TV Licensing and the Consent of Householders

Mr. M. Whitfield made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Mr. M. Whitfield

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

In various statements by the BBC and TV Licensing, it has been said that the enforcement activities of TV Licensing are not in breach of Article 8.2 of the Human Rights Act, amongst other reasons because such activities are always conducted with the consent of Householders.

By reference to policy documents and other documentation, please can you tell me the current policy detail regarding Householder consent to TV Licensing enforcement activities?

Yours faithfully,

Mr. M. Whitfield

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr. M. Whitfield,
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, below.
Your request was received on 25 July 2016.
We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest
within 20 working days.
If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the above
address. The reference number for this request is RFI20161381.
Yours sincerely,
BBC Information Rights
BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP, UK
Website: [1]
Email: [2][BBC request email]

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Whitfield,

With regards to the below FOI request could you please specify the statements made by the BBC and TV Licensing to which you are referring? We require clarification to enable us to identify and locate the information you are seeking.

Yours sincerely,

Information Rights, BBC Legal
BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

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Mr. M. Whitfield

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Thank you for your message seeking clarification of the request I made recently under Freedom of Information legislation.

I am slightly perplexed in that I would have though that a key "exemption" to Human Rights requirements for Public Authorities' obligations to citizens' privacy would have been common knowledge within the BBC and TV Licensing - certainly amongst those staff responsible for liaison with the Public over such matters. Indeed, your response now raises the additional concern that if BBC staff are not aware of the requirements around consent, how can the need for consent possibly be observed?

Those observations aside, the most recent reference I have seen is in a letter from the BBC Trust to my MP sent on 31 March 2016, by Fran O'Brien, Head of Editorial Standards, BBC Trust.

The text reads:

"We therefore disagree with [my] suggestion that 'the TVL operation is more bluff than law'. We do not consider that a consensual (underlined) search of a person's home interferes with any person's rights under Article 8 of the ECHR..."

Therefore my reference is (inter alia) to the word "consensual" in the above text, which Ms O'Brien clearly considered important because she underlined it.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. M. Whitfield

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whitfield,


Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20161381.


Yours sincerely


BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room BC2 A4

Broadcast Centre

White City


W12 7TS



Website: [1]

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]


[3]Description: Description: \\BBCFS2025\UserData$\myrien01\Documents\My



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Visible links
1. file:///tmp/
2. mailto:[BBC request email]

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