Now that Amazon reportedly has 40 million Prime subscribers, the e-commerce site is tightening the screws on its sharing capabilities. As of this weekend, subscribers can only share their Prime membership with one other person, rather than four–and both people sharing Prime privileges will have access to all credit cards on the account.
New changes to Amazon’s policies will make it more difficult to share subscriptions with non-family members, and also presume that users won’t mind making their credit card information available to the other person on their account:
In order to share content, Prime benefits, and Amazon Mom benefits, both adult account holders need to authorize each other to use credit and debit cards associated with their Amazon accounts for purchases on Amazon. This will not affect either of their current payment settings, but each adult will be able to copy the credit and debit cards of the other account to his or her Amazon account and use them for purchases with Amazon.
This update seems to be a ploy to force people to shell out $99 for individual subscriptions. While families may be comfortable sharing credit cards, it’s harder to imagine situations where friends, coworkers, or neighbors may do the same. Amazon is also introducing the option of creating up to four “child” profiles, which will allow families to use the same account; however, these child profiles also give Amazon the ability to track the media consumption habits of individual children in households.
Amazon’s changes are not being made retroactively for current subscribers, and appear to target mainly new Prime subscribers and subscribers whose accounts are up for renewal.