social media or official BBC content on other websites;
mobile and TV Applications (“Apps”);
the Red Button service
It also relates to our use of any personal information you provide to us by phone, SMS, email, in letters and other correspondence and in person
In order to provide you with the full range of BBC services, we sometimes need to collect information about you.
what information the BBC may collect about you;
how the BBC will use information we collect about you;
when the BBC may use your details to contact you;
whether the BBC will disclose your details to anyone else;
your choices regarding the personal information you provide to us;
2. Who are we?
The BBC is the largest broadcasting organisation in the world. We are a public service broadcaster, established by a Royal Charter and primarily funded by the licence fee that is paid by UK households. The BBC includes the BBC World Service, which broadcasts to the world on radio, on TV and online, providing news and information in 32 languages.
The licence fee is supplemented by income from the commercial exploitation of licence fee funded content and infrastructure through three commercial subsidiaries – BBC Worldwide Ltd, BBC Global News Ltd and BBC Studios & Post Production.
BBC Worldwide and BBC Global News operate the international, advertising-funded version of the BBC website, bbc.com, for users from outside of the UK. Some sections of bbc.com, for example bbc.com/earth, are made available to UK users by BBC Worldwide on a non-commercial basis (i.e. the adverts have been removed).
When we refer to ‘’we’’ or ‘’our’’ or ‘’the BBC’’ we are referring to the BBC, the BBC World Service, BBC Global News and BBC Worldwide (but only in relation to BBC Worldwide’s use of information collected via bbc.com).
3. What information will the BBC collect about me?
When you participate in, access or sign up to any of the BBC’s services, activities or online content, such as newsletters, competitions, live chats, message boards, web and mobile notifications, telephone or text the BBC, vote, donate money to a BBC charity appeal, book tickets for a BBC event or create an account using the BBC’s online registration system we may receive personal information about you. This can consist of information such as your name, email address, postal address, telephone or mobile number or date of birth, as well as information collected about your use of BBC services (such as what you read or watch on BBC Online).
Please note that sometimes we will require you to provide additional personal information, and sometimes sensitive personal information (e.g. if you're sending in an application to be a contributor on a political programme we may need to know your political leanings). When we do this we will provide further information as to why we are collecting your information and how we will use it.
Where we provide personalised services, we may ask your permission to review third party data about you, for example your Twitter or Facebook feeds, to get to know you better and to provide more effective personalisation. Some of our services enable you to sign-in via a third-party service such as Facebook. If you choose to sign-in via a third party app, you will be presented with a dialog box which will ask your permission to allow the BBC to access your personal information (e.g. your full name, date of birth, email address and any other information you have made publicly accessible). Please note that any information that is not required by the particular service you have opted to use will not be retained by the BBC.
4. How will the BBC use the information it collects about me?
The BBC will use your personal information for a number of purposes including the following:
to provide our services, activities or online content, to provide you with information about them and to deal with your requests and enquiries;
where we provide personalised services, we may need to analyse the information you supply, as well as your activity on our services, so that we can offer you a better personalisation service (e.g. use your viewing history on iPlayer to provide personalised recommendations or if the first thing you look at every day on BBC Online is the weather for Luton, we may present this information or a link to it on your homepage). If you are signed-in or subscribed to email newsletters, you will receive a personalised service. If you do not wish to receive this, please sign-out and/or unsubscribe from the emails;
to contact you about a submission you have made, including any content you provide. For additional information, please see the UGC FAQS (User Generated Content Frequently Asked Questions);
to use IP addresses and device identifiers to identify the location of users, to block disruptive use, to establish the number of visits from different countries and to determine whether you are accessing the services from the UK or not. If not, you will be re-directed to the international version of the BBC website (bbc.com);
for analysis and research purposes so that we may improve the services offered by the BBC;
to provide you with the most user-friendly navigation experience. The BBC may also use and disclose information in aggregate (so that no individuals are identified) for marketing and strategic development purposes; and
when you access the BBC website from outside the UK, you will see the international version, bbc.com, which features advertising. A certain amount of this advertising is tailored to the individual, a common practice known as online behavioural advertising. Find out more in the Ad choices for non-UK users section of the BBC Privacy & Cookies website. It is important to remember that you will only see this advertising, and receiveonline behavioural advertising, if you are visiting bbc.com from outside the UK.
Where the BBC proposes using your personal information for any other uses we will ensure that we notify you first. You will also be given the opportunity to withhold or withdraw your consent for the use of your personal information for purposes other than those listed above.
5. When will the BBC contact me?
The BBC may contact you:
in relation to any service, activity or online content you have signed up for in order to ensure that the BBC can deliver the services to you;
in relation to any correspondence we receive from you or any comment or complaint you make about BBC products or services;
in relation to any personalised services you are using;
in relation to any contribution you have submitted to the BBC, e.g. on the BBC message boards or via text or voicemail message;
to invite you to participate in surveys about the BBC services (participation is always voluntary); and
for marketing purposes, where you have agreed to this (see section 6 below)
Local pages will give you detailed information about how the BBC will contact you in relation to specific services, activities or online content.
6. Will I be contacted for marketing purposes?
The BBC will only send you emails or otherwise contact you for marketing purposes, or to promote new services, activities or content where you have agreed to this. Where you have agreed to receive these communications, we may personalise the message content based upon any information you have provided us and your use of BBC Online.
7. Will the BBC share my personal information with anyone else?
We will keep your information confidential except where disclosure is required or permitted by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies) or as described in this section and section 8 below.
Generally, we will use your information within the BBC and will only share it outside the BBC where you have requested it or given your consent, for example if you choose to share content via social media. However, sometimes the BBC uses third parties to process your information on our behalf, for example to provide services or analysis. The BBC requires these third parties to comply strictly with its instructions and the BBC requires that they do not use your personal information for their own business purposes, unless you have explicitly consented to the use of your personal information in this way.
We may share your personal information internally (i.e. with other BBC divisions) for example, to check your details against the TVL database. However, where we propose to share information in this way, which may be unexpected, we will give you the opportunity to opt-out of your information being shared in this manner. Please see section 4 above for more details.
8. Offensive or inappropriate content on BBC websites
If you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to BBC websites or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on any BBC service, the BBC may use your personal information to stop such behaviour.
Where the BBC reasonably believes that you are or may be in breach of any applicable laws (e.g. because content you have posted may be defamatory), the BBC may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties such as your employer, school email/internet provider or law enforcement agencies about the content and your behaviour.
9. What if I am a user aged 16 or under?
If you are aged 16 or under, please get your parent/guardian's permission before you provide any personal information to the BBC.
10. How long will the BBC keep my personal information?
We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity, or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you hold with the BBC or the BBC's corporate retention schedule (a database that defines which documents should be kept and for how long). If you cancel your BBC iD registration some personal information is deleted immediately, a flag goes on the database and, while the BBC cannot use the remaining personal information, it stays on the system for a period up to one year for administration purposes before being deleted or anonymised for analytical purposes.
Where you contribute material to the BBC we will generally only keep your content for as long as is reasonably required for the purpose(s) for which it was submitted. For example, we will only keep copies of entries to a photographic competition for the duration of the competition. However other projects (e.g. the People's War website) are likely to have a longer, or even permanent, duration.
The BBC, as a publicly funded organisation, also has an obligation to record snapshots of history which may include some User Generated Content i.e. content provided by the public. Therefore, some content submitted to, or shared with, the BBC may be retained for prolonged periods of time or potentially indefinitely in the BBC's Archive, which is true of News contributions which are published. There may also be rare instances where we will share your contribution with third parties in the interests of maintaining historical archives (e.g. contributions about people's experiences in the Second World War were given to the Imperial War Museum). Where possible, we will endeavour to inform you upfront or let you know at a later date where we are likely to keep content indefinitely or pass it onto an approved historical archive.
11. Can I find out what personal information the BBC holds about me?
Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to request a copy of the personal information the BBC holds about you and to have any inaccuracies corrected. (We charge £10 for information requests and require you to prove your identity with 2 pieces of approved identification). We will use reasonable efforts to supply, correct or delete personal information about you on our files.
12. What if I am accessing BBC websites outside the UK?
You may notice that some sections of bbc.com are available within the UK, for example bbc.com/earth. These are made available by BBC Worldwide to UK users on a non-commercial basis (i.e. the adverts have been removed).
13. Web browser cookies
a. What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes a unique identifier that is sent to your computer, tablet or mobile phone (referred to here as a "device") web browser from a website's computer and is stored on your device's hard drive. Each website can send its own cookie to your web browser if your browser's preferences allow it. Many websites do this whenever a user visits their website in order to track online traffic flows. Similar technologies are also often used within emails to understand whether the email has been read or if any links have been clicked. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the BBC website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.
On BBC websites, cookies record information about your online preferences and allow us to tailor our websites to your interests.
c. Third Party Cookies in embedded content on BBC pages
Please note that during your visits to BBC websites you may notice some cookies that are not related to the BBC or the BBC’s contractors.
To support our journalism, we sometimes embed content from social media and other third party websites. These may include YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr. As a result, when you visit a page containing such content, you may be presented with cookies from these websites and these third party cookies may track your use of the BBC website. The BBC does not control the dissemination of these cookies and you should check the relevant third party's website for more information. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the BBC website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.
Where the BBC embeds content from social media and other third party websites, some sites may use Google Analytics to collect data about user behaviour for their own purposes. The BBC does not control this and for more information see GA’s site ‘How Google uses data’.
BBC Sharing Tools
You will also see embedded ‘share’ buttons on BBC web pages; these enable users to easily share content with their friends through a number of popular social networks. When you click on one of these buttons, a cookie may be set by the service you have chosen to share content through. Again, the BBC does not control the dissemination of these cookies. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the BBC website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.
d. BBC cookies and how to reject cookies
If you wish to control what cookies are set on your device through the BBC website then you can find out how to do this in the Managing Cookies section of the BBC Privacy & Cookies website. It is important to note that if you change your settings and block certain cookies, this means that certain personalised features cannot then be provided and accordingly you may not be able to take full advantage of all of the websites' features.
e. Other information collected from web browsers
Your web browser may also provide the BBC with information about your device, such an IP address and details about the browser that you are using. Where requesting local news or weather, it may be possible for you to choose to provide the BBC with access to your device’s location through the web-browser. We use information provided by your browser or by the link that you have clicked to understand the webpage that directed you to BBC Online and this may be captured by performance cookies.
14. Do Not Track (DNT) browser setting
DNT is a feature offered by some browsers which, when enabled, sends a signal to websites to request that your browsing is not tracked, such as by third party ad networks, social networks and analytic companies. This website does not currently respond to DNT requests.
A uniform standard has not yet been adopted to determine how DNT requests should be interpreted and what actions should be taken by websites and third parties. The BBC will continue to review DNT and other new technologies and may adopt a DNT standard once available.
15. Mobile devices and TV apps
When you download or use BBC apps on your mobile device or TV, information may be accessed from or stored to your device. Most often this is used in a similar way to a web browser cookie, such as by enabling the app to ‘remember’ you or provide you with the content you have requested.
Your web browser or device may also provide the BBC with information about your device, such as a device identifier or IP address. Device identifiers may be collected automatically, such as the device ID, IP address, MAC address, IMEI number and app ID (a unique identifier relating to the particular copy of the app you are running).
Full information about how the BBC uses this information can be found in the Mobile devices and TVs section of the Privacy & Cookies Policy.
If you have any concerns about the information which might be accessed from or stored to your device by the BBC, you may wish to only access BBC content through a web browser and to alter your settings as discussed above in “Web browser cookies” section of the website, available here.
17. Other BBC Operations e.g. TV Licensing
Some areas, such as TV Licensing and BBC charity appeals have their own privacy and cookies policies which you should also read before submitting your personal information.