The good ole days of sharing your Amazon Prime password between you and your closest friends are over.
Amazon quietly started clamping down over the weekend on password sharing by limiting the number of people who have access to its $99-a-year Prime service to just two. Previously, shoppers could have added up to four people to divide the cost and use the expedited shipping.
Moving forward, the new “Amazon Households” program restricts the number of subscribers to just two, but now both users have access to the plethora of Prime features like streaming TV shows and movies (in addition to speedier shipping).
An odd feature of the change is that both people on the account can see each other’s purchases and have access to credit card information presenting a security dilemma or privacy breach for people who aren’t that close.
Amazon sneakily rolled out the change. Members of the discount sharing message board Slickdeals were among the first to take note, warning other users not to take off someone from their Prime membership because they can’t be added back.
“I’m kinda surprised they let it go on this long given the abuse it was getting. RIP,” someone wrote.
Password sharing is a rampant problem in the tech industry. Netflix, for example, limits how many streams are occurring at the same time depending on which plan is purchased, yet a user can share their password to as many people as they want. It’s estimated that as many as 10 million people use Netflix for free.
Similarly, HBO GO is battling its own password sharing culture but the company say it’s “just simply not a big number” worth going after — a wildly different attitude that Amazon is displaying.
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