One of the things that always bugged me about Netflix in the past was the lack of parental controls. In other words, if I wanted to let my kids watch a movie using my Netflix account, they had full access to every movie in the Netflix database. Now, I’m not taking anything away from good parenting and teaching your kids right and wrong choices, but some of the titles and cover images that appear on the screen when you log in to Netflix are enough to force a parent to ban their kids’ use of Netflix for good.
And then there’s the whole issue of the shared queue. No matter whether you or your kids add a movie to the queue to watch later, they all go in the same bucket. This isn’t necessarily a problem in and of itself but it can really mess with the suggestions Netflix makes for you.
That’s why I love the new “Profiles” feature Netflix has introduced. It allows you to create separate profiles for each person in your family. Each person then gets their own movie queue and their own suggestions. You can also choose to have the Netflix Kids interface load for specific profiles which is another attempt to keep children from seeing movies more suitable for kids over the age of twelve.
So now when you log in to Netflix on their website, your set-top box or through the Netflix app on your iPad, it first asks you which profile you want to load.
Is it foolproof? Not even close. There’s nothing to stop my child from clicking my profile when I’m not there (remember what I said about no substitute for good parenting?) Adding a PIN for each profile (or at least the adult ones) would be the next logical step.
But it’s a start. And it’s better than having nothing.