BBC iPlayer Password Controls: What you really need to know about iPlayer’s new registration and sign-in requirements.
The days of being able to access BBC iPlayer on the sly without a TV licence are coming to an end, with the BBC now mandating the need to register and sign-in to access the on-demand service.
Previously, Brits had been able to skip the step if they were willing to risk the wrath of the law, but a number of users are now seeing a new notification, halting their progress to programming.
It reads: “You now need to sign in to watch. It’s quick & easy. And we’ll keep you signed in.”
The sign-in process requires users to enter their details, making it easier for the BBC to identify viewers tuning into Eastenders or Match of the Day via the iPlayer, without having paid for a TV licence.
In a blog post last month, the company wrote: “The information you provide us with can help TV Licensing ensure that people are abiding by the law and minimise licence fee evasion.
“By matching email addresses we may be able to identify someone who has told us they don’t need a TV licence while at the same time having signed in and watched iPlayer. So we will now use this alongside our existing enforcement techniques to help identify people who are watching licence fee-funded content without a licence.”
The Beeb has gradually been introducing measures to ensure only eligible users are accessing the iPlayer. It has also spent plenty of time cracking down on overseas use via VPN servers.
BBC isn’t making this solely about tracking down licence evaders, it is requesting sign-ins so it can customise the experience for viewers.
It says it hopes to make the service “more personal and relevant to you,” meaning it’ll be collecting lots and lots of your data.
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Is the BBC within its rights to mandate iPlayer sign-ins? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.