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Behavioral biometrics can ease friction as password-sharing becomes an issue

Behavioral biometrics can ease friction as password-sharing becomes an issue

By Joe Micara, VP North America at Callsign

According to Netflix, more than 100 million households use shared passwords. While password sharing was initially encouraged to drive more users to the site, the streaming provider has recently taken steps toward eradicating password-sharing for non-paying users without a profile on any given account.

Now, Netflix has rolled out its first round of anti-password-sharing initiatives throughout some of its international markets, allowing users to transfer their profiles to a new account or add an extra member to their existing account for a fee. The release of these features has been met with confusion and dismay from users who have been flagged as unauthorized, causing Netflix customer support representatives’ workloads to skyrocket. However, suppose Netflix’s goal is to crack down on password sharing while maintaining a seamless user experience. In that case, the solution may be behavioral biometrics, which can positively identify if a user is who they claim to be.

Streamlining company operations without sacrificing the user experience

Before introducing the solution, it’s essential to understand the issues associated with single-factor authentication methods like passwords and the complications of trying to discern whether a user is authorized to use an account.

Historically, Netflix passwords have been shared across people to reap the benefits of a cheaper streaming service or free access to Netflix. However, there is no way to identify who is actually typing in a password. Even with implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) processes, there’s still no way to determine whether a user is who they say they are without adding behavioral biometrics capabilities to the authentication process. MFA also creates extra layers of security that hurt rather than help the user experience by creating more friction in the authentication journey.

When identifying unauthorized users, Netflix may go after single accounts with a large number of users first, but further measures may prove a more significant challenge – especially when trying to identify family members who do not reside at the same location or bought a new device. Moreover, account holders likely won’t be happy with the added complication of reaching out to customer service and disputing the claim in accounts that are accidentally marked as having unauthorized users. In addition, increased disputes will cause more operational inefficiencies for Netflix and its customer service agents.

Moving beyond passwords

To state the obvious: account holders want frictionless login processes, and Netflix wants to ensure only authorized users are on their platform. Still, it will take more solutions to make this a reality. For example, streaming services like Netflix may need to say goodbye to passwords to suppress password sharing and utilize behavioral biometric technology.

Instead of relying on a password that can be mimicked and shared, behavioral biometrics can’t be replicated since it analyzes how an individual user uniquely types, holds a phone/remote, swipes on a touchpad, and more. As a result, the technology can help distinguish authorized Netflix account holders from unauthorized users while creating a better customer experience. Without behavioral biometrics, even if a user can verify credentials, it doesn’t mean they are the genuine account holder.

This technology can also enable streaming services to quickly take someone straight to their profile homepage with personalized video recommendations instead of the landing page with various account options. Behavioral biometrics streamlines the login process and optimizes customer experience by eliminating the need for users to jump through hoops to access their favorite services.

As more streaming services are introduced, the playing field will continue to expand, making it critical that service streaming providers can create enhanced login and personalized experiences without impacting their bottom line. By introducing behavioral biometrics to the mix, companies can ensure they’re able to offer users a seamless login experience without the risk of brand loyalty or operational efficiencies.

About the author

Joe Micara, VP North America at Callsign: As a seasoned professional in building and scaling new products, Joe now brings his expertise to Callsign. Having held key roles across sales leadership, delivery, and product, Joe has been instrumental in opening new markets in the cybersecurity industry. Being one of the first ThreatMetrix employees in NY, Joe’s contributions significantly advanced the business and technology. Similarly, he refined processes and revenue to achieve vigorous company growth over his tenure at BioCatch. Throughout, he has consistently remained a top contributor and received numerous performance awards for his achievements.

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