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.
The FCO is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998. A copy of the charter is available to read and download.
You do not have to register to use the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, but you do need to register 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.
You can send a message to the Foreign and 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.
In this section you will find information on what cookies may be set when you visit a FCO website and how to reject or delete those cookies.
When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:
You can manage these small files yourself and learn more about them through at www.direct.gov.uk/managingcookies.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of FCO websites.
If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.
For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.
To totally opt-out of our suppliers collecting any data regarding your interaction on FCO sites, please refer to section 3.3.2.
The FCO may make occasional and limited use of the Adobe Flash Player to deliver services. To improve user experience, Local Shared Objects - or Flash Cookies as they are commonly known - are employed to provide some features. Flash Cookies are stored on a user's terminal much the same as cookies are, however it is not possible to manage them at browser level in the same way.
The Adobe website provides comprehensive information on how to delete or disable Flash cookies either for a specific domain like fco.gov.uk or for all websites - see http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/security for details. Please be aware that restricting the use of Flash Cookies may affect the features available to you for Flash based applications.
The FCO uses a number of suppliers who also set cookies on its websites on its behalf.
To support our information provision and engagement, we sometimes embed photos and video content from websites such as YouTube and Flickr. As a result, when you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Flickr, you may be presented with cookies from these websites. The FCO does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.
Cookies of this nature on FCO websites include:
The FCO websites also carry embedded 'share' buttons to enable users of the site to easily share articles with their peers through a number of popular social networks. These sites may set a cookie when you are also logged in to or otherwise using their service. The FCO does not control the dissemination of these cookies and you should check the relevant third party website for more information about these.
The FCO uses third party services to gather data regarding the usage of FCO sites on our behalf using cookies, log file data and code which is embedded on our website. The FCO uses this type of information to help improve the services it provides to its UK visitors and non-UK visitors.
|SERVICE|| COOKIE NAME
|uk.sitestat.com||c1|| 5 years
|uk.sitestat.com||s1|| 5 years
| google analytics
||_utmb|| 30 minutes
|google analytics||_utma|| 2 years
| google analytics
||_utmz|| 6 months
| google analytics
||_utmc|| Not set
comScore, an independent measurement and research company, gathers information regarding visitor activity on the FCO's websites and other FCO online services using Digital Analytix (formerly SiteStat). Data is gathered on the FCO's behalf using cookies, log file data, and code that are embedded on our websites. The FCO uses this information to help improve the services it provides to its users.
The FCO also uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics sets a cookie in order to evaluate visitor’s use of the FCO sites.
Google stores the information collected by the cookie on servers in the United States. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using the FCO sites, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.
For more information on the cookie set by Google Analytics, including information on how to opt out please go to: http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html
This is a list of the main cookies set by the FCO website, and what each is used for:
Unique identifier for sessions, this identifies a user’s session e.g. shopping basket, secure area logins.
Unique session identifier when editing email alert options or creating email subscription accounts.
Used by load balancer to map browser sessions to specific web application servers for non-secure http traffic.
Used by load balancer to map browser sessions to specific web application servers for https traffic.
The above cookies expire after 30 minutes or if the browser session is closed.