Netflix hasn’t confirmed its plans to stop password sharing just yet

Based on info sourced from Netflix’s support pages, The Streamable reported on Tuesday details about its upcoming anti-password sharing efforts. But now Netflix tells The Verge it hasn’t confirmed what its setup could look like for US streaming subscribers.

In its report, The Streamable cites this Netflix help center page as the source for its information. However, the information included in the article for US customers — and visible on an Internet Archive page captured yesterday — doesn’t match what is listed today. Right now, that information is only available on the pages for the Central and South American test countries.

Asked about the reports, Netflix spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka explains in an emailed statement to The Verge that “As you may remember, we rolled out Extra Member in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru back in March. But the US (and other countries) don’t have it… The only thing we’ve confirmed so far is that in our earnings on 19 January that ‘Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly.’”

The rules on the archived page state that only the people located in your primary household can use a single Netflix subscription. In order for multiple devices to use a single subscription, Netflix says you must “connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days” on the devices you and your household members use to watch Netflix, or else they’ll get blocked.

The archived support page says Netflix could block a device “that is not part of your primary location.”

The archived support page says Netflix could block a device “that is not part of your primary location.”
Image: Internet Archive / Netflix

The US-centric page we can access today states that “people who do not live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix.” That’s in contrast to the page for Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru, which says that you’re required to add an extra member for anyone using your subscription outside your household. It also adds that it will use your IP address, device ID, and account activity to determine when someone else is using your account.

Similarly, the currently available US support page about what Netflix considers a “household” is vastly different from the pages in Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru. On the US page, the company only describes its idea of a household as “people who live in the same location with the account owner.” Meanwhile, the pages for the three South and Central American countries provide more detail on how to change your primary household, sign out of accounts on devices in different locations, or what might cause a device to become blocked.

This is a glimpse at what you could expect when Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing goes into effect globally and what kind of headaches it could bring to people who just need to watch from multiple locations or people who love to use VPNs inside the privacy of their own homes.

But when it comes to how Netflix will try to push users in the US or other countries to purchase sub-accounts for all of the exes, cousins, former roommates, and complete strangers who hitch a ride on our streaming accounts, it’s not ready to tell.

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