Your privacy on NHS Choices

The Department of Health is the Data Controller for this website under the Data Protection Act 1998. We will process your data in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The purpose of the privacy policy is to inform you as a user of the site about what information we collect when you visit the site, how we use the information, whether the information is disclosed and the ways in which we protect users' privacy.

We want you to feel secure when visiting the site. We are committed to respecting your privacy. Below we give an overview of how we do that.

Information we collect when you visit NHS Choices
We collect information indirectly and directly.

When you access www.nhs.uk we use technology to collect information indirectly such as your Internet address which is then kept in our Internet access logs.

We collect information directly from you in a number of ways. One way is through the use of cookies. Cookies are small files of information which save and retrieve information about your visit to our site - for example, how you entered our site, how you navigated through the site, and what information was of interest to you. The cookies we use identify you merely as a number. (If you are uncomfortable regarding cookies use, please keep in mind you can disable cookies on your computer by changing the settings in preferences or options menu in your browser.)

We also collect information when you give it to us. For example you may wish to register to use the message posting facility called 'Your Thoughts'. When we collect this type of information, we will notify you as to why we are asking for information and how this information will be used. It is completely up to you whether or not you want to provide it.

How do we use this information?
We analyse it to see what is most effective about our site, to help us identify ways to improve it, and to make it more effective. We may also use data for other purposes, which we would describe to you at the point we collect the information.

Will we disclose your information to or share it with other organisations?
As a Government Department we do not share data with other organisations unless the law permits us to do so. We do not sell individual information. We will share it only with our authorised Data Processors who must act at all times on our instructions as the Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. Before you submit any information, we will notify you as to why we are asking for specific information and it is completely up to you whether or not you want to provide it.

We may give you access to your information
You are entitled to know whether we hold information about you and, if we do, to have access to that information and require it to be corrected if it is inaccurate.

You can do this by contacting the Data Protection Officer, Department of Health, Skipton House, 80 London Road, London SE1 6LH.

Your data is kept under secure conditions
We take appropriate steps to maintain the security of your data on our website. You should understand that the open nature of the Internet is such that data may flow over networks without security measures and may be accessed and used by people other than those for whom the data is intended. Our intention is that this should not happen and we take measures to ensure that it does not.

About NHS Choices communities

NHS Choices communities are where people come to talk about how they manage their medical condition or help someone else to cope. That includes mums-to-be taking you through their pregnancy and weight-loss bloggers revealing how they're trying to shed a few pounds.

We've got over 20 forums and blogs for you to chat and share information. If you want to be a blogger, fill in our brief registration form and join in! To comment on existing blog posts you just need to register for an NHS Choices account.

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