There's a good chance you, or at least someone you know, share a Netflix account by using the same user login and password in different households.

But those days could be numbered.

UK software company Synamedia unveiled a new system earlier this month that uses machine learning to sniff out people using shared passwords.

The software is able to analyse factors such as where users log on, what type of device they use and the content being watched to look for patterns that indicate account sharing. The company then gives a probability score to the service provider like Netflix about potential infringers.


Speaking to The Verge, Synamedia's chief technology officer Jean-Marc Racine said a company like Netflix could shut down accounts if it thinks login details are being shared for a profit, such as sharing passwords online. But if it detects more benign password sharing, users might expect an email encouraging them to upgrade their account or change their behaviour.

"The approach is that people tend to be not too punitive about it," Racine said. "They up-sell services instead."

The software platform — called Credentials Sharing Insight — is reportedly being trailed by a number of firms, however Synamedia won't reveal their names.

It would certainly be a good way for Netflix to boost its bottom line without upsetting customers who are doing the right thing.

"Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore. Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action," Racine said in a recent statement.