, streamers who use a friend or family member’s account will have to request the account owner to verify and pay or they will have to purchase their own account.

BYU student Ben Beckstrom said he was aware of and strongly disliked the new restrictions. “I do depend on my parent’s Netflix because I’m cheap and I also don’t have a lot of disposable income at the moment,” Beckstrom said.

BYU student Naomi Welling said she was unaware of the upcoming changes but knows she is unwilling to pay extra for her streaming content. She said she plans on being resourceful in finding free ways to stream content.

It is unclear the lengths Netflix can and will go to prohibit students like Beckstrom from finding loopholes from this new change, such as going home monthly or coordinating verification with the account owner to stream outside of a household.

“Netflix can very easily be manipulated to be abused by people, but I don’t know if this is the way to solve it,” BYU student Connor Randell said. Randell has seen how common Netflix password sharing is outside of a household and notices the opportunity the company has to boost revenue, but said he believes college students should not have to pay.

For those who choose to or are forced to create their own account, Netflix currently offers cheaper subscriptions, but advertisements are included. They will also begin offering easy account transfer to keep watch history and preferences.

Netflix tweeted regarding password sharing in 2017. Netflix is planning to crack down on password sharing outside of households. (@netflix via Twitter)
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