Netflix accidentally posts guidelines for cracking down on password sharing

Netflix has mistakenly launched a set of guidelines for cracking down on password sharing to global users.

The streaming service said the guidelines being trialled in Chile, Peru and Costa Rica had been posted accidentally across its help centre pages including in the US on Wednesday, but had since been taken down.

“For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru went live in other countries. We have since updated it.”

Since last year Netflix has been trialling “paid sharing” in the three countries where an account holder pays for an extra person, located outside the account holder’s home, to access the service. In Costa Rica the fee is $2.99 (£2.44) a month.

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To ensure that a Netflix account is not being shared outside of the household where it is registered, the trial requires users to connect their viewing device – such as a TV, mobile phone or tablet – to the wifi in their home, open the Netflix app and watch something on the streaming service at least once every 31 days.

Although Netflix has yet to unveil its plans to tackle account sharing worldwide, the trial is the closest indication to what a global approach might look like.

Netflix, which has 230 million subscribers worldwide, said last month that account sharing “undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix”. It said more than 100m households were sharing accounts and that in the first three months of 2023 it expected to roll out paid sharing in other countries.

“As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with,” the company said. Netflix said it recognised that restrictions on account sharing would be “a change for members who share their account more broadly”.