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The BBC has denied that plans for iPlayer users to enter a password from next year are part of a crackdown on licence fee evaders.

The corporation has announced that viewers will need to enter a password from from early 2017 to watch shows on the device, saying that it is designed to create a “more personal BBC for everyone”.

New rules came into force this month which meant that viewers must have a TV licence to watch or download BBC programmes on demand through iPlayer.

This ends a loophole which allowed people to watch programmes after they had been broadcast without a licence.

Director of BBC Radio Helen Boaden, who is working on the plans, said: “Some of you might be thinking that this is driven by the changes to the so-called ‘iPlayer loophole’ which means you now need a TV licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand on iPlayer.

“It’s not – it’s about giving you a better BBC. As we said earlier this month, we’ll carry on using our existing enforcement processes and techniques which we believe to be adequate and appropriate.”

She added: “We will keep our processes under review to make sure they are effective. The Government has asked us to review whether a verification system for accessing the iPlayer will be required in the future.”

A BBC spokesman said: “There are no current plans for passwords to be used for enforcement but that could change.”

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