Privacy and Cookies
In order to provide you with the full range of BBC services, we sometimes need to collect information about you.
The BBC websites contain 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 is 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.
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 will use your personal information for a number of purposes including the following:
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.
The BBC may contact you:
Local pages will give you detailed information about how the BBC will contact you in relation to specific services, activities or online content.
The BBC won't contact you for marketing purposes, or promote new services, activities or online content to you unless you specifically agree to be contacted for these purposes.
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 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.
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) the BBC may forward your correspondence to BBC Worldwide Ltd ("BBCW") only for the purposes of responding to you.
If you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to the 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 of the laws of England and Wales (or the law of Scotland if you live there) (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.
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.
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.
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.
You should note that BBCW place a number of cookies on www.bbc.co.uk and may collect information about international users from these - please see paragraph 12 for more information about 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 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 the BBC's websites, 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 features cannot then be provided to that user and accordingly they may not be able to take full advantage of all of the website's features. Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.
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.
c. Third Party Cookies 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.
d. BBC cookies and how to reject cookies?
A list of the main cookies that the BBC websites set (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.
Some areas, such as TV Licensing and BBC charity appeals (such as Children in Need) have their own privacy policies which you should also read before submitting your personal information.
Go to the TV Licensing policy to see how the BBC uses your personal information for TV Licensing purposes.
The Data Protection Officer
White City Building
201 Wood Lane
Last updated: March 2010
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