Streaming Services and Screen Accountability

The streaming wars are underway! Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, and so on – everyone is trying to get a “piece of the pie!”  However, to protect their copyrighted material, streaming services do one of the following:

  • When screencasting is being used by another app on the device, the streaming app will block the stream. This prevents the copyrighted material from being cast to another device, where it could be recorded or stolen.
  • When VPN capacities are being used by another app on the device, some streaming apps won’t work. For example, cable service apps (i.e. Comcast’s Xfinity app) will produce an error and not load content if it detects a VPN connection on a device.

A streaming app is programmed to react a certain way when one of those conditions is detected. Why? It needs to protect the content, to make sure it isn’t “pirated” (stolen).

Because our mobile apps will use one of those conditions to provide device-wide accountability, a streaming app may appear to not work. Nothing is broken and Covenant Eyes is not blocking the streaming app. Our app is doing it’s job, and so is their app. It’s simply a technological impasse on mobile devices. We have not seen this impasse on computers.

If, or when, the situation changes, we’ll update this article and make our members aware of the change.


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