It seems that Netflix is no longer fine with users sharing their passwords with other people because the popular video streaming service is testing a new account ownership verification prompt.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” said Netflix spokesperson Ebony Turner. Users who see the prompt are asked to verify account ownership by a code, sent via email or text. At the time of writing, the test seems to be rolled out more or less randomly, but that could quickly change in the future.
Netflix, which now has more than 200 million subscribers around the world, said that users who are unable to verify account ownership wouldn’t be able to continue using the service unless they purchase their own subscription.
While this measure is unlikely to stop password sharing among friends and extended family members, who can simply share the required authorization code, but it may at least slow down password sharing on various online forums and dark web sites.
The decision to crack down on password sharing is likely a reaction to the growing competition Netflix is facing, with streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Hulu offering their own original TV shows and movies.
Back in 2016, Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hasting said that password sharing was something Netflix had to learn to live with because the amount of legitimate password sharing between family members was too high. Even in 2019, chief product officer Greg Peters stated that the streaming service had no plans to change its stance on password sharing.
Right now, Netflix’s terms of service state that the service is intended “for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” It’s not really clear whether Netflix means a physical household, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the company clarify its terms of service if the new account ownership verification prompt becomes a standard feature.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.