In an effort to boost user privacy, Netflix is changing the way it serves up video streams on its website.
The main part of the change if officially moving from HTTP to HTTPS protocols, meaning the connection is encrypted, which makes it much more difficult for any potential eavesdroppers to see what you’re streaming. Netflix’s HTTPS rollout is officially in full swing, which Netflix’s Randall Stewart, Alex Gutarin and Ellen Livengood described in a blog post on Monday.
“This helps protect member privacy, particularly when the network is insecure — ensuring that our members are safe from eavesdropping by anyone who might want to record their viewing habits,” the team wrote.
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Though Netflix announced announced its intentions for the switch over a year ago, they had to first figure out how to make the switch simultaneously for their 83 million users. Simply, they added encryption on their Open Connect servers, and expect that most streams will be using transport layer streams by the end of the year. You can read a much more detailed technical description here.
The switch to more secure connections also benefits Netflix, as it will be much harder for hackers for to collect their valuable viewer data. Netflix’s main competitors, Amazon Prime and Hulu, also use HTTPS for their sites.