Thursday, 01 July 2021 09:42

ABC puts off compulsory registration for iview service Featured

ABC puts off compulsory registration for iview service Pixabay

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has postponed by at least six months its move to introduce compulsory registration for its online iview service from 1 July onwards.

An ABC spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that the company, which is a fully taxpayer-funded entity, had intended to introduce the mandatory registration during July and August.

"[We] decided to slow things down to ensure our audiences understand the benefits they will receive from creating an ABC account and the ways we manage and protect their personal information," the spokesperson added.

iview is a service that allows viewers to see programs that have already been broadcast or, in some cases, which are yet to go to air. Many commercial TV channels have similar services, but they require registration as this is used to monetise the service.

In May, when iTWire asked the ABC why registration was being made compulsory, the company said it was meant to help users in the wake of a survey carried out in 2020.

"Logins help us to make sure we provide relevant content and features for all Australians. Such data shapes the programming we create and the products we build, allowing us to continually improve the types of programs we produce and acquire," iTWire was told at the time.

But the ABC was silent when asked why, if this was the case, the registration was not made voluntary so that those who wanted to avail of any claimed benefits could register, while others were not forced to do so.

The ABC spokesperson added: "We are continuing to work with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to ensure we are industry leaders in terms of the use of personal data, in line with the trust that Australians place in the ABC.

"It is our intention to introduce mandatory logins for ABC iview by the end of the year."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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