Here's bad news for people who share their Netflix and other streaming service accounts: a new software could crack down on users who share passwords with others. Synamedia, a software company based in the UK, unveiled the artificial intelligence software Credentials Sharing Insight at the CES 2019 technology trade show.
Identifying Fraudulent Account Activities
The AI system looks for potential fraudulent activities by using machine learning and behavioral analytics to better understand account activities. It could recognize unusual patterns such as when the account detail is used in different locations within a similar period.
It will spot if two different households that are clearly unrelated based on their geographical locations and preferences are sharing a single password. The system can nonetheless work out if the logins occur when the user is on a holiday or the password is shared with a family member who lives away from home.
"User behavior is subject to individual changes in time, location and consumption. That is why Synamedia's Credentials Sharing Insight tool applies behavioral analytics and machine learning to detect sharers," Synamedia said.
Synamedia called password sharing between friends and family members "casual sharing", a common practice that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once described as a positive thing since people who do this are likely to become paying subscribers of the service.
Another form of password sharing, however, exists and this is detrimental to streaming service companies. It happens when the passwords are sold for for-profit operations.
Cash Flow From Casual Password Sharers
The idea is to track down the casual password sharers and give content providers a chance to convert these people into paying customers by urging them to upgrade to a premium shared account that can authorize limited level of account sharing.
The company claimed the system could save the streaming industry billions of dollars over the next years.
"Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service with a greater number of concurrent users," Synamedia CPO Jean Marc Racine said in a statement.
The company said it is now conducting trials with several pay-TV operators albeit it did not provide further details on which ones.