Netflix users who share their passwords -- and those who enjoy that generosity -- may have reason to be concerned. Netflix and other popular streamers have a new technology at their disposal that could put an end to the sharing.
The UK startup Synamedia has shown off a new AI tool that would allow streamers access to crucial user info. The technology would allow Netflix and its streaming peers to learn whether users are sharing their passwords with "more people than they should," per IFLScience.
Netflix and its fellow streamers have not commissioned the technology. Instead, the company has acted to develop the software independently. Given what it says it can do, it stands to reason that Netflix and its peers could be interested in employing it.
If they do, it could mean a potential crackdown for password sharers is on its way. Of course, the report also notes that Netflix's CEO has expressed his affection for password sharing. So, based on that, it would seem Netflix subscribers who share the love may be able to breathe a slight sigh of relief.
While the technology seems to have closed the gateway to password sharing, how it would be used opens up another round of questions. To translate, what would be the consequences of Netflix finding out a person used a password for an account they do not pay for?
What about the person who gave it to them? Would their yearly subscription cost increase? Or would it just keep the non-paying user from continuing to watch for free? There are a lot of potential uses.
It all sounds like an episode plot from Netflix's Black Mirror. According to the report, this software would examine a user's tastes and geographical location to narrow down if it is really them using their password. With Netflix catering to subscribers who want to choose their own adventure, it seems they know their customers enjoy a sense of freedom.
If Netflix were ever to utilize the software, it would undoubtedly elicit a response from subscribers. Especially those who are enjoying the service for free. Those who want to keep enjoying content can, of course, choose to pay for a subscription. There is a lot of exciting content (YOU) currently on Netflix and elsewhere, and even more is set to come in.
The thing is, Netflix is a pretty laid-back streaming service. Does it get any more non-competitive than encouraging subscribers to check out a show only available on another streamer? That is exactly what Netflix did on its Twitter account with the hit series Killing Eve. The streaming platform suggested people watch it, even though it is only available on Hulu.
Would that same streaming service clamp down on password sharing among its subscribers? Only time will tell. Until then, Netflix will still be going strong throughout 2019 with many new shows. So there is a lot to look forward to in the just-begun year.
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Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.