Netflix has accidentally unveiled details of how it plans to tackle account sharing: where people share their Netflix login details with somebody living outside of their home.
The streaming giant has planned to end password-sharing for some time, but what turned out to be guidelines for a trial in Chile were accidentally published in its FAQ section for other countries, including the US, revealing how it may be policed. The company, which allows sharing between individuals living in the same household, is looking at paying more attention to device location and may prompt users when a device is used away from their home WiFi connection.
"When a device outside of your household signs in to an account or is used persistently, we may ask you to verify that device before it can be used to watch Netflix or switch your Netflix household," Netflix said in guidelines that have since been taken down. "We do this to confirm that the device using the account is authorized to do so."
The firm had previously said love was sharing a password.
According to the trial guidelines, users may also be prompted if they didn't sign into Netflix with a device for over 31 days. As pointed out by Ghacks, this could be a pain for any customers who mainly use Netflix while traveling, who will now have to remember to log into Netflix on their home WiFi prior to leaving in case they are asked to verify their account while away.
The device verification process itself doesn't sound too cumbersome, though it might be annoying when just one person from a household is traveling. Netflix would email a four-digit verification code to the account owner. Whoever is using the device would then input that code on the device they were using within 15 minutes.
However, whether the streamer will go ahead with this trial is unknown as yet. “For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru went live in other countries. We have since updated it,” it said in a statement yesterday after the news broke.
For people who have been sharing passwords and would like to retain their profile as they are forced to start paying for their own accounts, there is a way to do so. Follow the steps on how to transfer your profile to a new account and you will be able to retain your records of exactly how many times you have rewatched It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia instead of trying something new.
This article has been updated to include the statement from Netflix and to clarify the new guidelines are not official guidelines – yet.