- Millions of people all over the world are currently sharing passwords for video and music streaming services.
- DoNotPay’s new Chrome extension lets you share access to your account without actually having to tell anyone your private password.
- DoNotPay CEO Joshua Browder says the extension “does not store the cookies or have access to them.”
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There’s no escaping streaming in 2020. Whether you want to listen to your favorite songs, watch your favorite shows and movies, or tune in for live television broadcasts, chances are that you’re doing so with a paid subscription service. In general, these services are far less expensive than their traditional counterparts (have you seen how much it costs to have a cable subscription these days?), but there’s a loophole that many of us take advantage of that makes the services even cheaper: Sharing our passwords with friends and family members.
In the future, companies will inevitably start to crack down on this behavior, but for now, it’s surprisingly easy to give someone else access to virtually any of your streaming service accounts. The only problem is that not everyone feels comfortable actually sharing their password, even if it’s the only place where they use it and even if they’re sharing it with someone they trust. That’s where DoNotPay’s brilliant new extension comes in.
You might know DoNotPay as the company that will offer you legal advice through an AI-powered app, but they also make a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to share a variety of accounts — Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, and more — without actually having to give up your password. Instead, when you’re on a site with an account you want to share, you can click the DoNotPay button to generate a link you can share with others. When someone receives that link, they will gain access to your account, though they need the extension too.
“All big streaming providers explicitly include [the proviso] that multiple people can stream at the same time, such as Netflix, which allows more than three streamers on certain accounts,” DoNotPay founder/CEO Joshua Browder told VentureBeat in a recent interview about the extension. “There are many legitimate and allowed ways to share your account — for example, [with] a significant other, close friend, or roommate. This service just allows you to share it securely and easily with a link — without giving them your password.”
Browder also says that DoNotPay “does not store the cookies or have access to them,” and uses a security company to provide encryption as the cookies are transmitted that should keep them safe from prying eyes. You should also be aware that the people you give access to will be able to make certain changes to your account, but they can’t actually alter important account information or change the password without knowing it first.
At the end of the day, DoNotPay’s new extension doesn’t seem to be doing anything other than making an extremely common practice both easier and safer, but it will be interesting to see how services respond.