UAE: Netflix restricts password sharing; residents plan to downgrade package, switch platforms – Khaleej Times

The streaming platform clarified that an “account is meant to be shared by people living together in one household”


Nasreen Abdullah

published: Sun July 23, 2023, 4:23 pm

Last updated: Sun July 23, 2023, 6:01 PM

South African expat Sarah Tirey thinks Netflix is ​​a family affair and shares an account with her sisters in Cape Town. While the password-sharing ban has yet to be enforced in her household, she expects it to take effect soon. And if that happens, Sarah doubts she’ll sign up for the platform: “I don’t think I’ll get my account. Even though I look at it quite often, I know I’m not using it enough to subscribe myself.”

Sarah is one of several Netflix customers considering switching streaming platforms or downgrading their plans following the company’s new crackdown on password sharing, which kicked off this weekend in the UAE.

This is an extension of the streaming giant’s crackdown in various parts of the world and several UAE residents have received notifications asking for confirmation on their primary devices.

According to the Netflix website, it has been clarified that an “account is meant to be shared by people living together in one household” and that those living in different households will need to sign up for their own accounts.

Sarah Tirey with her sister.  Photo: Delivered

Sarah Tirey with her sister. Photo: Delivered

Sarah’s hesitation to open her account also stems from the need for a variety of content on Netflix. The South African national feels there should be more worthy shows for her young son to watch on stage. “My son is 11 and he doesn’t find anything interesting on Netflix. He prefers YouTube or Disney+. So when it comes to getting a new subscription, my husband and I are more likely to choose Disney+. However, I wish that instead of banning it outright, Netflix had introduced a family sharing option. That might have prompted us to sign up.”

Netflix offers users an option to add an additional member to their account for $7.99 per month. However, this service is not currently available in the UAE according to the streaming service’s website.

Meanwhile, Dubai resident and primary account holder Areeb Siddiqui has adopted a wait and see policy. “I have a Netflix account that I share with my family,” he said. “However, I have some reservations. For example, I travel a lot for work and sometimes watch Netflix on the plane or abroad. Does this mean my family won’t be able to watch Netflix at home if I log in? My wife, who spends at least a quarter of the year with her family in Canada and the children, also uses our account there.”

According to Areeb, with these restrictions, he is considering downgrading his account. “I have the Premium account, so we can all share it across devices,” he said. “But with the new rules, I will downgrade it to the basic account, because there’s no point in having it on different devices if they all need to be on the same IP address.”

Netflix had previously revealed that it could detect and restrict password sharing by noting the Wi-Fi network and IP address of devices on its platform.


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