BBC say the changes won't be linked to licence fee enforcement - yet
The BBC’s iPlayer will require users to have a log-in from early 2017.
This log-in will require users to register their postcode details. The BBC has denied that this postcode information will be passed on to the TV Licencing Authority to check whether people logging in have a licence fee – but it says this may one day change and that it’s reserving the right to change the policy in future.
Since the start of September, all users of the iPlayer are required to have a TV licence. This closes a loophole that previously allowed people without a licence to watch shows on iPlayer on mobile and laptop.
The BBC already has a voluntary registration service to create a BBC ID, which allows users to personalise their content on the BBC’s websites. The corporation said that compulsory registration for the iPlayer had been introduced in order to personalise TV watching, so that users could be recommended shows which the BBC believes they will enjoy. There are currently an estimated seven million people who already have a BBC ID.
There is yet to be a precise date for the compulsory log-in introduction.
The iPlayer is not available to watch abroad. This won’t change under the new system. Although the iPlayer will now have users’ postcodes as part of their ID, this doesn’t link to IP addresses – IP addresses are linked to users’ locations, rather than remaining static on their devices such as smartphones and laptops.