Netflix customers may face criminal charges for sharing their password

Netflix customers could soon face criminal charges for sharing their password next year.

The popular streaming service plans to end password sharing starting in early 2023, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Netflix has been exploring ways to crack it for some time, and this is the first official notification that changes will finally happen.

The company claimed that of the 222 million households worldwide with valid subscriptions, there were at least an “additional 100 million households” using its services via password sharing.

Newsweek reports that households that use Netflix by sharing passwords include more than 30 million households across the United States and Canada.

Netflix offers joint accounts with separate profiles and multiple streams in its plans, but only people who live under the same roof apply to it.

The online media platform has been losing revenue for years due to unauthorized password sharing, but has been willing to turn a blind eye due to a surge in subscriptions over the past couple of years.

However, revenue has fallen since the beginning of this year, as it faces its first subscriber decline in a decade.

The company charged people who shared accounts that didn’t live in the same house in order to combat the drop in subscribers.

Subscription sharing also made it difficult for the company to expand its services and production into new markets, according to the company.

The Netflix logo atop their office building in Hollywood, California, on January 20, 2022. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

The Netflix Terms of Service never allowed sharing between multiple households, which I read is the responsibility of the “member who created the Netflix account and whose payment method was charged” for any activity that occurs through the account.

According to terms.

We can terminate or suspend your account in order to protect you, Netflix, or our partners from identity theft or other fraudulent activity.

At one point it considered introducing pay-per-view content to discourage those with accounts from sharing their passwords, but company executives voted against that plan.

Netflix executives enforce the rules of engagement due to a lack of revenue

Meanwhile, Reed Hastings, co-CEO of Netflix, decided that now was the time to act on the problem of password sharing, which had been neglected for a long time.

Co-CEO Ted Sarandos agreed and said the streaming service would eventually crack down on him.

Viewers are generally opposed to higher prices, and the company needs to find a way to deal with the sharing problem so people see the value in the company, Sarandos told CNBC.

“There are people enjoying Netflix for free today,” Sarandos said.

“So, they get a lot out of it. I think they would be happy to have their own accounts.”

Netflix will phase out password sharing over time rather than ending it immediately to avoid alienating customers and will require those who share their accounts with others outside their household to start paying in 2023.

Users will be tracked to enforce restrictions on unsubscribed users

Those who continue to share an account outside of the primary subscriber’s immediate home will have to pay additional fees under the new rules.

Netflix said it may charge slightly less than its $6.99 ad-supported plan for non-home users to boost revenue and wants those who illegally share passwords to sign up for their own subscription.

The streaming service also expects to offer other ad-supported subscription plans over time.

For example, Netflix’s current premium plan allows Ultra HD 4K streaming and supports watching on four supported devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs simultaneously, as long as those devices are owned by people in the same household but do not allow multiple viewers watching outside the same home.

The company will look into tracking certain information, such as device identifiers, IP addresses and account activity, to help determine if viewers are part of the same household to enforce the new rules, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The online video service has been testing additional payments for sharing passwords in some Latin American countries, with an additional $3 fee.

The pilot program is said to have basic account holders provide a verification code to anyone outside their household in order to access their account and repeatedly request the code until a monthly fee is paid to add subscribers outside the household.

A similar method may be imposed on users in North America next year.

Brian Jung

Brian S. Jung is a native New York City resident with a background in politics and the legal industry. Graduated from Binghamton University.

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