The ABC looks set to introduce a compulsory log-in process for its digital assets in a move that would help it track user behaviour.
According to a media report in the SMH. The ABC intends to introduce a compulsory, password-protected log-in system for its digital assets, including ABC News online and iview streaming services from mid-next-year.
If correct, the new policy would bring the ABC in line with commercial competitors and enable the organisation an increased ability to track user behaviour and demographics across its digital services.
A compulsory log-in process would make it easier for ABC to serve tailored content for consumers across its digital products.
It could potentially also allow the government broadcaster to collect a considerable amount of personal data, including names, age, and location, and then match this data with news preferences and viewing history. Such information is considered extremely valuable by advertisers.
A move to increase the collection of personal data on iview is particularly controversial given the huge percentage of young children who use the service daily to consume popular kid’s content including Peppa Pig and Bluey.
The move comes at a time when commercial broadcasters are expanding their abilities to collect and process viewing data. 10 recently announced a partnership with shopping loyalty program FlyBuys, while Nine is now sharing analytics information with Adobe to build profiles for advertisers.
Nine has used a compulsory log-in for its 9Now platform since the product launched. SBS On-Demand implemented compulsory log-in last year while 7Plus and 10play enforce compulsory log-in for select programming.
The ABC currently has a voluntary log-in process which allows users to see local news and weather headlines on news portals, and to record their watch-history and receive recommendations on iview.