This Could Be a Glimpse at Netflix’s Future U.S. Password-Sharing Policy — Updated

Beta testing for the streamer's account-sharing crackdown is ongoing in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru — and it's coming stateside soon.
Wednesday. Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in episode 108 of Wednesday. Cr. Vlad Cioplea/Netflix © 2022

Updated, February 2: The below update to the Netflix help center is specifically for beta test countries Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, where the streaming platform also first launched the added member feature in March 2022, a Netflix spokesperson told IndieWire. It was listed briefly — and erroneously — on February 1 on the Netflix FAQ page for U.S. users before being taken down.

“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,” a Netflix spokesperson told IndieWire. “We have since updated it.”

The streamer has previously stated it would “more broadly” rollout similar policies in this, the first quarter of 2023. It feels reasonable to consider this a template, at the very least, for what we may soon officially see here in the U.S.

Published February 1: Netflix is taking the term “home devices” quite literally for its password crackdown.

The platform estimated that over 100 million users across the globe use Netflix through shared login credentials of another subscriber. With the password crackdown teased since November 2022, Netflix has now added an addendum to the “Manage Access and Devices” feature: There must be a home device logged into every 31 days, or you will be locked out.

The Netflix Help Center now has a page detailing the permitted ways an account can be shared, which is to say, only in one (literal) household. Traveling? Nope. Have two homes? Nah. All devices must be associated with one singular primary location that requires a Wi-Fi connection and login every 31 days. Netflix will prompt any user who signs into that account elsewhere to register for their own, or a second, account instead, and block access until they do. The streamer will not automatically charge account holders whose information is used outside of their home, however.

To combat any confusion (well, just some of the confusion), Netflix will offer a profile transfer feature to share queue lists, show recommendations, and watch history amongst password sharers who want to preserve their pre-existing profiles from another account.

As for those who travel, the workaround provided by Netflix is encouraging users to request a temporary code for hotel smart TVs, company laptops, and more in-transit devices to allow access for seven consecutive days.

Netflix previously shared a statement upon the initial password sharing crackdown, saying, “With the busy holiday season just around the corner, many of our members will be on the move and watching Netflix wherever they are traveling to see family and friends. Logging in to your account while at a hotel or even your friend’s house is easy and intuitive, but lots of people then forget to log out.”

Similarly, the description for the Profile Transfer option reads: “People move. Families grow. Relationships end. But throughout these life changes, your Netflix experience should stay the same. Today, we’re launching Profile Transfer, a feature that lets people using your account transfer a profile — keeping the personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games, and other settings — when they start their own membership.”

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