Why Netflix is spending millions on encryption

The popular streaming service Netflix recently announced in their quarterly letter to shareholders that they plan to secure their entire service with HTTPS.

While some parts of Netflix already use encryption, such as the registration and payment services, the intention is now to encrypt the entire service for users on all platforms. This includes the data sent and received as part of the streaming service.

Significant costs

In October last year, Netflix said that they were investigating encrypting their entire service but claimed that it could cost them “$100’s of millions a year” to implement.

Netflix hasn’t explained exactly why they’ve done decided to roll out HTTPS, although sources speculate that the Snowden revelations have some part to play.

2014 was a watershed year for security with a number of high profile companies and individuals suffering cyber-attacks. The trend continued in 2015 and Netflix has followed the likes of Google to adopt HTTPS across more of their services.

Improving user privacy

As Netflix explained in their letter, the wider adoption of HTTPS “helps protect member privacy, particularly when the network is insecure, such as public wifi, and it helps protect members from eavesdropping by their ISP or employer, who may want to record our members’ viewing for other reasons.”

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