ABC iview wants your data from 15 March – fight this at any cost (AV)

ABC iView wants your data to watch what should be ‘Our ABC’. No matter how you look at it, it is a gross invasion of privacy by a taxpayer-funded organisation. It also precludes those less tech-savvy from accessing our ABC.

Mandatory log in is wrong.

It is nothing more than a thinly disguised personal data grab to prop up ABCs balance sheet. Whether they sell that data or not, it will track what you watch. It will also use careful social engineering to influence you. ABC has the potential to guide you to programs it wants you to view (or not). All under the guise of making helpful personal recommendations.

We already have mandatory logins for digital channels 9, 7, 10; Apple TV; Samsung TV Plus; LG webOS Channels; Netflix, Google TV, Amazon Prime, Fetch, Foxtel (and all their channels) and more.

The ostensible purpose is to track individual views to make ‘helpful’ recommendations (on the TV or via email) and help with TV programming strategy. The real goal is to use this data to attract advertisers and sponsors. Yes, we know the ABC does not advertise – yet. Some sell or provide the data to ‘related-third parties’. It could end up at Apple, Facebook, Google, data brokers, and some gets to the dark web.

The Australian Privacy Foundation has taken up the cause. Its open letter clearly states that our ABC should not be personality profiling its viewers. Please read it.

ABC iview wants your data to log in. What’s wrong with that?

It is wrong on so many levels.

  • A lot of elderly viewers do not have email. So they cannot log in.
  • Multiple people can use the same TV but automatically log in using your last log in. You can’t be responsible for all that ends up in your profile.
  • Australians have the right under Australian Privacy principles APP 2.1 not to identify themselves. ABC and all the other channel logins are contrary to that principle, although ABC thinks it can get around that
  • It means the ABC could deny access to specific programs based on profiling
  • ABC has made no guarantees in writing about how the data could be used or abused. A lengthy privacy nested policy signs away all rights on sign-up.
  • The opt-out process appears to be unnecessarily obfuscated, user-hostile and difficult

The prime benefit to the ABC is data. The only benefit to the consumer is perhaps continuing a series where you left off.

What can you do to minimise this greedy, unwarranted, personal data grab?

As we have said countless times, use a junk email address for anything online. Please don’t give your age or gender (or lie about it) or any personal data.

Do not sign in with Apple, Google, Facebook (or any other social media). That data will go straight to hell (your user profiles).

A link to the ABC Privacy statement is then available. We will analyse that below – tick that.

Do not tick the newsletter unless you want more spam.

ABC iview Privacy policy is subject to its terms and the ABC Privacy Policy

If there is one thing more certain than death and taxes, you won’t read Privacy Policies.

The first laughable statement. The ABC is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and complies with our obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles. That is patent bovine merde.

If it did, login would be optional and provide the base services that we pay taxes for. This is discriminatory, creating a digital divide.

It accepts that you can use a junk email address (to get around the Privacy Act).

It may be possible for you to provide information to the ABC in a pseudonymous way so that your identity is not revealed. For example, you may wish to sign up for an ABC Account by using an email address that does not include your name and by providing a nickname rather than your actual name. The same applies in relation to any profiles you create on ABC iview.

The word pseudonymous is the key here because nothing is truly anonymous.

When you register for an ABC Account, we may collect basic personal information, including your username, password, email address, first name, postcode, year of birth and gender. If you sign up for an ABC Account via another account such as Apple, Google or Facebook, we may also collect additional profile data.

That is why you must avoid using other sign-ins as it links accounts, and data sharing is both ways.

  • help us understand more about the composition, needs and behaviours of our audiences to see whether we are reaching a broad cross-section of Australians in accordance with our objectives;
  • help our audiences find content likely to be of interest to them, including by giving recommendations (ABC Account holders still have access to all of our content and can therefore choose content independently of our recommendations if they prefer);
  • perform research and analysis aimed at improving our content, services and reach; and
  • provide you with information about ABC activities, products, services and events that may be of interest to you (this includes promotions for ABC content on third party digital services as well as ABC digital services).

In particular, the last point is the kicker – ABC can send you anything pretty well from anyone!

When you register your interest to participate as an ABC audience member, we may collect basic personal information, including your name, gender and age. We may also collect contact details such as your email address and telephone number.

We may give you the option to provide sensitive information about you, including information about your race or ethnicity, political opinions or affiliations, religious beliefs or affiliations, physical and mental health or sexuality.

And the final kick in the guts

We allow some third parties to use cookies and other technologies to collect data about your use of our digital services so that they can provide us with marketing, promotions, analytics and ratings services. We also disclose the data we collect about your use of our digital services to third parties so that they can provide services to us and so that we can help you find information likely to be of interest to you, including by making recommendations to you. Some third parties may be able to match this data with personal information they already have about you

And that is in addition to the ABC general privacy policy

Setting up a Junk email address – mad if you don’t

  • Go to Gmail account setup (this assumes you already have a Gmail account which Android users have)
  • Put in a Fake Name like John Junk
  • Create a password
  • It will then ask for a backup account – use your Gmail account and your mobile number
  • Birthdate – fake it
  • Gender – select rather not answer
  • Under other info, expand the column and turn off all ads etc

Set up your junk email in your Gmail or Outlook client. Gradually change all online accounts and loyalty cards/clubs to your junk account. Any email to that is junk!

CyberShack’s view – ABC iView wants your data from 15 March is wrong

If it were not our ABC, this is no different to how the greedy data harvesters all work.

But it is the national broadcaster, we pay taxes, and we expect to access it over-the-air and digitally anywhere and anytime.

The ABC has the power to stop this lunacy. If not, the Australian Government should step in and mandate that setting up an ABC account is optional – all services still work except episode continuation.

ABC iView wants your data

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