In recent months it has become very apparent that TV Licensing has somehow acquired the personal information of thousands of people without a TV licence.
People that have previously received hundreds of TV Licensing threatograms addressed to "The Legal Occupier" have suddenly started to receive them addressed to their actual name, which is both notable and concerning. TV Licensing has no legal right to any information about these people, so where is it coming from? Well, we now have the answer so please read on.
Using the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we asked the BBC to provide information about how it uses third-party data to identify individuals living at unlicensed properties.
The BBC confirmed that it continues to use the commercially available Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF) for updating its address database and identifying unlicensed properties. The PAF does not include the names of individuals living at a particular property, so that didn't explain the recent appearance of personalised threatograms.
The BBC's Rupinder Panesar continued: "I can tell you that TV Licensing also makes use of information supplied by Acxiom, a leading technology and services company specialising in the provision of data. This commercially available information indicates whether an unlicensed address may be occupied and this may include names of individuals."
So there you have it. TV Licensing identifies the occupiers of unlicensed properties by buying data from a market research company. The sort of company that harvests people's personal information when they enter shitty competitions or buy shitty things from unscrupulous retailers.
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