Nobody wants to devote an unnecessary chunk of their increasingly small minimum wage to Netflix, so it’s common for multiple people to make use of one account. Understandably, people share their things like this, and as of right now the company is friendly toward the practice.
However, it’s not making some other media providers enough money, and some are seeking the help of disturbingly advanced technology to invasively analyze the behavior of users.
Showcased at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a UK startup company “flaunted” an artificial intelligence driven tool that they bill as something to help media-service providers such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, to crack down on people who share accounts.
The company Synamedia created something they call “Credentials Sharing Insight” to rat out “unusual or extreme patterns” on the accounts of streaming service users. Basically it sounds like the goal is to create one of those annoying dialogues a user may be confronted with, for instance with their online bank account, logging in from a different computer or region of the country: ninety nine percent of the time just a useless obstacle in the way of quickly logging in.
With machine learning technology, the company hopes to decipher whether or not log in patterns are “legitimate” or suspicious. They claim that the machine learning will also be intelligent enough to realize when a user is on a holiday vacation logging in from somewhere else, or whether they shared a password with someone who consistently lives somewhere else.
Common sense tells you that the “machine learning” would become dangerously close to a user’s location information, and that privacy is considered an irrelevant factor in the opinion of this start-up.
An article about this noted: “One survey found that 26 percent of millennials use the password from someone else’s account to watch shows on an online streaming service.”
A survey should determine how many millennials are progressively earning more money and advancing in life rather than being stuck in what some refer to as wage slavery: not a lot of them are able to progressively improve with their income, not a lot of opportunity for filling an economic niche exists in a world where giant corporations dominate almost every market.
Netflix has maintained a position that happens to oppose the proposition by these researchers, as at least 2 years ago at CES 2017, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said “We love people sharing Netflix. That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.” He is also on the board of Facebook.
That’s certainly a respectable attitude, hopefully they will maintain that. Meanwhile, Sky UK invested a lot of money into Synamedia on January 8 after they revealed the development. Unfortunately, filling a niche for corporations who want to seal up “problems” like this probably isn’t difficult, and this principle of money is why it tends to create less positive things when wealth is concentrated, rather than more positive things.
We’ve long collaborated with the team at @SynamediaSPVSS to help bring great content, products and entertainment to millions of customers across Europe – this investment will help deepen our innovate partnership 🤝📺 https://t.co/N9tb57CzYH
— Sky Corporate (@SkyCorporate) January 8, 2019
This flavor of technology, tools to rigidly enforce things that maybe shouldn’t be rigidly enforced, is something that people who appreciate freedom should probably oppose at every turn.
There’s almost an energy to the idea of rigidly enforcing something like this, through analyzing the personal behavior of a user: it’s a disrespectful energy, one that makes things contrived, and it may leave a person with a violated feeling or something along those lines.
It’s for that reason that the enforcement of such a rule would probably be worse for people than having to pay more money for their subscription.
The free spirit of people does not thrive in rigid regulation, not that media-service providers are particularly relevant to that concept.