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CES 2019 – Netflix users who illegally share their password with friends could soon be tracked down by creepy new AI

IF YOU share your Netflix password with your friends then you’d better watch out – a dystopian new AI has been designed to crack down on account sharing. British firm Synamedia uses machine learning

IF YOU share your Netflix password with your friends then you'd better watch out – a dystopian new AI has been designed to crack down on account sharing.

British firm Synamedia uses machine learning to spot shared passwords on streaming services like Netflix and HBO and rat out the offending users.

 Netflix fans who share their password around could soon be ratted out by a creepy new AI
Alamy
Netflix fans who share their password around could soon be ratted out by a creepy new AI

Each service can choose to deal with rule-breakers as they please, for instance by sending them an email asking them to upgrade to a premium service or even shutting down their account.

If someone has illegally sold their password online to multiple people then they could be turned in to the police.

Synamedia presented the technology at the CES 2019 conference in Las Vegas.

Its AI-powered system works by analysing where users are logged in and quickly flagging shared accounts.

 Synamedia's software uses a clever combo of machine learning and behaviour analytics
Alamy
Synamedia's software uses a clever combo of machine learning and behaviour analytics

"Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore," said Jean Marc Racine of Synamedia.

"Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action. Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service.

"It’s a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream."

Recent research from Magid found that roughly a quarter of millennials share their username and password for video streaming services with friends.

It predicts that by 2021, credentials sharing will account for £7.8billion of losses in pay-TV revenues.

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Synamedia aims to crack down on password sharers with a new system that streaming services can pay to access.

It uses behavioural analytics and machine learning to track how many people are logged into a single account, as well as where they log in from.

If an account is signed in and watching shows in both Edinburgh and London, then Synamedia flags the user.

The company says its software is clever enough to know if you're watching from your house or a holiday home.

It can also distinguish users who are sharing passwords with friends or kids who no longer live at home.

Synamedia says the system has already begun trials, though no official release date has been set as of yet.


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