This statement was last updated on 3 April 2007.
Who is the data controller for this website?
The data controller for this website is the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). (The Commissioners for Revenue & Customs, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ.)
What information do we collect and how do we use it?
Depending on which website facilities you use, we collect five different types of information. The types of information and uses are explained below.
When you register with our site, we may contact you to ask whether you would like to be added to our mailing list, so that we can tell you about our services.
If you are a registered user, we may use information from the five types to offer personalised information when you use the website, notify you of changes to our service, ask your opinions and to help us improve our service to you.
1. Information that you provide to us
We collect and process information that you provide for specific purposes. This may include demographic information such as your name, email addresses, mailing address and telephone number. We use the information to provide you with the specific information, product or services that you request from us and to communicate with you. If you contact us we may keep a record of that correspondence.
You will be asked to provide information about yourself when you use certain site facilities, including the following:
"Email this page" - the email address you type is not retained by us.
"Feedback" - you are asked to give an email address only if you want a reply to your feedback. This address is forwarded to the relevant contact along with your feedback and is not retained on the website.
"Order a publication" - this address is passed to the organisation which manages our publications distribution and is used by us to ensure that you receive publications you have ordered. When you order certain publications you may be given the option of asking your local business support organisation to contact you. In this case your address details are also forwarded to your local business support organisation.
"Contact us" - you will be asked for contact information if you request a call from a local business support organisation. This information is passed to the chosen organisation.
"Registration/My Business" - when you register, we will create a User ID and password with Government Gateway, which is run by the Cabinet Office. Your name, User ID, password and email address will be stored on the Government Gateway servers run by Cabinet Office. Your personal storage area is called "My Business". You can change your stored information at any time by logging in. If you are registered with more than one site, the information in My Business will be shared with the other sites you have chosen to register with.
"Sign-up Manager" - you will be asked to enter your contact details together with information that is known to both yourself and the specific department in whose service you are enrolling. This information is passed on to that department and the Cabinet Office, which runs Government Gateway. Your email address will be used to advise you of a successful enrolment.
"Find Contacts" - you will be asked to type your postcode into the search box for the purposes of the search.
"Event Bookings" - we will record the details of your transaction to ensure the fulfilment of your order.
Transactional services - when you perform an online transaction through this site, we will, with your permission, send the data you enter within the transaction to the government department or agency concerned. To give a legally correct audit trail, we will store the data for seven years. When you perform an online transaction, we also give you an opportunity to store information in "My Business". "My Business" will give you a record of which departments have been sent your data.
2. Website usage information
We receive and store certain information whenever you interact with us. We collect website usage information from a number of sources:
Our web server.
URLs passed to us when you enter our site.
Some information entered by you on forms on the website. In web usage information where information is entered by a user who has not logged in, truncated postcodes (excluding the last two characters) and telephone area codes may be used to measure regional demographics, but are not traceable back to you.
A selection of Internet service providers.
A selection of search engine companies.
We collect web usage information during your visits to our site including information on the date, time, page viewed or searched for, publications ordered, guides printed, tools used, subscriptions and referrals made and other information relating to your browsing activity on our website. Where you are a registered user of our website and have logged in, we may collect web usage information to enable us to build a demographic profile. We may also use web usage information to create statistical data regarding the use of our website. We may then use or disclose that statistical data to others for marketing and strategic development purposes, but no individuals will be identified in such statistical data.
We collect web usage information to help us:
assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
develop and deliver services and information that better meet your needs
inform you of events, services and products which we believe to be relevant to you, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes
3. IP Addresses
We use IP addresses to analyse trends, track users' movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.
Cookies are small files that are often created when you visit a website, and which are stored in the cookie directory of your computer. A cookie often includes an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies do not damage your computer. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser's preferences allow it, but to protect your privacy your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. You do not have to accept cookies. You can decide if you want to accept cookies by changing the settings on your browser to either accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is set. Switching off cookies will still allow you to view the majority of content on our site, although it may restrict your use of our interactive tools.
There are two types of cookie. Persistent cookies remain on your computer for a specified time. We use persistent cookies to:
identify that a registered user has returned
collect information for use as described above.
Session-specific cookies are deleted when you leave the website. We use session-specific cookies to:
hold the information given while using an interactive tool on the website
hold your details when you are logged into the site
hold your search criteria while you are carrying out a search of the website
collect information for use as described above
Disclosure of information
Linking to other websites
This website contains links to many other government and non-government websites. Anonymous visit or session information may be passed to other websites for the web usage information purposes described above. None of this information can be related to an individual user of the website. The operators of other sites may collect information from you which will be used by them in accordance with their own data protection policy.
We use leading technologies and security measures to safeguard your information and keep strict security standards to prevent any unauthorised access to it. Our registration system makes use of the Government Gateway. We use industry-standard SSL encryption software when processing sensitive information such as usernames and passwords.
Changes to this policy
If your use of this site falls under the Data Protection Act as a personal user, you have a right to request a copy of any information held about you. If you wish to do this, please contact us, explaining that your interest is to review your personal information. Except where the law obliges us to keep your data, we will ensure that your data is gathered and/or purged from the servers managed by HMRC (details of how to make a request are held on HMRC's website at www.hmrc.gov.uk - Opens in a new window ). We will need to receive appropriate identification that proves you are the correct person to request the information.