Netflix: can a law really prevent the ban on account sharing?

Netflix: can a law really prevent the ban on account sharing?

2023-06-05 11:55:48

“So no Netflix, here it’s not Koh-Lanta, we don’t change the rules of the game at the last moment”. In a video of 50 seconds published on his Twitter account, the deputy of France Insoumise Louis Boyard looked at one of the topics of the moment: the upcoming ban on Netflix account sharing. The platform announced at the end of May that its subscribers in France will now only be able to share their account for free with members of their household.

The deputy of insubordinate France announces that he will table a bill for prevent Netflix from prohibiting user account sharing. “When there are two or three of us on the same account, it’s often that we don’t all have the means to pay for our own account, and young people are a good example of this. So yes, sharing between families and friends is solidarity, it’s popular culture, ”argued the MP in his video.

Louis Boyard’s cabinet tells Le Parisien that the bill will not stop at Netflix. “We are going to target contracts for the supply of digital content and services quite broadly. It could apply to Netflix as well as to other platforms, streaming or even video games, ”explains one of his collaborators. “This is what we want to institute: as soon as the service offers a number of screens, the latter does not have to be restricted by the place where we are or the identity of the person using the account. “.

“With this law, the clause will become abusive”

Can such a law really see the light of day? Louis Boyard, he believes in it. And has two objectives with its bill. “We want to create a legal provision enforceable against the platforms, and at the same time say that they do not have the right to control the user connection networks”, details his cabinet. Indeed, to put an end to the free sharing of accounts, Netflix will be based in part on the IP address and the identifier of the consumer’s device.

Is the platform entitled to do so? “Under French and European law, companies can collect personal data, but it must be framed and the purposes must be well defined”, explains Aurore Bonavia, lawyer specializing in intellectual property. “Each data collection must be justified. In this specific case, the data must have been collected by Netflix for the needs of its activity, to meet the terms of the contracts with their customers, ”she explains.

If we rely on Netflix’s general conditions of use, signed by each customer when subscribing to a subscription, the collection of the IP address and connection networks is essential for the platform. “ Only people who live with you can use your account (…) The Netflix service, and any content viewed through the service, is for personal, non-commercial use only and should not be shared with anyone outside your household. », State one of the clauses.

The CNIL monitors

“We are not a litigant who will complain about a contract before a court”, recalls an employee of Louis Boyard. “We want to create the layout that will allow users to say ‘ no you can’t make me pay more, no you can’t impose this rule on me “, because with this law, the clause will become abusive”.

Despite everything, the chances of seeing this law come into force are slim, believes Me Bonavia. “We must stop this nonsense very quickly and be serious,” said Guillaume Champeau, Legal and Public Affairs Director of Clever Cloud, a solution for deploying and maintaining sites and applications in operational conditions, on his Twitter account. Contacted, Netflix claims to have learned of Louis Boyard’s ambitions but does not wish to comment on them. According to our information, the elected representative of La France insoumise should submit his bill within the next two weeks.

CNIL (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) specifies to the Parisian that the Netflix device to prohibit the sharing of accounts “can only be implemented in compliance with the RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation, Ed) and , where applicable, of the so-called ePrivacy regulations, in particular relating to the use of trackers”.

The commission assures that it will question its Dutch counterpart, the country where Netflix’s European headquarters are located, “about the nature of the identifiers processed and the combination of the data collected”. In other words, the CNIL wants to ensure that the methods used by the streaming giant to put an end to account sharing will comply with European law.

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