Netflix starts blocking rooted Android phones from downloading app

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 15 May 2017
Netflix starts blocking rooted Android phones from downloading app
  • This change in policy starts with the version 5.0 release of the app and those with rooted Android phones will no longer see the app on the Play Store

If you are a Netflix subscriber, you’ll now have to think twice before you decide to root your smartphone. Netflix has blocked rooted phones from downloading its app. The version 5.0 of the app leans entirely on Google’s Widevine digital rights management in order to prevent privacy. So, devices which aren’t Google-certified or has been altered will not be able to view the app on the Play Store. 

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A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement, “With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on multimedia enablers provided by Google services; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store.”

While there is no official reason why Netflix has taken this step, it most likely has to do with content piracy. It is theoretically easier to remove copyright protection from rooted phones than from non-rooted phones, and this step could only be an attempt by the company to protect its privacy.

Piracy isn’t the only thing that Netflix has to worry about. A few weeks back, Netflix was held ransom by a hacking group, which got its hands on the first 10 episodes of the platform’s prison drama, Orange Is The New Black. After the company reportedly failed to fulfil demands, the group posted links to the leaked episodes on Pastebin.

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