Netflix unveiled their new password policy earlier in the week, and it appears the streaming giant has come a long way from “love is sharing a password.”
Netflix appears to have isolated their subscriber base over the course of three days. The streaming giant posted their new rules regarding password sharing — including a 31-day check-in with a subscriber’s home Wi-Fi — onto their FAQ page, which appears to directly conflict with the concept of ‘love is sharing a password’ the company posted on Twitter almost six years ago, the Tweet can be seen below.
Since the rules have been posted, Netflix themselves have taken a semi walk back approach to dealing with the fallout by telling The Streamable the new rules were accidentally posted on the US FAQ page, and a spokesperson from Netflix said Wednesday, “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,” in an effort to redirect the immense fan backlash.
The new help pages have since been removed from the FAQ, but The Streamable has revealed all of the ‘new order’ on their website in an effort to keep fans informed. Interestingly enough, the streaming company didn’t suggest these rules were still in the works, and it was an accidental reveal like the Dungeons & Dragons OGL licensing debacle was, the company stated the FAQ was intended to help other countries, which means those rules are actually live for consumers.
One of the rules implements a ‘check-in every 31 days’ policy to keep a user’s device “trusted.” The rule states, “Signing into home Wi-Fi at least once every 31 days on your devices will make them “trusted devices,” which Netflix will remember and leave unblocked. If your device has been blocked incorrectly, you’ll need to contact Netflix in order to get it unblocked,” essentially forcing users to either check-in at least once every 31 days to avoid getting blocked. The only solution to an ‘accidental block’ appears to be to request Netflix to fix it as well.
This, and the myriad of other harsh rules to prevent account sharing revealed by The Streamable have been widely condemned by fans. User @evan_greer on Twitter said, “Has anyone done a deep dive on the privacy and security implications of Netflix fingerprinting your home WiFi Network and essentially creating a record of when you are home or not … just to crack down on password sharing?” voicing their privacy concerns outside of Netflix.
Popular YouTubers such as SomeOrdinaryGamers, MoistCr1TiKaL, and Philip DeFranco have posted lengthy videos explaining why the new imperialist ruleset was loaded with bad ideas, with DeFranco suggesting cancelling a Netflix subscription ‘just out of principle’ might be the right move.
Netflix co-CEO, Greg Peters said, “I think there’s a range of motivations for different borrowers,” and the new rules are an attempt at “thoughtful experimentation to let our members speak to us in terms of what set of solutions work for them.”
While these rules aren’t currently active in North America, the new policy framework is being utilized as “thoughtful experimentation” in other countries for paying subscribers to the streaming service to curb account sharing, and it remains to be seen whether the rules will be implemented in NA territories. The whole rule list can be seen from The Streamable.