HOUSTON - Our Verify team is looking into a question a lot of us have asked - is it legal to share passwords for things like Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go?
Consumer Reports says 46% of adults admit to sharing a streaming password with someone who is not part of their household.
Here's what our Verify team found:
- According to criminal defense attorney Scott Robinson, the courts have not been clear on this issue.
- When it comes to password sharing, people often cite a 2016 legal decision that found it was illegal for a man to access his old company's computer system by borrowing a current employee's password.
- While the court of appeals ruled it was a crime, the majority opinion said it's decision was not about password sharing.
- While the legality is murky, Robinson says there is little chance anyone would ever be prosecuted for sharing a streaming password because it would cost too much money to prosecute such a minor crime.
While we cannot verify if sharing passwords is illegal, it's improbable that charges would be filed.
Scott Robinson, criminal defense attorney