Netflix accidentally launched a set of guidelines for cracking down on password sharing to global users, The Guardian reported. The streaming service said that the guidelines, which are already being trialled in a handful of Central American and South American countries like Chile, Peru and Costa Rica, were posted mistakenly in the help centre pages of other countries, but have 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," Netflix said, as per the outlet.
Earlier this week, Netflix released a set of guidelines outlining measures that would help crackdown password sharing via the devices people use to watch shows and films. This would be done by asking people to verify the devices they use to watch Netflix in their homes each month and all other devices would be blocked, with those users encouraged to open a new account.
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The company will use information like IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to ensure the device is present at the primary location of the user. If the user is travelling, they can request a temporary code to log into Netflix.
However, in a strange turn of events, the rules were removed from the Netflix website on February 1, with the streaming service saying that the guidelines were only meant for people in Latin America where it has rolled out the changes.
Netflix is yet to reveal its plans to tackle account sharing worldwide. The trial in Latin America is the closest indication of what a global approach might look like.
Meanwhile, the streaming service, which has over 200 million subscribers worldwide, said last month that account sharing "undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix". The company noted that more than 100 million households were sharing accounts and that in the first three months of 2023, it is 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. It added that it recognised that restrictions on account sharing would be "a change for members who share their account more broadly".