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Netflix preps rollout of PIN protection, ratings guide for parents who want control

Contributed by
Mar 5, 2018

Not crazy about the idea of your kid seeing skulls get crushed on The Punisher? Worried that young eyeballs might melt at all that skin (and skull crushing) on Altered Carbon? Netflix is hoping the new parental control options it’s getting ready to roll out will give you the solution you’ve been seeking.

The streaming giant has just announced plans for a pair of new features that will allow account owners to PIN-lock programs on a show-by-show basis, as well as find a more prominent place for maturity ratings among its scrolling program lineup.

In an official blog post, Netflix director of enhanced content Mike Hastings said the changes are intended to “provide members with the information and tools they need to make wise decisions about what’s right for themselves and for their families.” Hastings said the changes will begin to hit various Netflix platforms across markets worldwide in the next few months.

The PIN control will allow members to fine-tune their control over “a specific series or film,” said Hastings, giving parents a more robust tool than the current setup, which categorically blocks all shows that fall within a prescribed maturity rating.

As for the ratings themselves, those will be changing to more prominently show “the maturity level rating for a series or film once a member hits play on a title,” said Hastings. Currently, a show’s rating appears when a viewer visits its title screen, but disappears once a movie, or a single episode in a series, has been viewed.

In addition to the announced changes, Netflix added that it’s still looking at other “ways to make this information more descriptive and easier for our members to understand with just a quick glance.”

With Netflix growing to launch hundreds of series, movies, and documentaries in the coming year, the viewing options — and families’ choices about what’s appropriate for whom — will only grow. Hastings didn’t specify which of the changes would show up first, but when your scroll does begin to take on a different look, at least you’ll be ready.