These days, people are watching television in many different ways - often without even using a television...
You can now watch Peep Show on your mobile, Countdown on your laptop and even, should you wish, Channel 4 News on your XBOX.
All this technology allows you to watch your favourite Channel 4 programmes when and where you want. It also generates lots of information about what is being watched. And this information can help us understand what is working well, and so produce more great programmes and improve our digital products and services.
By understanding which programmes you like, we can recommend others that you might also like but haven't yet seen. We will also use this knowledge to create more shows we think you'll love. And by registering with Channel 4, we give you a range of further benefits from weekly email newsletters, access to My 4oD and the huge library of 4oD programmes, online premieres and exclusives. Plus, we'll be adding to this list over time.
The data we collect also helps us to deliver advertising that could be relevant to you. So, for example, if you're a girl you'd be more likely to see ads for perfume than you would for aftershave. And that's attractive to advertisers, which is important as it helps us make even more of the shows you love. In case you didn't know, Channel 4 is a not-for-profit organisation - so the money we make from advertising goes into making more programmes, and not into the pockets of shareholders.
Because we are able to collect this data on you, we want to be clear about how we collect it, what exactly we collect, and what we do with it. Our goal is to provide you with as much transparency and control as possible.
To this end, we have developed our Viewer Promise - three key principles we at Channel 4 will live by when collecting and using our viewers' information.
1. When we ask for data it's to give something back
There are a growing number of benefits to registering with Channel 4 - from full access to our huge library of 4oD programmes, to seeing some programmes before they get on telly.
We currently ask for your name so we know how to talk to you, and knowing your date of birth and gender helps us to give you better recommendations of Channel 4 programmes. We now also ask you to provide us with some additional, voluntary information when you register – namely, your house number and postcode. Knowing a little more about you means that we are able to tailor the advertising we present to you. Advertisers want to make sure that their adverts are being seen by users who are more likely to be interested in their brand, product or service; so by serving relevant advertising, Channel 4 is able to generate more advertising revenue than it would do otherwise. As a not-for-profit organisation, Channel 4 will put this advertising revenue back into the free services we are able to provide to you.
To see a comprehensive list of the current benefits you get from registering with Channel 4, visit our Why Register? page.
2. We are clear on what data we hold and what we do with it
We may also, from time to time, obtain additional information about you from other reputable data sources to understand more about who is using our products and services. When we do this, we may learn about your lifestyle and interests and can use this information, alongside cookies and similar technology such as Online Behavioural Advertising, to provide more relevant advertising to you. Our Cookies Policy has more detail on this and can also help if you want to manage your cookies.
When you register with Channel 4, we create a profile page to show what personal details you've given us, which you can edit as and when you like. We're continually working on developing what information we display to you. Over time, we'll highlight more data that might be of interest or use to you, such as your most watched shows on 4oD or your favourite genre.
3. You control the data we hold on you
You can amend or close your profile whenever you wish, and if you ever want to remove the details you've given us, we'll wipe them from our system and you'll never hear from us again. When we delete your profile we'll also anonymise all other information we might hold on you, such as how you used 4oD, which means we won't be able to recognise that data as yours.
If you don't want to continue to receive relevant targeted advertising on our websites and applications after you have closed your account, we recommend that you also delete any cookies set on your device. Again, our Cookies Policy can help if you want to know how to manage your cookies.
In most circumstances, where anonymous data about your viewing habits is taken, we offer the chance to opt-out. However, there are instances where an opt-out is currently unavailable, but we are working to enable this.
We recognise that personal information is valuable and needs to be treated with care. We'll never sell it to anyone and we won't clutter your email inbox with stuff you don't want.
The above principles form the cornerstone of our Viewer Promise. As we develop our Digital Products and Services, so we'll build upon the details of this promise, ensuring that when we use your data we always provide transparency, control and benefit to you.
This is just the beginning. We promise.