Creepy Crackdown On Netflix Password Sharing May Be Coming Soon

Blame the robots

Photo by Flickr user Jenny Cestnik

If you’re not sharing your Netflix password, are you really watching Netflix? Sharing your streaming passwords is as common as binge watching your favorite show. But one of our society’s last bastions of internet freedom could soon come to an end, Big Brother style.

At CES 2019 in Las Vegas earlier this week, video software provider Synamedia unveiled a new AI-based service designed to crack down on password sharing. This means your mom, dad, aunt, second cousin, significant other, roommate and anyone else you’ve let dip into your account will need to be cut off.

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According to a recent press release:

For example, the solution can determine whether users are viewing at their main home and a holiday home, or whether they have shared credentials with friends or grown-up children who live away from home.  If the latter, then subscribers are offered a premium shared account service that includes a pre-authorized level of password sharing and a higher number of concurrent users.

“Using AI, behavioral analytics and machine learning, Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight identifies, monitors and analyzes credentials sharing activity across streaming accounts,” says the press release. “Real-time dashboards highlight unusual sharing activity including alerts and trend analysis.”

Recent research suggests roughly 26 percent of millennials share their streaming passwords with other people, a practice the market research company Parks Associates estimates to be worth around $10 billion by 2021.

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But this new software won’t just be able to track down small time crooks, like your friends and family; it can also be used to detect and shut down large-scale, for-profit credentials sharing accounts.

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If you are someone who watches all the latest Netflix series using your friend’s credentials, a new AI tech is here to prevent you from doing so. A London based company named Synamedia which intends to empower Pay TV operators and video streaming websites is planning to launch an AI-based service to crack down on password sharing. The service dubbed Credentials Sharing Insights will keep a check on casual password sharing as well as criminal enterprises who want to mint money by reselling Pay TV login credentials. However, the company wants to focus majorly on those who share their passwords with friends, family members, and roommates out of generosity. In an interview with Variety, Synamedia’s CEO said, “The way you secure OTT is evolving.” Earlier, to curb this habit of users, cable TV operators used secured devices such as locked down devices and smart cards for decrypting satellite TV. With cord-cutting on the rise, online streaming is causing the slow death of cable TV operators. Operators are trying everything to make things easier for the end user. “Passwords are easy to share,” said the CEO. According to a report by Parks Associate, users’ habit of sharing passwords of streaming services with their friends could dent a whopping $9.9 billion to the industry by 2021. Synamedia’s Credential Sharing Insights service evaluates users’ streaming habits including their physical location and usage pattern to train an AI-based system. The system would, then, rate the users between 1 and 10 where 1 indicates that the user is likely not sharing the password and 10 represents a user who has a high probability of sharing passwords with someone. With this data, streaming companies would try to persuade users who are most likely sharing their passwords to purchase subscriptions with additional simultaneous streams. #Netflix #tech #ai #London #Paytv #crack #password #login #Synamedia #friends #sharing #subscribers #purchase #parks #videostreaming #criminal #watches

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Says Synamedia CPO Jean Marc Racine:

Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore. Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action. Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service with a greater number of concurrent users. It’s a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream

Synamedia says its AI has already begun trials.

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