Netflix Adds PIN-Protected Profiles As Usage Surges During Coronavirus Quarantine
Netflix may not have a cure for the coronavirus, but it has a fix for roommates who screw up your “continue watching” queue.
The streaming service this week introduced PIN-protected profiles, as millions of roommates and couples in the US approach their second month of quarantine.
Putting a PIN on an account profile can prevent other users from impacting Netflix’s personalized recommendation algorithm. It can also keep freeloaders from getting into your profile, say if your roommate shares your password with his sister.
The tool is advertised as a parental control feature — designed to keep kids away from adult content and safely tucked away in their child-friendly profiles — but can be applied to any profile regardless of whether parental control settings are activated on the app.
The PIN was introduced along with a number of other profile tweaks meant to make parents’ lives a little bit easier, including disabling auto-play of TV episodes and allowing parents to temporarily block specific titles.
Netflix has seen a surge in traffic over the past month as countries around the world have imposed lockdown orders to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Late last month, the streaming juggernaut committed to reduce its streaming quality in Europe to help reduce web traffic on the continent’s networks by 25 percent.
Netflix made the change after EU industry chief Thierry Breton asked streamers to do their part to prevent internet gridlock caused by the pandemic.
AT&T said two weeks ago that Netflix traffic hit an all-time high on its network, as more and more Americans tuned in to popular shows like “Tiger King.”