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Up to a quarter of young people share passwords forvideo streaming services such as Netflix - but that could soon be a thing of the past.

Don't panic if you're just sharing with family and friends, as Netflix may just nudge you to upgrade to a premium account. The internet consumer protection group Electronic Frontier Foundation has pushed for laws to protect password sharing.

In fact, the company reported that almost 26 percent of millennials share their Netflix credentials, which it says could add to billions of dollars in losses for streaming services if left unchecked.

Once data has been analysed, the streaming service can then decide the course of action for users believed to be sharing their passwords.

A combination of artificial intelligence and behavior analytics is used to detect unusual sharing activity across streaming accounts.

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That includes a range of factors, from where an account is being accessed from, what time it's typically used, what TV shows or movies are being watched, and what device a user is using to access said content. However, it will also be able to work out if the freak log-ins are fair game, such as the user being on holiday or whether they have shared passwords with a family member who lives away from home. For example, Netflix has a subscription tier that allows one account to be streamed on four different devices at once.

Synamedia says that until now, content providers have turned a blind eye to casual password sharing as it helps market their service to new audiences.

Chief product officer, Jean Marc Racine, said people sharing passwords has become too popular and too expensive for streaming companies to ignore. If the sharing pattern is extreme, which might mean that the credentials have been sold online to multiple users, the streaming service could simply shut down the accounts. If that practice continues through 2021, that would reportedly add up to $11.1 billion in losses to video and OTT services.

Available as a cloud or on-premise offering, Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight is already in trials with a number of pay-TV operators.