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2 March 2007
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The following statement explains our policy regarding the personal information we collect about you.
  1. Introduction
  2. Visitor Information
  3. What is a cookie?
  4. Submitting personal information
  5. Access to your personal information
  6. Users 16 and under
  7. How to find and control your cookies
  8. How do you know which sites use cookies?
  9. How to see your cookie code
  10. List of bbc.co.uk cookies
1. Introduction
This policy covers the BBC's use of personal information that the BBC collects when you use bbc.co.uk. The policy also gives you information about cookies; BBC and third parties' use of cookies; and how you may reject such cookies.
From time to time, you will be asked to submit personal information about yourself (e.g. name and email address) in order to receive or use services on our website. Such services include newsletters, competitions, live chats, message boards and bbc.co.uk membership.
By entering your details in the fields requested, you enable the BBC and its service providers to provide you with the services you select. Whenever you provide such personal information, we will treat that information in accordance with this policy. When using your personal information the BBC will act in accordance with current legislation and aim to meet current Internet best practice.
2. Visitor Information
During the course of any visit to bbc.co.uk, the pages you see, along with a short text file called a 'cookie', are downloaded to your computer. Many websites do this, because cookies enable website publishers to do useful things like find out whether the computer (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.
Information supplied by cookies can help us to provide you with a better online user experience and assist us to analyse the profile of our visitors. 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.
Nielsen//Netratings and SageMetrics, two independent measurement and research companies, gather non-personal information regarding the visitors to our website on our behalf using cookies, log file data and code which is embedded on our website. The BBC uses this type of information, as with that obtained from other cookies used on the site, to help it improve the services to its users. If you wish to reject Nielsen//Netratings' cookie and SageMetrics' cookie, you can use the process set out below in point 7. To Totally Opt-Out of Nielsen//Netratings collecting any data regarding your interaction on bbc.co.uk, use the Opt-Out in their Privacy and Cookie Policy at http://www.netratings.com/privacy.jsp?section=leg_scs​. To Totally Opt-Out of SageMetrics collecting any data regarding your interaction on bbc.co.uk, use the Opt-Out in their Privacy Statements and Policies at http://www.sagemetrics.com/ popup-dynamic.asp?pagename=privacy_main​.
3. What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a website's computer and stored on your computer'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 web site to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.
Many sites do this whenever a user visits their website in order to track online traffic flows.
Cookies record information about your online preferences. Users have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. The last of these, of course, means that certain personalised services cannot then be provided to that user user and accordingly you may not be able to take full advantage of all of the bbc.co.uk features. Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.
If you have set your computer to reject cookies you can still browse bbc.co.uk anonymously until such time as you wish to register for bbc.co.uk services. For further information on cookies please visit http://www.aboutcookies.org​.
4. Use and storage of your personal information
When you supply any personal information to bbc.co.uk (e.g. for competitions, bbc.co.uk Community services or bbc.co.uk membership) we have legal obligations towards you in the way we use those data. We must collect the information fairly, that is, we must explain how we will use it (see the notices on particular webpages that let you know why we are requesting the information) and tell you if we want to pass the information on to anyone else.
In general, any information you provide to the BBC will only be used within the BBC and by its agents and service providers. Your information will be disclosed where we are obliged or permitted by law. Also, if you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to bbc.co.uk or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on bbc.co.uk, the BBC can use whatever information that is available to it about you to stop such behaviour. This may involve informing relevant third parties such as your employer, school e-mail/Internet provider and law enforcement agencies about the content and your behaviour.
We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as you use the service you have requested, and remove it in the event that the purpose has been met, or, in the case of bbc.co.uk membership you no longer wish to continue your registration as a bbc.co.uk member. For safety reasons, however, the BBC may store messaging transcript data (including message content, member names, times and dates) arising from the use of bbc.co.uk Community services such as Connector for a period of six months. Where personal information is held for people who are not yet registered but have taken part in other bbc.co.uk services (e.g. competitions), that information will be held as long as is necessary to ensure that the service is run smoothly. We will ensure that all personal information supplied is held securely, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
If you are notified on a bbc.co.uk site that your information may be used to allow the BBC to contact you for "service administration purposes", this means that the BBC may contact you for a number of purposes related to the service you have signed up for. For example, we may wish to provide you with password reminders or notify you that the particular service has been suspended for maintenance. We will not contact you for promotional purposes, such as notifying you of improvements to the service or new services on bbc.co.uk unless you specifically agree to be contacted for such purposes at the time you submit your information on the site, or at a later time if you sign up specifically to receive such promotional information.
5. Access to your personal information
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.)
Please address requests to the Data Protection Officer, MC3 D1, Media Village, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ (Email: dpa.officer@bbc.co.uk​).
6. Users 16 and under
If you are aged 16 or under, please get your parent/guardian's permission beforehand whenever you provide personal information to the BBC's website. Users without this consent are not allowed to provide us with personal information.
7. How to find and control your cookies
If you're using Internet Explorer 6.0 or 7.0:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Internet Options
  3. Click the Privacy tab
  4. Click on Custom Level
  5. Click on the 'Advanced' button
  6. Check the 'override automatic cookie handing' box and select Accept, Block or Prompt for action as appropriate.
If you're using Firefox 2.0:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Options
  3. Click the Privacy icon
If you're using Firefox 1.0 or 1.5:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Options
  3. Click the Privacy icon
  4. Click the Cookies tab
If you're using Opera 8.0 or 9.0:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Preferences
  3. Advanced
  4. Cookies
If you're using Opera 7.0:
  1. Choose File, then
  2. Preferences
  3. Privacy
If you're using Netscape 6.0:
  1. Choose Edit, then
  2. Preferences
  3. Click on Advanced
  4. Click on Cookies
If you're using Internet Explorer 5.0 or 5.5:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Internet Options
  3. Click the Security tab
  4. Click on Custom Level
  5. Scroll down to the sixth option to see how cookies are handled by IE5 and change to Accept, Disable, or Prompt for action as appropriate.
If you're using Internet Explorer 4.0:
  1. Choose View, then
  2. Internet Options
  3. Click the Advanced tab
  4. Scroll down to the yellow exclamation icon under Security and choose one of the three options to regulate your use of cookies.
If you're using Internet Explorer 3.0:
  1. Choose View, then
  2. Options
  3. Click on Advanced
  4. Click on the button that says Warn before Accepting Cookies.
If you're using Netscape Communicator 4.0:
  1. Choose Edit, then
  2. Preferences
  3. Click on Advanced
  4. Set your options in the box that says Cookies.
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8. How do you know which of the sites you've visited use cookies?
If you're using Internet Explorer 5.0, 6.0 or 7.0:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Internet Options
  3. Click the General tab
  4. Click Settings
  5. View Files
If you're using Firefox 2.0:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Options
  3. Click the Privacy icon
  4. Show Cookies
If you're using Firefox 1.0 or 1.5:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Options
  3. Click the Privacy icon
  4. Click the Cookies tab
  5. View Cookies
If you're using Opera 8.0 or 9.0:
  1. Choose Tools, then
  2. Advanced
  3. Cookies
If you're using Opera 7.0:
  1. Choose File, then
  2. Preferences
  3. Privacy
  4. Click on Manage Cookies
If you're using Netscape 6.0:
  1. Choose Edit, then
  2. Preferences
  3. Click on Advanced
  4. Click on Cookies
  5. Click the View Cookies button
If you're using Internet Explorer 4.0:
  1. Choose View, then
  2. Internet Options
  3. Under the tab General (the default tab) click
  4. Settings
  5. View Files.
If you're using Internet Explorer 3.0:
  1. Choose View, then
  2. Options
  3. Advanced
  4. View Files.
If you're using Netscape Communicator 4.0:
Netscape bundles all cookies into one file on your hard drive. You'll need to find the file, which it calls Cookie.txt on Windows machines. [Top]
9. How to see your cookie code
Just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.
10. List of bbc.co.uk cookies
This is a list of the main cookies that bbc.co.uk sets, and what each is used for:
BBC-UID cookie
A unique identifier given to each computer to allow log analysis to determine the number of unique users for various parts of bbc.co.uk. Data is only used in aggregate.
BBCMediaselector cookie
Used to store your user preferences for Audio-Video content from bbc.co.uk - format (Real player or Windows Media player) and quality (narrowband or broadband).
BBCPostcoder cookie
Used to store your user preferences for geographic specific content on bbc.co.uk - allows pages to present information for your local area, primarily on the homepage, but also in other areas like bbc.co.uk/arts.
BBCWEACITY cookie
Used to store your user preferences for home city - allows the the weather site to present information for your local area.
BBCNewsAudience cookie
Used to store your user preferences for which edition (domestic UK or International) of the BBC homepage, Radio, TV and Weather homepages, News site and Sport site you wish to view when visiting www.bbc.co.uk.
BBCNewsAudcWght cookie
Used to record the degree of certainty of the domestic UK or International edition preference ascribed to you. If you make an express preference (see above) then we can be certain of which edition of the domestic UK or International site to serve to you. If you do not express a preference we will make a guess of varying degrees of certainty as to which edition of the domestic UK or International site is most appropriate for you based on your IP.
BBCNewsAudcWghtUpd cookie
Used to keep track of when your BBCNewsAudcWght cookie (if any) was last updated. This ensures that, where we have guessed which edition of the domestic UK or International site is most appropriate for you, we continue to review our assumptions.
SSO2-UID cookie
Used to allow you to be automatically signed in to a bbc.co.uk service which you have previously registered for.
BBC-H2-User cookie
Used for user authentication for the bbc.co.uk messageboard system.
rmRpDetectReal cookie
Used to store a preference to prevent 'You don't have Real player installed ...' alerts coming up if you really don't want to install it and don't want to be pestered with requests to do so.
*votename* cookie
Some voting systems on bbc.co.uk may set a cookie to discourage voters voting more than once. In each case the cookie's name will reflect the vote in question.
Survey cookie - "bbcsurvey"
Used to ensure that once you have taken a BBC survey, or said that you don't want to be surveyed, that you are not offered the same survey again.
bbcComSurvey
Used to ensure that once you have taken a BBC survey, or said that you don't want to be surveyed, that you are not offered the same survey again. This cookie is used when there are two concurrent surveys being run.
myway
Used to store your user preference for which colours to use (for example, high contrast colour scheme) on bbc.co.uk/accessibility.
BBCLiveStatsClick
Used to capture the co-ordinates of clicks made on the BBC News pages. The cookie expires after 8 seconds and the information is used to inform editorial decisions about page layout and promotion.
BBCHomeOpt
Used to store user preferences for customisable elements, where available, on the bbc.co.uk homepage.
BBCNewsCustomisation
Used to store user preferences for customisable elements, where available, within news.bbc.co.uk.
British Broadcasting Corporation © 2001-2006
Broadcasting House,
Portland Place,
London,
W1A 1AA
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