DoNotPay Disappeared! Chrome extension that allows you to share Netflix without divulging password vanishes

(Image credit: Future)

Netflix and chill out from sharing your password already!

DoNotPay is offering streaming members the ability to share their accounts -- Netflix, Disney+, Spotify and more -- without divulging their password, but the Chrome extension mysteriously disappeared from the web store. We spoke to DoNotPay's mastermind, Joshua Browder, who gave us more insight on what the heck happened.

"It’s amazing that a link change is so newsworthy," Browder told Laptop Mag, explaining that DoNotPay's download was temporarily unavailable due to some updates on their end.

DoNotPay launched two days ago, but now, the Chrome extension is missing in the web store, which sent the media in a question-filled frenzy of "What happened?" and "Why did it disappear?"

FastCompany reported that DoNotPay's disappearance was a result of the Chrome extension violating Chrome's web store policy, but when asked if this was the case, Browder said, "No. We had to update the screenshots and fix one of the links within the extension."

Browder told Laptop Mag that the latest download link for DoNotPay is available on their website. "It definitely is still publicly available," he confirmed.

(Image credit: DoNotPay)

As of this writing, though, users must install DoNotPay through the Chrome web store's dev mode. When asked if this was temporary, Browder told Laptop Mag, "Yes, we included something in the screenshots that should not have been there and have since resolved the issue."

It's no surprise that disappearance of DoNotPay had fans scrambling for answers. It's a useful feature, for example, for those who've fallen into a nostalgic rabbit hole of old-school films on Disney+ or spiraled into Netflix obscurity and want to share the experience with others, but at the same time, don't want to reveal their password.

This is where DoNotPay, a knight in shining armor for streaming security, comes galloping in to save the day.

"This service just allows you to share [your accounts] securely and easily with a link — without giving them your password," Browder told VentureBeat.

In other words, when you land on a streaming site you want to share, you can simply click on the DoNotPay button, and it will generate a link for you to share with others. Once an individual receives the link, they'll have access to your account. 

You may be wondering, "Is this even legal?" It is -- for now.

“All big streaming providers explicitly include [the proviso] that multiple people can stream at the same time, such as Netflix, which allows more than three streamers on certain accounts,” Browder said.

Nearly 30% of Netflix users share their accounts with family and friends, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Netflix may start cracking down on account sharing in the future, but for now, they're letting it slide. Netflix CFO Spencer Neuman said, "We have no big plans to announce at this time in terms of doing something different [with password sharing]."

It's also worth noting that Netflix's terms of use state that account holders should not reveal their passwords. Spotify uses similar language in its legalese. DoNotPay could have a loophole, though, based on the fact that users are technically not sharing their passwords at all.

If you're concerned about the security of DoNotPay's platform itself, Browder reassured users that they shouldn't be concerned.

"DoNotPay does not store the cookies or have access to them. We use VGS [Very Good Security], which provides encryption and PCI II compliance and is trusted by many fintech companies," Browder said.

Though popular streaming sites such as Netflix, Disney+ and Spotify are the most obvious use cases for DoNotPay, the Chrome extension could work for virtually any website. You could use DoNotPay, for example, to share your Amazon Prime account.

The DoNotPay subscription sharing tool is totally free, however, DoNotPlay will use its platform to advertise its other paid services.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!