How does the BBC collect data about me?

Page updated: 10 May 2017

You provide some data yourself

For instance, when registering for a BBC account:

  • Anyone under 13 has to provide their date of birth and choose a username
  • Anyone aged 13 to 17 has to provide their date of birth and email address
  • Anyone over 18 has to provide their email address, postcode and year of birth
  • We also ask everyone what gender they identify as. You can choose female, male or enter another term of your choosing. And there’s also an option if you’d prefer not to say.

You can find out more here.

We collect some data automatically

Like your IP address, what browser and device you’re using, and your unique identifier. And we can tell what webpage directed you to the BBC by looking at information from your browser.

If you’re signed in we’ll also know how you use the BBC. This helps us give you a better, more personalised BBC.

Any BBC apps on your phone, tablet or TV may store info on your device. And we may access that info. When you ask for local news or weather, you can choose if you want to give us access to your device’s location.

We may use all this data to see how you’re using the BBC online.   

We share some of your personal data with TV Licensing, to see if you are using BBC iPlayer and to keep their database up to date. Find out more about when you need a TV Licence.

We also collect data about things you 'Add'

For instance, if you add artists you want to follow in BBC Music. 

There’s more info about adding here

How does the BBC use my data?

Information about your gender, age and location helps us see how different people are using the BBC and check we’re making something for everyone.

Based on what we know about you, we may also show you adverts about BBC products and services on other websites, such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. For instance, to let you know about a new programme you might like.

If you don’t want to see these adverts, some websites will let you stop them. Each website is different, so you’ll need to check with them how to do that.

You can also stop these BBC adverts by turning off BBC personalisation. Here’s how to do that:

  1. First make sure you’re signed in. If you don’t see either “You Account” or a display name at the top of this page you’ll need to sign in by clicking on “Sign in”.
  2. Once you’re signed in click on “Your Account”.
  3. Then click on “Settings”.
  4. On the next page select “Privacy and cookies”. If you see a green tick next to “Allow personalisation” this means BBC personalisation is turned on. Click on the green tick to turn it off. If you don’t see a green tick then don’t worry, you won’t need to do anything.

Remember, if you choose to turn off BBC personalisation you won’t be able to:

  • Pick up where you left off with programmes you're part way through
  • Enjoy a more personal experience on BBC apps and services such as iPlayer
  • Get recommendations about things we think you'll like.

Read more about BBC personalisation here.

Can I see a history of everything I’ve watched?

When you’re signed in, the My Programmes section in iPlayer shows any programmes you’re part way through. So you can pick up where you left off with anything you haven’t finished. Or find the next episode in a series you’ve been watching.

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