back to article BBC to demand logins for iPlayer in early 2017

The BBC is going to require users to log in to access content on iPlayer from early 2017. As part of the BBC iD programme the corporation intends to use watchers' personal accounts to collect data on its audience's interests to tailor its programming. The BBC stated: “TV Licensing will have access to the information but … it …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The login scheme may be used for enforcement purposes in the future, however, and the BBC's own media correspondent considered that “the inclusion of a postcode as part of the new compulsory sign-up information"

    W1A 1AA

    No problem.

    On a more serious note I hope this doesn't bugger up get_iplayer.

    1. batfastad

      My first thoughts as well about get_iplayer. I have a feeling it's doomed.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        I have a feeling it's doomed

        The timing is remarkably coincidental with the attempted crackdown on Kodi.

        1. aelfric

          NOT a crackdown on Kodi

          This is a crackdown on pirate TV streaming boxes built using Kodi and illegally using the Kodi trademark. Kodi specifically disavows any association with these boxes and would be glad to see them all disappear.

      2. yossarianuk

        get_iplayer - radio ?

        Will the changes be needed (i.e login, etc) for listening to radio shows (Live and previously recorded) ?

        As I don't give a toss about TV shows, I do like to download various 6 Music (Craig charles, Gilles peterson, Cerys) and documentaries on world service and radio 4.

    2. Vulch

      Nah, W12 8QT. Let them hunt round the flats they've built there...

      1. Steve Evans

        I'm glad I'm not the only one with W12 8QT burnt into their subconscious.

        I don't know who to blame, swap shop or Blue Peter.

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Blue Peter

          Blue Peter in my case!!

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Blue Peter

            Both W1A 1AA and W12 8QT - I worked at both of them...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Trollface

              Re: Blue Peter

              Try FIQQ 1ZZ - postcode for the Falkland Islands.

              That will blow their brains!

            2. David Nash Silver badge

              Re: Blue Peter

              Was W1A 4WW Radio 1 in the 70s or 80s? I haven't listened since then though!

        2. Putters

          Phone No. Too

          01 811 8055 burnt into the next field in the brain.

          Along with (if you're a fan old old British films) WHItehall 1212 (Scotland Yard)

          And for trivia fans, the TfL helpline (in the building over the road) was WHItehall 1234 and is (0343 222 )1234 to this day ...

          1. Gerry 3

            Re: Phone No. Too

            No, it was ABBey 1234, then 01-222 1234 etc.

          2. thunderghast

            Re: Phone No. Too

            "If you're calling from outside London..." Those were the days!

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Phone No. Too

            "Along with (if you're a fan old old British films) WHItehall 1212 (Scotland Yard)"

            Old films? I can remember it being real e.g. "Listeners who see a man in the Whitechapel area wearing blood-stained clothing are asked to ring Whitehall 1212 immediately."

            1. Anonymous C0ward

              Re: Phone No. Too

              081 811 8181

              (letters)

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      My login for ITV Player was absolutely definitely not David Cameron of 10 Downing St, London, SW1A 2AA, DoB 9/10/1966. I guess I should update those details now...

  2. djstardust

    Crapita

    Have the contract for enforcement.

    I wouldn't worry too much, they are a f***n disaster on a good day.

    As above, just enter any old tripe as a postcode as they have absolutely no way of telling where you are.

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Presumably, logins will be address based

    not personal ? Thereby following the logic of the TV licence.

    Or will we have to trust the BBC with the details - and viewing habits - of every person in a household.

    Even the minors ?

    1. Horridbloke

      Re: Presumably, logins will be address based

      Nope, just those people who watch BBC / iPlayer.

  4. barstewardsquad

    How long

    How long before they need more than just a postcode? After all it is hardly a deterrent to find one to enter, say DL98 1TL for example. I was unable to check if they would accept that one though as apparently they are doing maintenance to their systems that are used for signing it and registering.

    I can see the headline already, BBC iD site down to unexpected demand for accounts.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    But surely...

    just a serial number or passcode off your TV license should do the trick. I mean, it's not like location services aren't available from most device APIs anyway.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: But surely...

      The wrinkle is that your TV license is tied to an address, but that address might contain several people who all want to watch BBC/iPlayer, so they either allow multiple logins from a single account, or multiple logins can share one license.

      Location based monitoring isn't much use either, because your TV license allows you to watch/listen to BBC stuff while you're outside your house.

      Any licensing scheme would have to cope with the totally legit scenario of (for example) one person in the living room, watching TV on an actual TV, via radiowaves (neanderthal), another watching live tv via a desktop computer, a third watching iPlayer on a tablet, and someone else watching via a phone whilst several miles away across town.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But surely...

        "Any licensing scheme would have to cope with the totally legit scenario of (for example) one person in the living room, watching TV on an actual TV, via radiowaves (neanderthal), another watching live tv via a desktop computer, a third watching iPlayer on a tablet, and someone else watching via a phone whilst several miles away across town."

        This has already been solved by the numerous subscription services that are available. It would only require a slight tweak to adjust it for the iPlayer - licenced household model.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: But surely...

          Erm... would you really use a hotel's MyID login? I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a MyID login; I was questioning the validity and usefulness of collecting postcode information when the legal requirement is now to have a TV license for the property you live in (assuming it's not commercial property of course) and there's way more than 1 TV license / household per postcode anyway, and that on a mobile device you might not be in the postcode that your MyID is associated with.

          1. Wensleydale Cheese

            Re: But surely...

            "Erm... would you really use a hotel's MyID login?"

            The answer is possibly "Yes" if I'm staying a hotel for several months at a time while working away from home.

            I honestly don't know and that's why I'm curious.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But surely...

      Yes, I don't understand why they are so keen to say "it's okay we're only collecting all your personal data and personal viewing habits but don't worry we won't be use it to make people pay for a TV licence".

      It is now law that you have to have a TV licence for watching content on BBC iPlayer, so why not ensure you have a login that required a TV licence to use, the same as every other paid for streaming service.

      There is no point in using the amendments to create a law that requires a TV licence and then going out of the way to say "don't panic we aren't going to enforce it".

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: But surely...

        My point was that asking you to put in a postcode to provide regional services is pretty useless given, as you say, mobile devices nowadays means it could be in use anywhere. I can understand the MyID idea - to tie what a person watches with their login so your iPlayer recommends doesn't fill up with period drama, GBBO and soaps when you're into Robot Wars, University Challenge and Click! But how do you tie MyID into a valid TV license which is what they've persuaded the law-givers is needed to reflect modern viewing habits and ensure continuation of a funded service? It just doesn't make sense. It's some kind of Chewbacca defence.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But surely...

          > My point was that asking you to put in a postcode to provide regional services is pretty useless given, as you say, mobile devices nowadays means it could be in use anywhere.

          The law has covered this for years. You can legally use a 'battery powered' device at any location so long as your home is licensed. It creates a peculiar situation where a student watching on a laptop in their digs is covered by their parent's licence unless they plug the laptop into the mains.

          I am curious as to how this login thing will effect radio and S4C content as neither require a TV licence to consume.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: But surely...

            This is true. But there's nothing stopping them allowing, say 16 associations of a MyID per TV license serial number. Should be enough to cover most legitimate households. Or they could just investigate the cases where, say, 200 unique MyIDs are quoting a single license number. They have the license holder's details on file.

            1. Wensleydale Cheese

              Hotels?

              " Or they could just investigate the cases where, say, 200 unique MyIDs are quoting a single license number. They have the license holder's details on file."

              So what happens if you are accessing it from a hotel?

              I assume that any hotel with TVs in bedrooms will have appropriate licences.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hotels?

                "So what happens if you are accessing it from a hotel?"

                You will still need your own licence to watch on your own device at a hotel. The hotel licence will only cover their own TVs, installed in their locations.

                You wouldn't be expected to log in to BBC iPlayer using the Hotel's licence details.

                1. tiggity Silver badge

                  Re: Hotels?

                  But your licence does not allow you to use your device *plugged in* elsewhere (hence students using parents TV licence to save cash & only using iplayer when device not plugged into mains) - and in hotel you might want to charge it and watch iplayer...

                  So a bit of a grey area if hotel TV licence does not cover your iplayer use (plugged in)

          2. Smooth Newt
            WTF?

            Re: But surely...

            The law has covered this for years. You can legally use a 'battery powered' device at any location so long as your home is licensed. It creates a peculiar situation where a student watching on a laptop in their digs is covered by their parent's licence unless they plug the laptop into the mains.

            It is even more bizare than that. e.g. someone is using iPlayer on their phone on the train or wherever. After a bit, the battery starts going flat, so they plug it into the mains and are now breaking the law. I guess iPlayer could conceivably one day include some sort of battery state monitoring for the automatic generation of court summons?

            1. tiggity Silver badge

              Re: But surely...

              Battery state monitoring no use - I have external charger my phone often runs off on long journeys - so not plugged into mains but still getting charged

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: But surely...

            "I am curious as to how this login thing will effect radio and S4C content as neither require a TV licence to consume."

            I'm curious as to when LG will update the iPlayer app on my 2 year old TV so I can enter my shiny new BBC iD code. There was one update IIRC when I first connected it to the network, but as we all know, LG and their pals in the industry are not well known for producing updates for more than a year before deciding your £300+ TV needs replacing if you want s/w updates to be current.

  6. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    ID?

    Why not just ask for the tv licence number and post code of the property and done with?

    On the other hand, given that most users are on DDNS, can smart tvs store trackable info (like an iPlayer cookie) for streaming services? If not, every time you try to watch The Great British Bog Off the thing is going to ask for id info ... "ERROR : no cake without a cookie" ...

    All this prattling about is doing my head in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ID?

      Smart TVs seems to store your login details for Netflix and other media accounts so I can't see that it would be a problem for a BBC login.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ID?

        Smart (sic) TV's connected to the internet? Wow you are living dangeously.

        Are you sure that the Microphone and camera on your so called 'smart' TV is covered up? We don't want the Internet spying on you do we? (te-he)

        Smart TV's are IoT crap as far as I'm concerned. Yes, they can let you watch Netflix. Whoope do. for everything else a devent PVR is far better and does not spy on you.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: ID?

          "a devent PVR is far better and does not spy on you."

          Still have 3 Humax boxes in the house ... much prefer them to streaming the Great British Break-Up on a slow connection.

          "Did you know this is available in HD?"

          "Yes, do you know how much bandwidth the user needs to watch you bleedin' service in HD without it looking like a damn chessboard after a evening out with the BOFH?"

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: ID?

        "Smart TVs seems to store your login details for Netflix and other media accounts so I can't see that it would be a problem for a BBC login."

        Unless the iPlayer app on the TV already has a login function built in, then don't hold your breath waiting for an OTA update from the manufacturer.

  7. inmypjs Silver badge

    "Why can’t I sign into my BBC account today?"

    "We're running some scheduled maintenance on our systems today, which means you can't sign in or register for a BBC account right now. We're sorry for the inconvenience, but things will be back to normal by tea time tonight."

    Just lol. I occasionally watch iplayer, but, anything worth watching on the beeb is available elsewhere on the internet in better quality and DRM free.

    Having to log in will annoy the crap out of me (I don't do permanent cookies for anyone). If getting an 'iD' requires violation of my personal privacy policy (of not providing any valid information to anyone on the internet if I don't have to) then I won't bother.

    Hardly watch any live TV so maybe it will be time to get rid of the license.

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: "Why can’t I sign into my BBC account today?"

      After tea time....

      Throw away email address and postcode for broadcasting house worked fine.

      Maybe I should create a few more spare iDs just in case - oh and it is called a BBC account now not iD.

  8. Blofeld's Cat
    Coat

    Right ...

    "... it will not be used for enforcement purposes ..."

    "The thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind" - Douglas Adams, HHGTTG

    1. Smooth Newt
      Meh

      Re: Right ...

      "... it will not be used for enforcement purposes ..."

      Not having a TV iplayer licence is a criminal offence, so the forces of law and order can legally obtain access to the data regardless of the purposes stated for its collection and retention.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Right ...

        >Not having a TV iplayer licence is a criminal offence, so the forces of law and order can legally obtain access to the data regardless of the purposes stated for its collection and retention.

        Not for much longer as it's moving to a civil offence - it's pretty much impossible to be convicted now unless you self-incriminate. Even if they were able trace your IP they have to prove who was actually watching - not the property/phone etc they were watching from.

    2. Whitter
      Unhappy

      Re: Right ...

      What purposes *will* it be used for?

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Right ...

        Marketing.

        I would rather it be used for enforcement than to spam me on 'since you watched this, you might like that' or, in my case, 'why you no watch television??'

        1. Smooth Newt
          Meh

          Re: Right ...

          in my case, 'why you no watch television??'

          Alternatively, your inbox will be completely stuffed with spam advertising television sets, and your "online experience" will mostly involve seeing lots of adverts for television sets.

  9. Nik 2

    Smart TV's too?

    I can't see my semi-smart TV being able to cope with this. Software evolution driving hardware obsolescence :-(

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Smart TV's too?

      I would have thought that to earn the title "Smart" - at a very minimum - the TV firmware is capable of being updated over the air ?

      My (3 year old) LG still occasionally gets updates, and the iPlayer app recently changed to insist I press "Yes I have a TV licence" before running.

      However, there is a question of how the BBC implement this - although I'd be surprised (but not shocked) if they did it in such a way that a million TVs become obsolete overnight.

      1. skswales
        FAIL

        Re: Smart TV's too?

        Err... like them dropping support for MHEG based ones. This month. Oh sorry, it's only a very small number according to Auntie: http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv/v2_closure Bastards.

  10. TheProf

    Got one

    I used to have an account. I thought I'd see if it's still valid.

    I got the 'maintenance' message and now I'm being served BBC.COM.

    Sounds like a fun day with Auntie.

    (Edit: Silly me. I was using Opera VPN hence the .com site. Probably. Carry on.)

  11. Cuddles Silver badge

    "tailor its programming"

    The entire point of on-demand services like iPlayer is that I can choose what I want to watch, when I want to watch it. If I wanted someone else to tell me what to watch, I'd just stick with broadcast TV. Spying on me in order to "tailor its programming" is the exact opposite of the reason to use iPlayer.

  12. Ged T
    WTF?

    What does the 'Login' protect, exactly?

    iPlayer is largely used to deliver 'another chance to see' content that has already been broadcast, free-to-air (I know there's the minor exception of BBC!!!). I don't need a 'login' to view the 'free-to-air' content, be that delivered on Freeview/Freeview HD DVB or over FreeSat DBS/S2 (which broadcasts free-to-air to the entire footprint of western Europe, as a minimum, and wider still with a larger receiver dish..)

    It seems to me that the BBC and the public would be far better served if the BBC were to spend the cost of this nonesense on much better content, rather than yet another 'technology for it's own sake' project.

    IF it has to be technology for it's own sake, I'd like to see the BBC put much better effort into transforming content delivery by dropping FlashPlayer - Newer technologies have the DRM that BBC would adore and would also allow the tracking of users, their points of presence, devices and capabilities in a much more efficient and effective way than a 'home-grown' approach would muster.

    Finally, there seems to be (deliberate) ambiguity about the proposal to require a Login and the use of the consequential data that will be gathered. The BBC will need to be clear what the 'defined use' will be of the (meta-)data they will collecting, who it will be shared with and host of other Ts&Cs declarations. To turn over the datasets to Television Licencing, for other 'tracking with punative intent' purposes, sounds like a major Data Protection and Data Misuse proposition...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What does the 'Login' protect, exactly?

      (Deliberate) ambiguity? Really? On a TV licensing enforcement matter?

      Mine's the one hung up on the back of the seat in that TV Licence van which can apparently snoop WPA2 WiFi and measure the light coming out of someone's window and cross-reference it with every programme ever made available on catchup.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What does the 'Login' protect, exactly?

      Not a problem. As per usual, all the T's and C's will be hidden behind the usual tick here to agree with a link to "read more". 99.9% of the great unwashed won't even click the link, and 99.9% of the others will balk at the "page 1/170" showing at the bottom of the screen when the T'cs and C's/privacy policy finally appears on their smart TV, and will just click "back" and "I agree" at that point.

      The 0.0001% left who read the entire document will reject it, write a ranty post about why on usenet and go back to recompiling Gentoo from source, so whatever horrors are hidden there won't be picked up by the press anyway...

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Post of the day!

        "The 0.0001% left who read the entire document will reject it, write a ranty post about why on usenet and go back to recompiling Gentoo from source, so whatever horrors are hidden there won't be picked up by the press anyway..."

        Probably true.

        Have an upvote :-)

    3. Wensleydale Cheese
      Thumb Up

      Good news on the FlashPlayer front

      "I'd like to see the BBC put much better effort into transforming content delivery by dropping FlashPlayer "

      Currently listening to a Beeb Radio programme from Sunday using Safari 10 on macOS Sierra.

      No Flash in sight. This is coming via HTML5.

      Long overdue but HOORAY FOR NO FLASH!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good news on the FlashPlayer front

        is this due to the later safari avoiding flash like the plague? and in reality using crapos version n will still use the flash version, and get infected?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and how will they verify details?

    You want to watch BBC?! BBC will watch YOU!

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: and how will they verify details?

      I hope the BBC watches me telling it to fuck off.

  14. MrTuK
    Big Brother

    BBC ??

    Does anybody with any real intelligence actually watch the BBC anymore ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC ??

      Given that an increasingly larger portion of the "news" output is now given over to interviewing some 'star' flogging their latest 'film' or a blatant advertorial for some other BBC programme, I think the intelligent people are getting more than a little vexed.

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: BBC ??

        news.bbc.co.uk = Social Media aggregator.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BBC ??

        The BBC's remit is to educate, inform and entertain (IIRC). It's historically done quite well on the first two, but as the increasing numbers of chavs wielding a sky remote and moaning about the cost of the TV license shows, they're not seen to have done so well on providing purely populist content. There's also the fact that endless hours of reality TV is so much cheaper than crafting even modest amounts of original content, and budgets are getting tighter as the (Murdoch-loving) politicians keep having a go at the BBC. Dumbing down is pretty much the only course of action the BBC have left.

        At the end of the day, the BBC is a national broadcaster, which has to conform to national tastes, both high brow and low brow. And unfortunately for the people who like high brow content, there's a lot more of them than there are of you.

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: BBC ??

          It's true, the news is getting increasingly rubbish but there is a lot of good stuff still on the BBC. +1 to the vote for BBC4.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: BBC ??

      I watch a fair bit of BBC4. Unfortunately, the programs do tend to repeat quite frequently.

    3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: BBC ??

      Ha, quite right - real intelligence, BBC, what a laugh. I get all my content from ITV and Sky news..

  15. MrGutts

    I just want to know when will I be able to use iPlayer here in the States fully supported by the BBC without using a VPN. I need to get my weekly fill of Eilidh, Yalda and Mishal!

  16. Marcus Fil

    Profile this, Auntie!

    Three cats in the household - all have email accounts. Need to count the surviving guinea pigs and give them accounts too. Then register them all with Auntie. Members of the household so covered by the existing licence. I am willing to bet the guinea pigs will watch some absolute dross.

  17. Bob Rocket

    Get rid of the licence

    and sell it to Murdoch whilst it's still worth something.

    Leave State broadcasting to the DPRK

  18. Adair

    Just stop using Flash!

    Please.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Just stop using Flash!

      Ahem:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/html5

      Work in progress.... Not complete coverage of the schedule/catalog, plus not all devices/OSes/Browsers

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do the BBC make anything worth watching?

    I struggle to think of anything

    1. TRT Silver badge

      There is a tendency to farm off the actual production and the inherent risks to smaller "independent" single-shot production companies. But we all know who pays for it all. So the short answer to your question is "Yes, they do".

      1. MOV r0,r0

        Why not farm out the whole thing from a small commissioning group?

        Four thousand seven hundred million pounds a year would buy a lot of content.

  20. andy gibson

    Not all games need a login

    A favourite of mine (reminds me of Choplifter or Cyclone on the Spectrum), no idea how it's missed being culled as the TV programme died a death years ago:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/rockface/game/main.swf

  21. Tromos
    Flame

    Smart TV no more

    Over the past couple of years I've observed my Samsung smart TV losing feature after feature as Samsung shut down services and fail to provide updated apps. Looks like iPlayer is going that way too as I can't see Samsung suddenly releasing an updated version that handles a login for older models of TV. The TV is otherwise fine and is a good (IMHO) 46 inch LED panel that I have no plans to replace for the next few years. The computer is out of the question as Adobe software is blocked at every possible level. Do I get compensated by the BBC for loss of services?

    1. Marcus Fil

      Re: Smart TV no more

      Roku, or similar, for about £30. Even if you have to replace it in a couple of years still cheaper than a smart TV. Learned the hard way when my top of the line 3D LG 55" started getting dumber and dumber. Note to TV manufacturers - not buying another smart TV - EVER, EVER. Probably build my own rig with 3D 4K projector next.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would have thought El Reg commentards were BBC4 fans

    plus Radio 4 at the very least ?

    1. MOV r0,r0

      Re: I would have thought El Reg commentards were BBC4 fans

      Radio 4? Guardian FM more like. Now largely Archers trailers displacing the pro-migrant stories which were shuffled off to World Service radio, consequently ruining the last bastion of BBC impartiality.

  23. renniep

    License Fee

    So change the process so I can access the iplayer outside of the UK by entering my license number. Very irritating for the expats that pay for a license but cannot use it outside of the country. I spend nine months out of the country so get no value for my license fee.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: License Fee

      Unfortunately that probably breaks their contractual obligations with geolocked copyright licenses. They need to start amending their standard licensing terms to be able to transmit their licensed content to anyone with a demonstrably valid(*) TV license.

      (*) for some metric of "demonstrably valid" which will no doubt change over time. The first caveat will no doubt be "you can purchase a TV license if you are a permanent UK resident", or some such

  24. Chronos Silver badge

    A date of birth

    and a postcode. Nobody said it has to be yours. As usual, somebody doesn't understand the Internet.

    Having just paid for this year's telly tax, I'm left wondering whether it's going on Flop Gear or this white elephant. Either would be an utter waste of money but it would be good to know exactly which failure I'm paying for.

  25. The Average Joe Bloggs

    The simple solution is to just get rid of your TV, free yourself from live television and start watching catchup(not iplayer) and subscribe to netflix/amazon.

  26. Fink-Nottle

    Radio too?

    It will be interesting to see if the same login scheme is implemented on iPlayer Radio.

  27. batfastad

    BBC

    Whenever anyone complains about the quality of the BBC's content vs commercial/subscription output just point them to Sky One's Friday night schedule... 9pm: A Day In Greggs!

    You think educational/intellectual quality of the BBC has gone down? Unfortunately I feel they're just mirroring the general standard of society.

    I'm amazed it's taken so long for them to start trying to lock down iPlayer use to be honest. The costs must be pretty significant. I know a few people who complain about the License Fee and that they don't own a TV but are happy enough to gorge themselves on the latest Dr Who/Strictly/whatever.

  28. Gerry 3
    Facepalm

    Why Date of Birth?

    What a good idea to tell the BBC your Date of Birth ! What could possibly go wrong?

    DoB is something absolutely no-one else would know or could ever find out, and no bank or agency would ever ask for it as part of an ID check.

    And the John Lewis Partnership Card account would never just ask for your DoB and the last four digits of your phone number...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Why Date of Birth?

      "What a good idea to tell the BBC your Date of Birth !"

      I always choose whatever the oldest or youngest possible age is allowed by the system :-)

  29. Fonant
    Happy

    W1A 1AA works fine for me.

  30. Ian Emery Silver badge

    "Do You have a TV Licence"

    Was the challenge when I went to use iPlayer on my smart TV a few days ago (not for me, for the ankle-biter).

    The options were

    "YES"

    "NO"

    I think that is a perfectly fair content control system.

  31. TJ1

    Is this a breach of the BBC Royal Charter?

    So before we can consume networked BBC iplayer content we have to enter into an additional contract involving the exchange of our (valuable) personal data?

    <sarcasm> Will the over-the-air broadcasts refuse to decode if we don't provide the same data to those 'smart' TVs and radios? </sarcasm>

    It seems like the iplayer content is no longer 'free'. How does this square with the BBC's current charter which says:

    13. No charge to be made for reception of the UK Public Services and associated content.

    (1) The BBC must not charge any person, either directly or indirectly, in respect of the

    reception in the UK, by any means, of—

    (a) the UK Public Services

    It is arguable that requiring personal data as a condition is a (direct or indirect) charge in that the BBC requires valuable information (if it was not of value to the BBC there would be no reason to ask for it).

  32. Troll.the.trolls

    what you need is....

    Gov.uk Verify, frictionless, secure, over the top .......

  33. Gandalf87

    What exactly, does the word, "login" means?

    I don't get it. Will they be demanding cable logins like those with most American channels where you can stream their TV online but not without the cable provider's logins? Or is it their own user ID and password? Like a BBC account or something? If it's the former, does that mean you won't be able to login if you don't have a cable or if you're outside UK?

  34. //DLBL SYSRES

    The licence fee should be scrapped and the BBC made to use subscriptions and/or advertising to generate cash. It seems unreasonable that you cannot view any broadcast TV without it, bearing in mind all other broadcasters have to raise their income from advertising.

    I gave up on Broadcast TV and the BBC licence a few years ago as I spend six months a year out of the country. The Numpties enforcing the fee (Crapita?) could not understand my reluctance to pay for a service I was not receiving, so I abandoned negotiation and told them to poke their licence where the sun doesn't shine. This has lead to a series of interesting, yet threatening letters which stop just short of a delivering plague of boils.

    I now subscribe to Netflix and use radio and internet as a news source. I cannot say I miss BBC TV (or the others) one little bit and I get the added benefit of a monthly enforcement letter from the goons. This month, it features a threat to turn up with a search warrant. They never give up, they just recycle the letter series.

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