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Privacy and data protection

We are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of users of our digital services, and do all that we can to protect information about participants. The following information applies to our main website ( and any of our other sites which explicitly link to this policy. 

Data protection

Any information you provide will be held securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Your personal details will not normally be disclosed to third parties. In some circumstances however we may need to disclose your personal details to a third party so that they can provide a service you have requested, or fulfill a request for information. Any information about you that we pass to a third party will be held securely by that party, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and used only to provide the services or information you have requested.

You have a right to request a copy of your personal details at any time to check the accuracy of the information held. If you want to ask whether the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills holds any personal data relating to you, please write to us at:

Data Protection Officer
Information Rights Unit
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Orchard 3, 1st Floor
1 Victoria Street,
London SW1H OET

Alternatively you can email your request to

Proof of identity

Before we can act on your request, you will need to supply proof of your identity. This should include a photocopy of the identification pages of your current passport or of a current photo driving licence; and the original of a current utilities bill (for example, gas or electricity), or credit card or bank statement, which includes your name and current address. This can be returned to you if required.
If you do not have any of these forms of identification, please contact the Data Protection Officer, who will assist you.

Information we collect from visitors

We collect several kinds of information depending on the part of the site being visited: feedback, email enquiries, email addresses, site usage information and, in a few cases, personal details such as your name and postal details if you order publications.

1. Feedback

If you provide feedback about the website through our contact form we will only use this information to develop and improve the site.

2. Comments and questions

If you send an enquiry by email or using the contact form it may not always be possible for the Department to provide the information requested directly. In such circumstances we may pass your enquiry to another government department so that they can fulfill your information request.

3. Email alerts and interactive services

If you sign up to receive email alerts, submit comments or use any of our other interactive services we will use the information you give us to provide the service(s) you have requested only. We may occasionally contact email alert subscribers to help us evaluate and improve the service that we offer. If you have used an online form to sign up for a service, you can correct, update or remove any personally identifiable information directly, via our contact form. We will hold the information you have provided for as long as you require access to the service requested. If you inform us that you wish to cancel your details will be deleted from our records.

4. Site usage information

i) Cookies

Cookies are pieces of data created when you visit a site, and contain a unique, anonymous number. They are stored on the device you used to visit the site, and do not expire at the end of your session. Cookies do not contain any personal information about you and cannot be used to identify an individual user. Most web browsers will let you specify that you be prompted before a site puts a cookie on your device, so that you can decide whether to allow or disallow the cookie. Alternatively, you can set your device not to accept any cookie. If you choose not to accept the cookie, this will not affect your access to the majority of facilities available on our web site.

This website uses cookies to:

  • remember your preference settings for some of our online services
  • improve our understanding of how people use our website, through web analytics
  • measure the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns 

ii) Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors' use of the site. The Department puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements 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 about you.

Last published 00:00 11 Aug 2010