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Streaming giants attack password sharing

Streaming giants attack password sharing

A new front seems to be opening up in the emerging struggle between the password and biometrics.

Netflix, HBO, and cable companies are attempting to crack down on password sharing that Bloomberg reports could be costing them billions of dollars in lost revenue per year, and threatening to require biometric authentication for user access.

The coalition is considering requiring regular password changes or mobile device-based user authentication, sources told Bloomberg. Another option is to build rules-based governance over what devices streaming services can be used outside of the customer’s house, arguing that while streaming to a mobile device may be permitted, a Roku device outside the home is likely being used to circumvent the terms of service. Biometrics could be implemented if none of these options proves effective.

The group Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which also includes Amazon, Walk Disney, Viacom, Comcast, and Charter, was originally created to combat digital piracy, but has announced it will now focus on password sharing.

A representative of the alliance told Bloomberg, however, that it will not participate in enforcement against “casual password sharing among friends and relatives.”

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