This is bad news if you are accessing BBC iPlayer using a VPN

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You will soon have to register if you wish to use iPlayer, the BBC has announced.

Users will need to give their name, date of birth, email address and UK address in order to create a login to be able to use the service.

The reason given by the BBC is that it will help personalise the iPlayer and let users view the service on different devices.

“By finding out more about you and what you like we can make better content, make it more relevant, and bring it to you more effectively,” said the BBC. 

The Corporation claimed that the new requirements are not part of a crackdown on license fee evaders.

However, this was later contradicted say they said they may use email addresses to find out who isn’t paying as it became mandatory last year for users to have a TV license in order to use iPlayer.

“The reason we’re making these changes isn’t about enforcing the licence fee – it’s about giving you a better BBC and helping you get the best out of it.,” the BBC’s Andrew Scott said in a blog post.

“We’re not going to use mass surveillance techniques or ask internet providers for IP addresses.”

“Information you provide us with can help TV Licensing ensure that people are abiding by the law and minimise licence fee evasion,” he added.

bbc iplayer

Similar to Netflix, the new system is intended to tailor content to users’ tastes. It will have a facility to sign up for alerts and you will be able to swap devices such as from a laptop to smartphone half way through a programme, picking up where you left off.

The BBC has said that iPlayer will be “fundamentally reinvented” and hopes to appeal more to the Netflix generation.

However, the new requirements are likely to be a big blow for anyone who uses a VPN to watch iPlayer from outside the UK.

A VPN enables users to circumvent iPlayer’s geo-restrictions by making it appear they are watching from a UK IP address.

Despite being in breach of iPlayer’s terms of use, the practice goes on but the new announcement would suggest that the BBC is taking a more forthright approach to preventing people from using iPlayer who are ordinarily not entitled too – I.e, those not living in the UK and who do not have a valid TV license.

The BBC has said the new requirements will begin within the next few weeks.

H/T: The Guardian

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