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Privacy

In undertaking our duties, we, at the National Records of Scotland, fully recognise the importance of privacy.

Information collected by this website

Information that is routinely collected by this website falls into two categories, feedback forms and website log files.

Feedback forms

The website provides a feedback form to allow users to:

  • Give general feedback about the site
  • Report technical problems with the site
  • Make a press/media enquiry
  • Request a business contact with NRS
  • Make a Freedom of Information request

The information collected will be stored and used by the National Records of Scotland chiefly for the purpose of fulfilling the stated service.

We will not share any personal information that we receive about individuals with other organisations for commercial purposes, or use it for any marketing purposes not in accordance with the stated purpose of the original form through which the information was supplied, or otherwise as detailed in this Privacy Policy.

However, we reserve the right to use non-personal information for business, research and marketing purposes. In these cases the reuse of the information will not identify or be associated in any way with the individual who provided it and will not contain any contact information relating to that individual or their company.

For example, possible reuses of non-personal information may include (but are not limited to):

  • A report made publicly available on the site listing all the Freedom of Information queries made in a given period
  • An internal report produced for National Records of Scotland staff listing any technical problems that have arisen with the website and steps taken to remedy them
  • Marketing literature using quotes drawn from feedback given about the site

In most cases, the information provided on a form is entirely optional. General feedback and technical problems can be sent without having to provide a name or email address. However, contact details may be given if you would like to receive a reply.

Other forms only make sense if certain information is included; for example, a Freedom of Information request is only valid if a contact name and email address are provided.

Information collected from feedback forms is not stored on the website, but is instead sent to an email address accessible only by authorised National Records of Scotland staff. However, these forms are not intended for the transmission of confidential or security-related material and should not be used for such.

Website log files

All websites produce log files that record the activity on that site. Log files record which pages on the site have been accessed and how many times. From this information it is possible to produce statistics such as how busy the website is, which pages are the most popular and whether there are any broken links.

Log files typically record the IP address and/or hostname of all users accessing the website. This allows us to distinguish between different users and therefore estimate the number of unique visitors to the website. IP addresses and hostnames are not linked to any individual's personally identifiable information.

Specific IP addresses and hostnames will not be made publicly available. They will only be used by website log file software to compile overall summary statistical reports on the performance of the website. (For more information about IP addresses and hostnames, see 'Additional information' below.)

Website log files are stored securely on the website using industry best practice methods for safeguarding information and server functions.

Additional information

This section provides background information regarding terminology and legislation referenced in the writing of this privacy policy statement.

Cookies

Depending on your browser's security settings, websites may be allowed to create and store small files called 'cookies' in a specific directory on your computer to help with the functionality of the site. Cookies cannot harm your computer in any way. Only the website that created the cookie can subsequently reuse it.

There are two types of cookies:

  • A persistent cookie remains on your computer for a period of time to allow a website to recognise you when you return and present you with the appropriate customised pages

What cookies the National Records of Scotland website uses are detailed below

Cookies for measuring site usage

Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This to ensure that the service is available when you want it and fast.

Cookie Typical content Expires
_utma randomly generated number 2 years
_utmb randomly generated number 30 minutes
_utmc randomly generated number when user exits browser
_utmz

randomly generated number + info on how the site was reached (e.g. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search)

6 months

For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.

IP addresses and hostnames

An IP address is the numeric address of a computer. The IP address recorded on website log files is the address provided by your internet service provider's equipment and not your own personal computer's address.

Hostnames are similar in appearance to the domain names you see in URLs and email addresses. The hostnames recorded on website log files are those of the internet service provider's equipment that you are using to access the internet, and not your own computer's name or location.

Your internet service provider will keep records of which customer is using any IP address or hostname at any given time, and so it is theoretically possible to trace back activity shown on any website log file to a specific individual. In practice, this can only be done with the explicit involvement of the internet service provider, and such a trace would therefore only take place in the event of serious criminal misuse of the internet and would be carried out by the police.

The National Records of Scotland will not attempt to associate IP addresses and hostnames with individuals. In the event of serious criminal misuse of the website, the matter would be referred to the police for investigation.

This privacy statement only covers this website (www.gro-scotland.gov.uk), which is managed by National Records of Scotland. This statement does not cover links within this site to other websites.


Page last updated: 15 February 2012


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