New software can be used to track shared Netflix accounts

If adopted, it could be the latest in a change to the way streaming services clamp down on users gaming the system.

New software from Synamedia can "sniff out" account sharing automatically, and was shown off at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The days of sharing your Netflix or Amazon Prime password with friends and family could be coming to an end. It will train the AI-based system on factors such as location from where an account is being accessed from, what time it's used and for what duration, the content being watched, which device is being used, so on and so forth. Based off that, it looks for patterns that indicate a shared password, giving the service provider a probability score at how certain the system is that it's found a rule-bender.

Fingers crossed we can stay watching on our ex's account for a little bit longer!

"Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore", Synamedia's Jean Marc Racine said in a statement last month.

The new system - called the Credentials Sharing Insight is now being trialed by a number of firms. A study from Parks Associates concluded that, by 2021, credentials sharing could account for $9.9 billion in losses for pay-TV revenues and $1.2 billion in OTT revenues.

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

"Using AI, behavioral analytics and machine learning, Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight identifies, monitors and analyzes credentials sharing activity across streaming accounts", the company's website says.

'Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action.

It is expected anything from sending an email alerting the user to more premium account models that allow more than one person to access the service to a complete account ban entirely are possible repercussions.

According to Synamedia, its system is now undergoing pilot trials at a number of undisclosed streaming firms.

Vanessa Coleman