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TV Licensing admits: We directed 25,000 people to send their bank details in the clear

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So, where's the fine from the ICO?

(sound of crickets)

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Re: So, where's the fine from the ICO?

The ICO are only required to take action if a BREACH was not notified within 72 hours.

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Re: So, where's the fine from the ICO?

>>>The ICO are only required to take action if a BREACH was not notified within 72 hours.

Probably would not have been noticed except the Breach Detector Van drove past.

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Bronze badge

Re: So, where's the fine from the ICO?

And in this case there doesn't seem to have been any breach. They may have left the front door on the latch, but their is no evidence that anybody tried it and walked in.

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Re: So, where's the fine from the ICO?

Doesn't matter. "The controller and the processor shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk … account shall be taken in particular of the risks that are presented by processing … which could lead to physical, material or non-material damage".

Unencrypted bank details is a no-no.

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Imprisonment would be fair, I think

As per the title - they've been intimidating and harassing thousands of people for years, accusing them, without any evidence, of the terrible crime of watching TV. Surely an actual crime like this is worthy of a few managers doing jail time for criminal negligence?

They've been sending me letters for about a decade now to which I feel no moral obligation whatsoever to respond... I like to think of the amount of income generated for Royal Mail, without inconveniencing the postie too much (must be a nice change to deliver a boring old letter and not a bulky Amazon parcel with a delivery deadline!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Imprisonment would be fair, I think

My parents passed away recently, father earlier this year and since then we've had a refund of a few quid from the TV license. Within 7 days they were back on stating we needed to buy one despite us telling them the house was vacant and nobody would be living there until it was sold.

A few months on I was clearing out the loft when there's a knock at the door - TV license inspector people, who I politely asked to leave. To their credit they did after I refused to answer any questions.

I just don't get it - we pay the license fee and a chunk of it goes on harassing people, their systems shouldn't require me to keep calling them and when I do they won't action anything without my name, which I have no doubt will at some point screw up the license at my own home.

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Re: Imprisonment would be fair, I think

When I moved in to my house, a new build which had been standing empty for about 6 months, there were several increasingly threatening letters from TV Licensing. They were also giving misinformation as to their rights, implying a right of access to the inside of the property that doesn't exist.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Imprisonment would be fair, I think

"when I do they won't action anything without my name"

Actually, not quite correct. You are talking about the script reading monkeys at their callcentre who are trained to ask "Name ? Name ? Name?".

However from personal experience, I can assure you that if you write them an old-fashioned snail-mail letter sent from "The Present Occupier" at the address they are harassing, then they can and will put you on their no-harassment list.

I did that a few years ago now for a property that doesn't even have a television or functional aerial. I've not heard a thing since.

Useful things to cite in your letter include:

• "Members of the public who do not require a television licence are under no obligation to inform TV Licensing of the fact." Shaun Woodward M.P. , Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, May 2006

•  Lord Carder of Barnes (Cm 6474, March 2005) “The BBC has informed me that it does not have any legal right to demand that people without a television receiver contact them”.

• DCMS report (First Report, HC 82 2004--005, 16 December 2004) which states “ While payment of the licence fee by households which actually have a TV is a legal obligation, we remind the BBC that the finances it receives from the licence are a privilege. The Corporation should use a less menacing style of advertising campaign."

• "TV Licensing implied right of access is withdrawn"

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Silver badge

Re: Imprisonment would be fair, I think

I still use the tried and tested mantra for all Capita scumbags who come knocking at the door:

(shouting)

Wife: "There's someone from the TV Licensing at the door"

Me: "Hang on, just getting the dogs"

Wife: "That's alright, he's gone now"

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Re: Imprisonment would be fair, I think

I have a TV, linked to an old PC running Linux and Kodi. As it was a gift, its "tuned" to digital TV, but its not connected to any external aerial of any kind. TV Inspector told me that because its "tuned" and there is an aerial available for it even though its not connected, I need a licence. The only way I wouldn't need a licence is if I was to "de-tune" it, and pull the aerial and all cabling for it down and that he was going to refer me to court.

Still waiting to hear my court date, 3 years on.

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Re: Imprisonment would be fair, I think

As long as you never let them in, withdraw their implied right of access and never sign anything they can't make you pay.

The LAST thing they should be doing is coming into your house.

Youtube used to have some good info - probably been censored by now though.

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Re: Imprisonment would be fair, I think

That's because they just get given a database of all properties with no licence and then seen the knobs round to harass.

I don't have a problem with the licence, after all I pay for Netflix but I don't like the way the BBC lie either. When signing up for a licence this year for the first time, before purchase it claimed I required one even if I just had a DVD player hooked up to a monitor. Once purchased the next page said I actually didn't require one if I had a monitor hooked up to a DVD player.

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Anonymous Coward

Which bank details exactly?

Are we talking about IBAN and the bank's branch address? While I understand it's not good, and it can be used for scams, eg in targeted phishing, it's not something that can be used directly to steal money. So, good to talk about it, let's worry about it, but not more than necessary.

The part about telling people to ignore browsers' warnings? That is deeply worrying. Putting it *in writing*? The stupidity boggles the mind.

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Re: Which bank details exactly?

Account holder's name, sort code and account number.

As Jeremy Clarkson found to his cost, that's sufficient information to make payments.

It sounds like the street address was also there, which is enough to do damn near anything...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Which bank details exactly?

"As Jeremy Clarkson found to his cost, that's sufficient information to make payments."

Indeed. But for the sake of clarity, you don't even need the account holder's name for it to be useful. Sort code and account number on their own are perfectly capable of doing damage to your account balance !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Which bank details exactly?

Indeed. But for the sake of clarity, you don't even need the account holder's name for it to be useful. Sort code and account number on their own are perfectly capable of doing damage to your account balance !

That says more about the banks' lack of diligence than it does about the inherent vulnerability of an account by virtue of those details being known.

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Re: Which bank details exactly?

That says more about the banks' lack of diligence than it does about the inherent vulnerability of an account by virtue of those details being known.

Nothing new there. A newly-married friend, maiden name (let's say) Jane Smith, put a wedding present - a cheque for a few thousand - into her account. Only later, she realised the cheque was made out to her husband, let's say Steve Brown.

Went through without a hitch. Nobody raised an eyebrow.

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Re: Which bank details exactly?

Yes, bank details on there own are useless. However most hacking activity is via social engineering, which involves using some info to gain other info. Therefore this is very very bad.

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Re: Which bank details exactly?

Yes it can. It can be used to set up direct debits, to, for example, pay your TV licence. That's why they are asking for the information.

There are savings accounts that accept payments in by direct debit, so it is possible to steal money that way. You will get caught though.

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Re: Which bank details exactly?

Jezzaa could have got his money back - immediately and in full - as can anyone else by invoking the Direct Debit guarantee. One of the few nice things about the DD scheme.

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We can now confirm that fewer than 25k customer sent over unencrypted bank details

What 24,999 people?

Bank details sent unencrypted the mind boggles!

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No-one needs to suffer harassment from TV Licensing if they don't need a licence.

You are under no obligation to respond, but if their threats and tricks become too tiresome (e.g. sending registered mail that has to be collected from the main Post Office) you can stop them by informing them that you have withdrawn their Implied Right of Access.

For good measure you can add that as they can no longer send the boys round, any further threats to do so will be treated as a breach of the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

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I simply refer back to the article a fe days ago and its comments

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2018/09/14/you_are_the_insider_threat_risk/

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Anonymous Coward

TVLD

Should be right up there witth CCCP and DPRK as a four letter acronym sent to the dustbin of history. To be honest the day (hopefully very soon) when their cash cow gets taken out back and put down humanely will be a *great* day for the UK. I for one would love to see Crapita sent to the Special Hell for the Hell they have put people (me included) through and ruined tens of thousands of people's job prospects for the sake of a pitiful amount of money which should never have resulted in a court appearance to begin with. I say when the merde finally hits the fan we should celebrate on the streets the day we took back our airwaves from the scumbags and brought back good honest values. Viva La Revolution!!!!

Apologies if I offended anyone, but something "Needs to be done" (tm)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TVLD

ruined tens of thousands of people's job prospects for the sake of a pitiful amount of money which should never have resulted in a court appearance to begin with.

There's a way to avoid court appearances, and that is to pay what's owed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TVLD

There's a way to avoid court appearances, and that is to pay what's owed.

Agreed.

It would be helpful if the OP could clarify about their particular case - was it hell because they had genuinely paid the licence fee but Capita refused to recognise this, or was it hell because they really didn't want to pay something that they were legally obliged to and Capita were trying to get them to comply?

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Re: TVLD

There's a way to avoid court appearances, and that is to pay what's owed.

And what about those that don't owe anything but have gone to court to vindicate their name because the Crapita thugs won't take no for an answer?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TVLD

And what about those that don't owe anything but have gone to court to vindicate their name because the Crapita thugs won't take no for an answer?

A fair point, in a way, but the OPs comment referred to people having job prospects damaged, etc. If the people who genuinely don't owe anything go to court, then they should be acquitted and their name is clear. Yes, it's wrong for Capita to harass them into court, but being found innocent by a court shouldn't damage anyone's job prospects.

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aks

Re: TVLD

Unless the government decides to fund the BBC directly, thereby making those of us who don't need a licence to pay into the fund.

The BBC is quite capable of funding itself through advertising. It happily does this for all of its overseas businesses. Channel 4 is owned by the government but doesn't receive a subsidy.

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Re: TVLD

Can you think of anything you are forced to buy even if you don't want or use it? What makes the BBC so special that their continued existence can be secured through the use of threats and menaces against those who don't even want to use their services?

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Re: TVLD

Crapita are a private company, not law enforcement. As such they have no right to get anyone to comply with jack schitt

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Re: TVLD

Except of course that it does

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Re: TVLD

>>There's a way to avoid court appearances, and that is to pay what's owed.

That's not foolproof either. I spent a morning in the magistrates after a summons for non-payment.

Evidence in my defence: the current & previous 15 years of valid fully paid up TV licensed for the address.

Magistrate asked why I hadn't offered the evidence to TVL... "Because the first communication from them was a summons to this place and I felt the bench should be aware of the abuse of process"

Costs & an ex gratia payment awarded and an excoriation of TVL recorded.

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Re: TVLD

Service charges on leasehold flats or properties for things like 'lift maintenance', concierges and so forth, even when management companies do a terrible job / no work at all.

Paying council tax when, increasingly, council-funded services are having to reduce budgets due to increasing deficits, resulting in things like poorly-maintained highways or completely closed public facilities (where have all the public loos gone?)

For what's provided in return for the licence fee, it seems like a pretty balanced deal.

* Globally recognised R&D which generates income for UK industry and leads the world in broadcasting standards

* World-class, pioneering on-demand platform

* So many TV and radio shows

* A host of online content and services

* A network of national and local radio and TV stations, including dedicated national language stations.

* Extensive coverage of Parliamentary goings-on

* Regular, massive charitable fundraising campaigns

* Significant 'soft power' working in our interests overseas

* A globally recognised and admired World Service

(Believe me, in countries where there's free or independent media, the BBC is lauded as an acclaimed, trustworthy broadcaster. Have first-hand experience of this. It's only in the UK where the BBC's constantly accused of bias from both sides!)

It's a chunk of cash, but when you consider Switzerland charge about £400 a year for a licence and loads of Scandi countries also charge several hundred a year... Most countries with TV licenses also show ads (except Norway, Sweden and Finland I think?).

Heck, Slovenia still charge for a radio licence even if you don't watch TV. That's horrific.

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Anonymous Coward

I used to diligently fill in the no licence required form both paper and online, stating that I don't need a licence. It makes no difference at all to the frequency of demanding letters.

I actually had an enforcement officer turn up once but he refused to come inside to see my lack of a TV.

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Withdrawing their Implied Right of Access and warning them of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 will immediately stop ALL the threatening letters.

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Anonymous Coward

Withdrawing their Implied Right of Access and warning them of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 will should immediately stop ALL the threatening letters.

FTFY. This is Capita we're talking about, and to assume that they would actually get something right is a rather bold assumption.

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It worked for me !

But I share your views about Capita.

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aks

I received the letter, contacted them by phone and explained that I have various equipment such as a screen, laptop and smartphone, each of which is capable of being used to watch broadcast television.

As the current rule is that one must watch broadcast television or use iPlayer to view BBC output, being capable of watching is not the same as actually watching.

I don't watch television but do use a Sky box to listen to radio.

I now have a letter from them titled "Your No Licence Needed confirmation".

At no time did I give my name.

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Silver badge
Trollface

24,999

Only 24,999 people had their financial detail put as risk because of a stupid oversight.

Well that not much is it? One person would be tragic but 24,999 that's just a statistic.

Someone else said that once......

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Anonymous Coward

Crucify them!

As above, crucify the scumbags! They treat people like criminals by default. I think they forget they're talking about a fecking TV license and not hunting drug barons.

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Scam email

I had a scam email offering me refund just FIVE hours after a genuine TV Licence email, Nothing before, nothing after. Still awaiting a response on how scammers got the email address.

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Silver badge

Just had these wankers try it on with our shop; threatening us with enforcement officers for failing to reply to a previous letter - except we have never HAD a previous letter; and neither are we a house - as they seemed to believe we were.

Then they tried to make out we needed a license if a CUSTOMER watched anything BBC related that the customer had DOWNLOADED ONTO THEIR OWN DEVICE; regardless of where, when, or what that customers license status was.

Heated words were exchanged over the phone.

We havent actually watched any TV at home for over a year - and may now just ditch the license in protest- fuck-em.

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Anonymous Coward

Did some work in RM delivery offices a while back, saw boxes and boxes of the small brown 'TV Licencing' envelopes some with the address and envelope text in black, some in red, piling up at the side of a sorting frame waiting to be put into the relevant address slots. When I asked why there was so much of it I was told it was all for a new estate - some addresses had three or four letters each in growing severity of threat level - the reason it was all sat there is that only thirty or so of the planned five hundred and fifty houses had been built so far. Apparently the delivery manager was getting weekly phone calls from 'enforcement officers' demanding to know where the non-existent houses allocated to the new postcodes were....

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N2

Be wary of scam e-mails?

Is that it?

Unfortunately all the UK has is not fit for purpose toothless watch dogs, spitting fines, which just pushes up prices.

How about a good prison sentence for the idiots that concocted this?

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Anonymous Coward

Re. Be wary of scam e-mails?

I also had a sudden increase in scam emails recently.

It has been suggested that given the mess with recent Police raids (cough CR /cough) maybe this is the time to put it to the public vote.

If the popular vote is lost, no more TV licence and as an additional incentive *all* criminal convictions for the same and any associated debt records are set aside by Act of Parliament a la "Turing Law".

I also believe that we should have a public event to celebrate the end of oppression and victory of free speech against the "Powers of Darkness" (aka TVLD) Say November 5th?

The sight of all those TV license warning letters burning would be something to see.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Capita

Just another daily cockup by the kings of cockups. Tv licences should be abolished and the contract to Capita terminated immediately. It's the 21st century: the tax is an anachronism from the 1930s.

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Impossible

Going back a few years now, but I started getting the threatening letters at a PO box I was tenting at the time! I'm not sure how they thought I'd get a TV into the pigeonhole, back of the desk at the local showing office!

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