This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'viewing catchup etc without a TV licence (RIPA, data protection, enforcement, etc.)'.

 
British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 A4 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP  

Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email xxx@xxx.xx.xx 
 
 
  
 
Information Rights 
bbc.co.uk/foi 
bbc.co.uk/privacy 
 
Mr Jones 
Via email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx  
 
25 September 2017 
 
 
Dear Mr Jones 
 
Request for Information – RFI20171286 
 
Thank you for your request of 26th August 2017 under the Freedom of Information Act 
2000 (‘the Act’) seeking the following information: 
 
“1. Often sites such as YouTube provide content such as music concerts, sports, or major events 
LIVE. Is a TV licence necessary to watch these live events? 
2. If the property I move into has an old exterior TV Ariel which would not be used would it is 
necessary for it to be removed? 
3. Do you have any entitlement under the data protection act to hold the contact details of people 
that have never been customers?  
4. If so do you have any entitlement under the data protection act to provide these details to Capita 
to deal with without the person’s permission or knowledge? 
 
TV licence is only required for either viewing shows as they are broadcast, or provided through the 
BBC IPlayer. 
5. Do you consider the fact that somebody without a licence is viewing entertainment on a screen be 
in any way to be suspicious of TV licence evasion? 
6. Is this ever considered evidence (e.g. to obtain a search warrant) without demonstrating that they 
are either viewing the show at the time of broadcast or via the IPlayer? 
 
I have heard that enforcement officers often use camera’s etc. for covert surveillance. This is covered 
by RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) and requires authorisation for each covert 
surveillance operation. 
 
7. Are enforcement officers expected to obtain RIPA authorisation before carrying out covert filming? 
 
Covert (directed surveillance) under RIPA can only be used where a successful conviction is either 
punishable by a maximum term of at least 6 months' imprisonment or is related to the underage 
sale of alcohol and tobacco. 

 

 
 
8. Can you confirm whether or not this is true? 
9. Have you been given any exemption to this restriction? 
10. Can a conviction for TV licence evasion be expected to result in a prison sentence? (for licence 
evasion not non-payment of fines)” 
 
Please note that “TV Licensing” is a trade mark used by companies contracted by the BBC 
to administer the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television 
licensing system. The majority of the administration of TV Licensing is contracted to Capita 
Business Services Ltd (‘Capita’). Over-the-counter services are provided by PayPoint plc 
(‘PayPoint’) in the UK, and by the Post Office in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. 
Marketing and printing services are contracted to Proximity London Ltd. Media services are 
contracted to Media Planning Limited trading as Havas Media UK. The BBC is a public 
authority in respect of its television licensing functions and retains overall responsibility. 
 
Firstly, please be advised that the Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded 
information held by public authorities; and we are not required to create new information 
to respond to a request, or give a  judgement or opinion that is not already recorded.  
 
For your convenience, I shall respond to your points in order. 
 
Point 1 
This is a query rather than a request for recorded information and therefore falls outside 
the scope of the Act.  However, in line with our duty to advise and assist you under section 
16 of the Act, I can tell you that you need a TV Licence if you watch or record television 
programmes as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, and to 
download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. 
This could be on any device, including TVs, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, 
tablets, games consoles, digital boxes, DVD, Blu-ray and VHS recorders. This applies 
regardless of which television channels a person receives or how those channels are 
received 
 
Further information relevant to your query can be found on the TV Licensing website at the 
following web-link:  
http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/Live-TV-and-how-you-watch-it    
 
Point 2 
This is a query rather than a request for recorded information and therefore falls outside 
the scope of the Act. I can advise you, outside the scope of the Act, that it would not be 
necessary to remove the TV aerial. 
 
Points 3 and 4 
These are queries rather than requests for recorded information and therefore fall outside 
the scope of the Act. Under our duty to advise and assist you, please note that TV 
 

 
 
Licensing’s Privacy Policy – which outlines our approach to privacy and how we collect and 
process personal  - is available on the TV Licensing website at 
http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/privacy-security-policies#3.  
 
Point 5 
This is a query rather than a request for recorded information and therefore falls outside 
the scope of the Act.  
 
Point 6 
This is a query rather than a request for recorded information and therefore falls outside 
the scope of the Act.  Under our duty to advise and assist you, please note that information 
on the circumstances in which we apply for a search warrant to search premises suspected 
of evading the licence fee is available on the TV Licensing website at 
http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-administering-the-licence-fee-AB20.  
 
Point 7 
This is a query rather than a request for recorded information. Under our duty to advise 
and assist you, I can tell you that information about TV Licensing’s use of detection is 
available on the TV Licensing website at the web-link provided above.   
 
Points 8 and 9  
These are queries rather than requests for recorded information and therefore fall outside 
the scope of the Act. Under our duty to advise and assist you, I can tell you that that the 
BBC does not hold any recorded information relevant to your queries.  
 
Further information about how the BBC’s uses of its power under RIPA is available here:  
http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-administering-the-licence-fee-AB20.     
 
Point 10 
This is a query rather than a request for recorded information. However, I can confirm 
outside the scope of the Act that a person cannot be sentenced to imprisonment if 
convicted of an offence under section 363 of the Communications Act 2003. The maximum 
penalty for not having a valid TV Licence is a £1000 fine (or £2000 in Guernsey and £500 
Jersey). However, a person may be imprisoned by the court for failing to pay the court fine. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
Appeal Rights 
 
If you are not satisfied with this response, you have the right to an internal review by a BBC 
senior manager or lawyer. Please contact us at the address above, explaining what you 
would like us to review under the Act and include your reference number. 
 
If you are not content with the internal review, you have the right to appeal to the 
Information Commissioner’s Office.  Their address is:  Information Commissioner's Office, 
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 
545 745 (national rate) or visit their website at https://ico.org.uk/ 
 
Kind regards 
 
 
 
 
 
Rupinder Panesar 
Freedom of Information Advisor, TV Licensing Management Team