Our policy in full

1. Introduction & General Terms

The BBC is committed to protecting your and your family's personal information when you are using BBC services. We want our services to be safe and enjoyable environments for our audience. This Privacy Policy relates to our use of any personal information you provide to us via phone or text, by email, in letters or correspondence.

It also relates to our use of any personal information you provide to us online, on mobile or on the Red Button service.

In order to provide you with the full range of BBC services, we sometimes need to collect information about you.

This Privacy Policy explains the following:

  • 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;
  • the use of cookies on BBC websites and how you can reject these cookies.

The BBC is committed to safeguarding your personal information. Whenever you provide such information, we are legally obliged to use your information in line with all laws concerning the protection of personal information, including the Data Protection Act 1998 (these laws are referred to collectively in this Privacy Policy as the "data protection laws").

BBC websites contain hyperlinks to websites owned and operated by third parties. These third party websites have their own privacy policies, and are also likely to use cookies, and we therefore urge you to review them. They will govern the use of personal information you submit, which may also be collected by cookies whilst visiting these websites. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the privacy practices of such third party websites and your use of such websites is at your own risk.

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. It is funded by a government grant, not from the licence fee.

The BBC also has a commercial arm, BBC Worldwide Limited and its group companies (“BBC Worldwide”). BBC Worldwide is a wholly owned subsidiary and returns its profits to the BBC for investment in new programming and services. Amongst other activities, BBC Worldwide operates the international, advertising-funded version of the BBC website, bbc.com, for users from outside of the UK. BBC Worldwide’s activities are only covered by this Privacy Policy in relation to its use of any personal information collected on bbc.com. To find out more about BBC Worldwide, its commercial operations and how it will use personal information collected when you use its other international and UK services, please see its corporate website and the BBC Worldwide Privacy Policy.

When we refer to ‘’we’’ or ‘’our’’ or ‘’the BBC’’ we are referring to the BBC, the BBC World Service 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, 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, depending on the activity.

By submitting your details, you enable the BBC (and where applicable its contractors) to provide you with the services, activities or online content you select.

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 party 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.

The BBC also uses cookies (see section 13 below for details) and collects IP addresses (an IP address is a number that can uniquely identify a specific computer or other network device on the internet) from visitors to BBC websites.

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 and to deal with your requests and enquiries;
  • for "service administration purposes", which means that the BBC may contact you for reasons related to the service, activity or online content you have signed up for, as set out in section 5 below (e.g. to provide you with password reminders or to notify you that a particular service, activity or online content has been suspended for maintenance);
  • 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 provide you with information about our services, activities or online content;
  • to personalise the way BBC content is presented to you (e.g. if the first thing you look at every day on the BBC website is the weather for Luton, we may present this information or a link to it on your homepage);
  • to use IP addresses 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), (see section 12 for details);
  • to analyse and improve the services offered on BBC websites;
  • 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 user. BBC Worldwide uses cookies to work out what advertising might be most relevant to you based on the pages you look at on the international version of the BBC website and other BBC Worldwide sites, and your IP address information. This is a practice widely used by other major web publishers and is known as “onsite behavioural targeting”. The tracking system is anonymised and therefore it does not “know who you are”: it simply uses the limited information available to it to serve ads to you, if you are accessing the BBC website from outside the UK, which it believes are relevant. Find out more about BBC Worldwide’s use of its behavioural targeting system in the international users section of the BBC Privacy & Cookies website. It is important to remember that you will only see this advertising, and receive Behavioural Targeted Marketing cookies, 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 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 use your information for marketing purposes, or to promote new services, activities or online content where you have agreed to this.

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 section 8 below. Generally, we will only use your information within the BBC. However, sometimes the BBC uses third parties to process your information on our behalf. 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.

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. Users without this consent are not allowed to provide us with personal information.

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 registration as a BBC website member and your account is deleted a red flag goes on the database and, while the BBC cannot use the personal information, it stays on the system for a period of one year for administration purposes before being deleted automatically.

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.

Please address requests and questions about this or any other question about this Privacy Policy to the Data Protection Officer, BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP (Email: dpa.officer@bbc.co.uk)

12. What if I am accessing BBC websites outside the UK?

The BBC website is published in the UK by the BBC as bbc.co.uk. The international version of the website, bbc.com, is made available to international users accessing the website from outside the UK by the BBC's commercial subsidiary, BBC Worldwide Ltd, on a commercial basis (i.e. some of the pages you access from outside the UK will have advertising on them) under licence from the BBC. Please note that some pages of the BBC website are made available to users outside the UK on a non-commercial basis (for example, the front page for the BBC World Service’s foreign language sites, e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/index.shtml). All personal information submitted by users outside the UK to bbc.com and to the World Service’s foreign language sites will be processed in accordance with this Privacy Policy (and any local terms that apply to certain areas of the site). Where there is a conflict, the local terms will apply.

13. Cookies Policy - Information the BBC collects from you

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") browser from a website's computer and is stored on your device's hard drive. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser's preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other websites. Many websites do this whenever a user visits their website in order to track online traffic flows.

On BBC websites, cookies record information about your online preferences and allow us to tailor our websites to your interests.

During the course of any visit to a BBC website, the pages you see, along with a cookie, are downloaded to your device. Many websites do this, because cookies enable website publishers to do useful things like find out whether the device (and probably its user) has visited the website before. This is done on a repeat visit by checking to see, and finding, the cookie left there on the last visit.

b. How does the BBC use cookies?

Information supplied by cookies can help us to analyse the profile of our visitors and help us to provide you with a better user experience. For example, if on a previous visit you went to our education pages, we might find this out from your cookie and highlight educational information on your second and subsequent visits. The BBC uses this type of information to help improve the services it provides to its users. All third parties are strictly required not to use any information for their own business or other purposes (see section 6 above). Certain areas of BBC websites may use cookies for a specific reason - for example, to help an online game work effectively on your device.  

Additionally, BBC Worldwide uses cookies to serve some targeted advertising on bbc.com to non-UK users. Further information, including how to opt-out of receiving these cookies, can be found in the international users section of the BBC Privacy & Cookies website.

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. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Flickr, you may be presented with cookies from these websites. The BBC does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these. Find out more about third party cookies in embedded content.

d. BBC cookies and how to reject cookies?

Full information about how the BBC uses cookies can be found in the cookies section of the BBC Privacy & Cookies website.

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.

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, however, you may opt-out of tracking on this website, including analytics (and tailored advertising if you are visiting from outside the UK), by changing your cookie settings here.

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. Changes to BBC's Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time so you may wish to check it each time you submit personal information to the BBC. The date of the most recent revisions will appear on this page. If you do not agree to these changes, please do not continue to use BBC websites to submit personal information to the BBC. If material changes are made to the Privacy Policy we will notify you by placing a prominent notice on the website.

16. 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.

Go to the TV Licensing Privacy Policy to see how the BBC uses your personal information for TV Licensing purposes.

In relation to BBC Worldwide, this Privacy Policy only applies to its use of data collected via the international version of the BBC website, bbc.com, which is accessed by users from outside the UK. For details of how BBC Worldwide uses personal information collected via its other international and UK services please see BBC Worldwide’s Privacy Policy

17. Contacting the BBC about this Privacy Policy

If you any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy please contact:

The Data Protection Officer

BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London

W12 7TP

(Email: dpa.officer@bbc.co.uk)

If you are viewing the international version of this website, bbc.com, and you have any questions or comments about the Privacy Policy, please contact BBC Worldwide via email: dataprotection@bbc.com

 

 

Last updated: March 2014

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