Revealing pages on the Netflix site were taken down as quickly as they were posted showing how Netflix plans to crackdown on sharing the same streaming account.
Netflix has said the enforcement plans are not going into effect in the U.S., for now, and were posted in error – but not before the battle plan details were captured.
It all comes down to the fingerprint of your home account.
Traffic on the internet can be measured right down to your unique broadband connection at your home. Netflix may be planning to match your home’s unique IP address to authenticate your account.
According to the leaked help pages related to sharing an account with others outside your household, Netflix is likely to examine that location information and compare it to logins on your Netflix account from outside your residence. Logins located outside your address would be challenged to confirm the account credentials every 31 days.
All along, Netflix has warned it would end password sharing in 2023 so these rules briefly posted with intent or not represent the first shot across the bow that the battle is about to begin in the United States.
Netflix has already begun reigning in multiple people sharing a single account in Central and South American countries including Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru which could simply be a trial run for a larger plan.
A less expensive advertising model Netflix subscription was introduced last year to combat non-paying subscribers. Netflix has that number estimated at 100 million people who are mooching free movies and television shows from the service.
Freeloaders fighting back
People quickly took to the internet to post strategies for a password crackdown workaround. They include sharing a free phone number which forwards a verification text to everyone on the account at once. Another suggests using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, which would mask the ability to determine the location of each login making them all seem like they are watching Netflix from the same physical address.
As quickly as this chatter gets posted, you can bet Netflix engineers would be tasked with working on plans to combat the loss with other means that could tighten authentication controls even further. It’s already possible for Netflix to regulate by permitting only a few or just a single stream per account simultaneously if it wanted to tighten up further.
For the vast majority of those going for a free ride on someone else’s streaming account, the days of watching Netflix without a legit subscription appear to be coming to an end.