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The Netflix password sharing crackdown means you have to “check in” at home once a month

New details are emerging about how Netflix plans to enforce its upcoming global crackdown on password sharing, which is currently only active in a handful of countries including Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.

A constant question in all of this is how Netflix will prove who is sharing accounts and who is just traveling or living in a second household. The method of verification seems… a bit cumbersome.

On the FAQ pages for regions where the password sharing crackdown is already live, Netflix explains that you must have a device “check-in” to the home network at least once a month:

“To ensure your devices are linked to your primary location, connect to Wi-Fi in your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch at least once every 31 days,” das says company on its support page. ”

So in practice, this means that you, say, a student using your parents’ Netflix plan, would have to travel home once a month, bring your laptop or tablet, “check in” on WiFi, and watch something on Netflix. If instead you’re using Netflix on a TV that’s not very portable, you’re out of luck because that’s what Netflix is ​​trying to kill.

As for travel, the FAQ states that travel can be given a temporary code that allows seven consecutive days of account access without getting banned. But obviously we are in a situation that brings with it many complications, such as long journeys, temporary relocations, separate households, etc. The system seems ripe for banning accounts that perhaps shouldn’t be, and Netflix says when this happens, you need to contact Netflix directly to have your device unlocked. I’m sure this is a simple process…

Netflix claims 100 million people share passwords on Netflix, and they want to convert at least some of that into active users with their own accounts or add-ons to existing ones. But as clunky as that sounds, it feels like you’re just seeing a fair amount of cancellations or switches to other services that do not have such systems. And many angry customers who are frustrated by Netflix when the X or Y device is blocked at X or Y location and they have to call Netflix tech support to solve the problem. I wonder what they will lose compared to what they think they will gain.

But does that work? you can see Everyone Streaming services are starting to adopt this because while they don’t say it publicly like Netflix, none of them want passwords to be shared in general. We’ll see what happens when this expands.

Update (2/2): Apparently, due to the widespread backlash to the 31-day check-in news, Netflix has deleted this section from its FAQ pages where it originally appeared.

This does not mean that the policy no longer exists. Pressing Netflix for comment, it only told Streamable, the story’s original poster, “For a short time yesterday, a help center article with information specific to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru went live in other countries.” Since then we’ve updated it.” and “We have no news to share other than the fact that we expect to roll this out more broadly in the first quarter.”

Again, there’s nothing to suggest Netflix won’t actually fully implement the policies listed, including that 31-day check-in or the idea that you can get a 7-day “travel voucher” on Netflix when you’re on the go. The company has repeatedly emphasized this will Crack down, and even now they are repeating that in these statements. The question is how.

News of the raid went viral yesterday, with people coming up with all sorts of extremely valid reasons why it would be a nightmare in practice, whether it’s snowbirds living in different parts of the country or people who travel for a long time. The final conclusion for most was that this sounded like more trouble than it was worth and they would probably just cancel their subscription. Many of these people don’t even share passwords, they’re just customers who believe their own personal Netflix experience will be compromised by taking action.

I don’t think Netflix is ​​right in predicting how the rollout will go on a large scale, but I suppose we’ll see if they make any changes before a broader implementation.

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