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Netflix Is Asking Some Users To Verify Accounts Via Text -- Are The Days Of Streaming Service Password Sharing Numbered?




This illustration picture taken on April 21, 2018 in Paris shows the logo of the Netflix entertainment company, displayed on a tablet screen with a remote control in front of it.
This illustration picture taken on April 21, 2018 in Paris shows the logo of the Netflix entertainment company, displayed on a tablet screen with a remote control in front of it.
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

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It’s ok to admit it -- a lot of people do it. Whether you’re the sharer or the one using a friend’s account, at least one of your streaming accounts belongs to your friend, your parents, your sister-in-law, or your cousin’s boyfriend’s trainer.

For a long time, it’s been easy to share passwords to streaming services -- streaming companies haven’t made serious efforts in the pass to deter users from doing it, and if you’re lucky enough to convince someone to share their password with you, it’s a way to skirt having to pay for all the different streaming services that are available. But as great as it is for users, it’s also lost revenue for companies. And recently, Netflix has started asking some users to verify their account via a text message. The Wall Street Journal reports Netflix would not tell them whether or not the streaming titan plans to start using two-factor authentication for all user logins, and it’s not clear whether this is a sign of things to come or just a friendly reminder that they do, in fact, know if you’re sharing your password, but it has created an opportunity for conversation about the ubiquity of password sharing when it comes to streaming services.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk about Netflix’s efforts to curb password sharing and talk about what efforts other streaming services have made to stop it.

Guest:

Lily Hay Newman, senior writer at WIRED where she covers information security, digital privacy and hacking; she tweets @lilyhnewman