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Sharing passwords for a video streaming site? This company will use AI to track you down

January 08, 2019 / Janko Roettgers

A password for Netflix or HBO Go can be a precious thing that’s offered to a romantic partner or gifted from a family member (and saved for future use). But for UK company Synamedia, a password like that is a password to be hunted down. At CES this year, the firm unveiled a new service that uses machine learning to spot shared passwords.It works like this: a streaming service buys access to Synamedia’s platform, which analyzes data from all its users. It looks at a range of factors, like where an account is being accessed from, what time it’s used, what content is being watched and by what device, and so on. It then looks for patterns that indicate a shared password, and it gives the service provider a probability score — a guess at how certain the system is that it’s found an infringer.“A typical pattern would be you have a subscriber that is simultaneously watching content on the East Coast and West Coast of the US,” Synamedia’s CTO, Je...