Sharing your streaming account password is a personal choice. That said, it violates many streaming platforms’ terms of service – and you could be banned from the site for doing it. What Is Password Sharing? People have been sharing their passwords for different subscription business model accounts such as music, video and sports streaming services (and even Uber and Amazon). “By somebody sharing their account with another person, (they hoped) that person over time would love Netflix so much that they’d get their own account,” streaming media expert Dan Rayburn says. According to a March 2022 survey by Leichtman Research Group, about 64% of respondents said they paid for and used their own accounts, while approximately 33% said their accounts were “used in more than one household.” Now, companies are changing their stances. and trying to put an end to password sharing. For example, Netflix recently decided to heighten restrictions on password sharing in an effort to increase revenues. Is Password Sharing Illegal? When it comes to legality, password sharing is a gray area. Some have pointed to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 cybersecurity law designed to counter hacking, as applicable to password sharing. And a US appeals court ruled in 2016 that password sharing did qualify, making it a federal crime. But there’s no precedent of someone bringing a case to court over the issue. “I don’t think it’s ever been actually brought to court,” Michael D. Smith, professor of information technology and marketing at Carnegie Mellon University, says. While the laws surrounding it may not be concrete, Rayburn says that password sharing does violate terms of service agreements.”Pretty much every piece of software that you use on your computer says something to the effect of, there are certain things you can do with the software versus things you can’t,” he says. Violating those terms of service could have its own consequences – the site could terminate your services.Each streaming platform has its own terms of service and each sets its own consequences for violating them.Issues Regarding Account Sharing The obvious reason people share their accounts is to make streaming cheaper. While many consumers have switched to streaming to cut cable bills, streaming services’ costs can really add up.That rise in cost has led some users to change their minds about having their own pa sswords for each streaming service they use. Sharing one account among a family could make it cheaper but could also violate the terms of service if someone shares outside of that household. Review these four reasons sharing your password could be an issue:1. It Might Make Your Streaming Less PrivateIf you’re concerned about your online privacy, sharing passwords to access your Amazon Prime, Uber or streaming services accounts could give people access to your data. And that data includes things such as your use history and payment information. And if it’s a password you use for different accounts, it could compromise those as well.2. It Could Eventually Cost More For Netflix subscribers, password sharing could have its own cost because the company has tested a way to add extra members and share outside of a subscriber’s household at an additional cost. Although it hasn’t been tested in the US yet, Netflix has rolled the program out in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.3. It Could Disrupt Your Service Many streaming services limit the number of screens that can stream content at one time. So, if you’re sharing your password with other people, it might leave you with a blank screen, which means you wouldn’t be able to use the service you actually pay for.4. There’s an Ethical Question at Hand When it comes to password sharing, Smith feels there’s an ethical issue around “taking” content. It’s wrong to take something from someone who hasn’t given you permission to take that thing. In this case, Netflix has been very clear that these services are only for people in your household,” he says.