Bloomberg: Credential-sharing logic starts to come into focus

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A Bloomberg article about password sharing reveals tactics being considered to separate the abusers from those who follow the rules.

An example used in the article was to define permissions around device and location: “While someone logging in from a phone or tablet would be fine, someone using a Roku device at a second location could be considered a likely freeloader…” Another is to impose ‘light touch’ interventions like re-entering your password.

Read the entire article on Bloomberg

Why it’s important

Anyone who has ever developed an app or a Web site has had to contend with branching logic, and as simple as credential sharing might sound, it could raise some real challenges.

For example, consider this:

A pay TV operator offers multiscreen video service, including out-of-home access. A household can have up to 6 active personal devices. The rights holder for one particular program allows playback only on large screens, in home; so TV STBs and streaming devices are OK but not mobile smartphones, PCs and tablets. Another allows just one active stream if they sign up under a promotional offer.

Now, what depends on what, who does it happen to, and what happens first?

We need to confirm that the user has access, and detect the device and the location. If the user forwards an ID and password to a friend with a mobile phone, we can detect that the person is out-of-home and attempting to access the program outside of the permitted subsriber’s location. So that one’s relatively straightforward.

But then what?

Additional rules could apply, depending on whether the program is live or on-demand. If there are ads associated with it, location will have an impact on which ads will play. You can see where this is going! Not to mention that the service platform has to accommodate this branching logic. Quite a challenge.

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