Why does the BBC need my per­sonal info?

Computer Active (UK) - - Letters -

In her ‘BBC Bril­liant Web Tools’ Cover Fea­ture in Is­sue 510 Jane Hoskyn says that “on bal­ance, were fine with” hav­ing to sign in to use the BBC’S iplayer. I for one think that the BBC has gone far be­yond what is needed to en­sure only those with a li­cence are able to ac­cess its pro­grammes.

While I have no ob­jec­tions to giv­ing the BBC my li­cence num­ber and ad­dress, I fail to see why it also needs my name and age (the li­cence after all ap­plies to the dwelling and all its res­i­dents, not just the per­son who pays for it). It is yet an­other or­gan­i­sa­tion re­quir­ing all the in­for­ma­tion it can get hold of about us with­out any real jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Why does the BBC need our ages? It lets them bar adults from sites in­tended for chil­dren. But we could pro­vide a fic­ti­tious age. How­ever, if the BBC can check whether ages pro­vided are gen­uine, why do we need to give them at all? Can’t we sim­ply state that we are over eigh­teen?

We don’t need a TV li­cence to lis­ten to ra­dio, so why do the same re­stric­tions ap­ply to iplayer Ra­dio? Surely the BBC could im­ple­ment a method whereby we don’t need to sign in. They could then (if they have to) in­sist we sign in should we want to con­trib­ute to a fo­rum, or per­form an­other ac­tiv­ity such as sync­ing. I.M. Wil­liams

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