Netflix backlash leads to another password-sharing rule change

Netflix has retracted password-sharing restrictions that were apparently posted in error on its platform.

Earlier this week, the streamer had updated its rules for sharing passwords on its Help Centre Page. It noted that one’s “Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household”. Netflix further specified that “people who do not live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix”.

The update was met with serious backlash, with a number of subscribers threatening to cancel their subscriptions.

On Thursday (2 February), Netflix responded to the situation and said the information was shared accidentally.

“For a brief time yesterday, a help centre article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica and Peru went live in other countries,” a Netflix spokesperson told The Guardian. “We have since updated it.”

The Independent has contacted Netflix for comment.

Since last year, Netflix has been testing out “paid sharing” in the three countries where an account holder is required to pay for an extra person (identified as someone who lives outside of the account holder’s home) to access service. In Costa Rica, the added fee costs $2.99 (£2.44) a month.

Netflix (Getty Images)
Netflix (Getty Images)

For people to have “uninterrupted access to Netflix”, the help document explained that people would have to keep watching something from their home every 31 days. If they don’t, they will be asked to enter a temporary code in order to log in.

However, the streamer acknowledges that if people are travelling or living between different homes, they will still be able to watch things on Netflix. Both the primary account holder and people who live in the household “shouldn’t need to verify” devices when watching, despite where they are.

Netflix has been threatening a crackdown on password sharing for years. Now, following its trial run in Latin America, its most recent January newsletter stated it would “expect to roll out paid sharing more broadly” in Q1.