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Privacy policy

Data Protection Act 1998

The FCO processes personal data for the purposes of promoting and protecting internationally the interests of the United Kingdom and its citizens and contributing to a stronger world community. Recipients of the personal data we may hold on you may include other UK Government departments and public authorities.

1. Registration information

You do not have to register to use the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website, but you do need to register to take part in the discussions and if you want to receive updates about the site.

The registration information we require as mandatory for you to register is: your username (which does not need to be your real name), a password, and e-mail address. This information is stored securely on our database. Until such time as you choose to delete your account, your details are stored so that you do not need to re-register when you come back to the site.

You can change your registration preferences, e-mail address and and login details through the website at any time. If you wish to amend your personal profile, please click on the 'Subscribe' link at the top of the page, log in to your account, and check/uncheck the options available. If you are no longer interested in receiving FCO email alerts and wish to be removed from our database, click on the 'Unsubscribe' link on the same page and simply enter your username and password.

2. Feedback

You can send a message to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office using our feedback form. If you are asking for information we do not already publish on the site, we will deal with your query. In doing so we may need to contact other government departments to find answers to your questions. If your question is technical, we may need to pass it to our technology supplier. In such cases we will only pass on personal data if it is necessary to do so, and we will not keep your personal data or records of our correspondence longer than necessary.

When you send comments to the discussions fora, these can be read by anyone visiting the page. Your registered username appears next to your comments. All comments are read and moderated by editors who may delete them if they break our terms of use.

3. Site usage information

i) Session cookies

Cookies are pieces of data created when you visit a website. The cookies our site uses are 'session cookies', which store your 'preferences' while you move around the site. You can set your computer not to accept cookies if you so wish. This will not in any way affect your ability to access the information on the site, but will prevent you logging into any of the personalised facilities and using the added functionality that the site offers.

NedStat, an independent measurement and research company gathers non-personal data regarding the visitors to our site on our behalf using cookies and code embedded in the site.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office website uses session cookies and log files to facilitate the smooth running of the site. It does not use cookies to collect any personal information about you except that required for system administration of our web server. Session cookies are deleted when you close your browser.

ii) Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors' use of the site. The system puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make changes to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it.

Log files do not contain any personal information.

If this privacy policy changes in any way, we will place an updated version on this page. Regularly reviewing this page ensures you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we will share it with other parties.

If you have a query or complaint about this privacy policy or about the site, you can contact us via the feedback form..