Netflix today announced that it is updating its parental controls to create more detailed protection for young viewers. The service is also adding clearer maturity level rating labels to its content.
We are improving some long-standing Netflix features that provide members with the information and tools they need to make wise decisions about what’s right for themselves and for their families.
First up is the service expanding the existing PIN feature to let parents restrict individual movies, shows, and series. As my colleague Benjamin mentioned, this may be seen as a hassle by many users to apply limits on an individual basis, but Netflix sees it as an important step nonetheless.
The first change involves introducing a PIN parental control for individual movies and series to give parents and guardians more specific control over what children can watch on the service. We understand that every family is different and that parents have differing perspectives on what they feel is appropriate to watch at different ages.
The more broad and useful PIN parental control feature has been available to users for quite some time. This new update isn’t yet live, but will apply to both the web and iOS devices.
The second update will see Netflix more clearly presenting the maturity label ratings for all content.
While these maturity ratings are available in other parts of the experience, we want to ensure members are fully aware of the maturity level as they begin watching. We are also continuing to explore ways to make this information more descriptive and easier for our members to understand with just a quick glance.
While it’s nice to see improved parental controls, The Verge notes that this announcement may be coming because Disney is expected to launch its own streaming service, likely with strong parental controls to fit the brand.
Apple has received criticism over its limited parental control offerings this year and has said that it will be bringing improvements in a future update.
As for Netflix, it says that these updates will be released globally in the “coming months” and will apply to many devices.
Keep an eye on Netflix settings here for when the new fine grain parental controls launch. The PIN and individually restricted movies, series, and content will have to be set up on the web, and then will apply across to the Netflix app on various platforms including iOS.
Also keep in mind even though the PIN still shows when the PIN protection level is set to “Adult”, the PIN won’t function at all as it is essentially a disable option. To use the existing and upcoming parental controls, you’ll need to move the level to “Teens”, “Older Kids”, or “Little Kids”.