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Privacy and Cookies Policy
1. Introduction and General Terms
The BBC is committed to protecting you 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 through the bbc.co.uk websites.
In order to provide you with the full range of BBC services, we are sometimes required 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 have provided to us;
the use of cookies on the BBC website and how you can reject these cookies.
As set out above, 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").
The websites contains hyperlinks to websites owned and operated by third parties. These third party websites have their own privacy policies, including cookies, and we urge you to review them. They will govern the use of personal information you submit or are 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. What information will the BBC collect about me?
When you sign up to participate in or receive a service from any bbc.co.uk website, such as newsletters, competitions, live chats, message boards or register with the single universal online registration system used across different parts of the bbc.co.uk called "Single Sign-On", we may ask for personal information about you. This can consist of information such as your name, e mail address, postal address, telephone or mobile number or date of birth. Different webpages may ask for different personal information.
By entering your details in the fields requested, you enable the BBC and its service providers to provide you with the services you select.
Please note that sometimes on particular webpages 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 specify further on these webpages why we are collecting your information and how we will use it.
The BBC also uses cookies (see paragraph 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). We use analysis software to look at IP addresses and cookies for the purpose of enhancing your user experience. This information is not used to develop a personal profile of you and the log files are regularly purged.
We also use your IP address 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.co.uk site (see paragraph 11 for details.)
3. How will the BBC use the information they collect about me?
The BBC will use your personal information for a number of purposes including the following:
for "service administration purposes", which means that the BBC may contact you for reasons related to the service you have signed up for, as set out in paragraph 4 below (e.g. to provide you with password reminders or to notify you that a particular service has been suspended for maintenance);
to contact you about a submission you have made to the websites, including any content you provide, see especially the UGC FAQS.
to personalise the way BBC content is presented to you (e.g. if we notice that the first thing you look at every day is the weather for Luton, then we may present this information or a link to it on your homepage);
IP addresses are used to identify the location of users, the number of visits from different countries and also to block disruptive use; and
to analyse and improve the services offered on bbc.co.uk. e.g. to provide you with the most user-friendly navigation experience.
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 your use other than as listed above.
4. When will the BBC contact me?
The BBC may contact you:
in relation to the functioning of any service you have signed up for in order to ensure that the BBC can deliver the services to you;
where you have opted to receive further correspondence;
in relation to any contribution you have made to bbc.co.uk, e.g. on the BBC message boards;
to invite you to participate in surveys about the BBC services (participation is always voluntary); and
for marketing purposes where you have specifically agreed to this (see paragraph 5 below)
Local pages will give you detailed information about how the BBC will contact you in relation to specific services.
5. Will I be contacted for marketing purposes?
The BBC won't contact you for marketing purposes, or promote new services to you unless you specifically agree to be contacted for these purposes.
6. 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 paragraph 7 below. Generally, we will only use your information within the BBC. However, sometimes the BBC uses third parties to process your information. The BBC will require these third parties to comply strictly with its instructions and the BBC will require that they do not use your personal information for their own business purposes.
Please note that if you are accessing the BBC from outside the UK and you make a comment or complaint regarding any element of advertising (see paragraph 11 for more details about this) then BBC may forward your correspondence to BBCW only for the purposes of responding to you.
7. Offensive or inappropriate content on the BBC website
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 may use your personal information to stop such behaviour.
Where the BBC reasonably believes that you are or may be in breach of any of the laws of England or Wales (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 e-mail/Internet provider or law enforcement agencies about the content and your behaviour.
8. What if I am a user aged 16 or 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.
9. 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 service, or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you hold with the BBC or the BBC's corporate retention schedule (this is a database that defines which documents should be kept and for how long). In the case that you wish to cancel your registration as a bbc.co.uk member, once an account is deleted a red flag goes on the database and, while people 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 to bbc.co.uk the BBC will generally only keep your content for as long as is reasonably required for the purpose(s) for which it was submitted. For example, the BBC 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 users. 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 World War II 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.
10. 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 will require you to prove your identity with 2 pieces of approved photographic 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, Room 2252, White City Building, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TS (Email: dpa.officer@bbc.co.uk​).
11. What if I am accessing BBC websites outside the UK?
www.bbc.co.uk is published in the UK by the BBC. For international users accessing the site from outside the UK, the site is made available to you by the BBC's commercial subsidiary, BBC Worldwide Ltd. ("BBCW"), on a commercial basis (ie some of the pages you access will have advertising on them) under licence from the BBC. However all personal information submitted by you to the site goes directly to the BBC and will be processed in accordance with this Privacy Policy (and any local terms that apply on websites) unless terms on sites specify otherwise.
You should note that BBCW does place a number of cookies on www.bbc.co.uk and may collect information about international users from these - please see paragraph 13 for more information about cookies.
12. 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 any bbc.co.uk website. The date of the most recent revisions will appear on this page.
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 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 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 and allow us to tailor the websites to your interests. Users have the opportunity to set their devices to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. The last of these means that certain personalised services cannot then be provided to that 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.
During the course of any visit to bbc.co.uk, 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 (and BBCW in relation to international users) also use a number of independent measurement and research companies. They gather information regarding the visitors to BBC sites on our behalf using cookies, log file data and code which is embedded on our website. The BBC and BBCW use this type of information to help improve the services it provides to its users. The BBC and BBCW strictly require that third parties do not use any information for their own business or other purposes (see paragraph 6 above). Certain other areas of bbc.co.uk may use cookies for a specific reason - for example, to help an online game work effectively on your device. If this is the case, the local terms for that area of the website will make this clear and you should refer to those local terms for additional information.
c. BBC cookies and how to reject cookies?
A list of the main cookies that bbc.co.uk sets (and what each is used for) together with ways to minimise the number of cookies you receive can be found at the BBC's Cookie List and How To Reject Cookies.
Last Updated : 1st April 2009
14. Contacting the BBC about this Privacy Policy
If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy please contact;
The Data Protection Officer
Room 2252
White City Building
201 Wood Lane
W12 7TS
Important notice for users outside the UK
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