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“Creepy” Move By ABC To Collect Personal Data Slammed

The ABC whose editorial credibility has been challenged after being accused of continued bias against the Coalition Federal Government has moved to force users of their online iView service, to divulge personal information, which will then be shared with left wing US organisations Google and Facebook, the move has been described as “Creepy”.

Users who want to access the ABC’s iView streaming service will have to cough up the personal information to get access.

The public broadcaster’s editorial director Craig McMurtrie said the introduction of account logins on iView will begin from July 1 and “might seem counterintuitive for a commercial-free taxpayer-funded broadcasters” but it was moving “with the times”.

“ABC iView will ask for an email, first name (or pseudonym), year of birth, suburb or postcode and gender,” he wrote in an online post.

“On gender there will be a ‘prefer not to say’ option.

Mr McMurtrie said under the change the ABC would never sell any of a person’s private data and there would be the ability to opt-out if a person did not want to share their private information with third parties including social media and tech giants.

While the data will not be shared Facebook and Google will get access to the data. The Federal Government has not said whether they are “supportive” of the move.

McMurtrie said the change was similar to that of the publicly funded SBS channel who implemented logins in 2016 in order to access it’s On Demand service and they were following in their footsteps.

According to the Australian news site, Australian National ­University’s adjunct associate professor and privacy expert Vanessa Teague said logins would only hinder the ability of children and older Australians to easily access taxpayer-funded content.

“It is ridiculous to suggest that hiding the children’s content behind a login-wall is protecting children and I imagine it will put up a practical barrier for older Australians as well,” she said.

“Making it harder for children to access the G or PG content in the name of protecting children or making it impossible for them to access it without their viewing habits being surveilled is absurd.”

Think tank the Institute of Public Affairs’ director of communications Evan Mulholland told the Australian it was a “creepy” move by the ABC.

“Users of iView should not have to ‘sign up’ for a service they already pay for in taxes,” Mr Mulholland said.

“Users having to opt out of data sharing with Facebook and Google is problematic and raises a conflict of interest given the ‘public’ broadcaster will be receiving money from big tech as part of the media code revenue sharing arrangements.”

He said there was “no comparison” with the SBS asking for login information for access to their On Demand streaming service because they “run advertising and tailor to their audiences, the ABC does not run advertising therefore does not need the personal information of all users.”

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