MI5 - Security Service

Privacy Policy

This page describes the privacy policy for the Security Service website at www.mi5.gov.uk / www.securityservice.gov.uk. This statement does not cover the websites we link to, which may have different privacy policies.

If this privacy statement changes in any way, we shall place an updated version on this page.

Confidentiality

Any information you supply via the "How you can help us" and "Contact Us" pages, or using our telephone number or PO Box address, will be transmitted and processed securely and will not be retained for longer than is necessary. This information will be treated in the confidence and we will disclose it to another person or organisation only so far as necessary for the purpose of our statutory functions, as set out in the Security Service Act 1989.

Data Protection Act 1998

This Act requires that we inform you that if you volunteer any information to us, for example via the "How you can help us" and "Contact Us" pages, such information may include "personal data" (that is, information about you). The Service is a "data controller" for the purposes of this Act.

We will process the personal data from your message. If you ask for information that is not already published on the website, we shall try to respond to your enquiry where security constraints permit but we may need to contact other Government departments to answer it fully. If your enquiry relates to technical issues, we may need to pass some information on to our technology suppliers. As noted above, we will disclose information to another person or organisation only where necessary for the purpose of our statutory functions.

For queries regarding the Security Service's data processing practices and to request information on whether personal data is being processed by the Service, please contact:

The Data Controller
PO Box 3255,
London SW1P 1AE

Please be aware that written correspondence posted in the UK may take up to a week to reach us.

Personal information

The Security Service website does not store or capture personal information about visitors. The system will record your email address and other information if volunteered to us by you, for example via the "How you can help us" and "Contact Us" pages.

You do not have to provide personal information if you do not wish to. We do not collect any personal information using cookies and we will not collect any personal information about you except anonymised data that is required for system administration and statistical analysis (see the following section).

Usage analysis

We log the IP addresses of visitors to help us to analyse the usage of the website and the websites from which visitors have arrived. We do not collect any personal information in the process, but these data enable us to record the pages that you see while visiting the website.

We do this to assess which parts of the website are the most popular and identify trends in usage, helping to guide the development of new web pages.

E-mail subscriptions

If you sign up to receive e-mail alerts we will use the information you give us to provide the service(s) that you have requested. We may occasionally contact e-mail alert subscribers to help us to evaluate and improve the service that we offer.

The information that you submit will be held for as long as you require access to the service(s) requested. If you inform us that you wish to cancel a subscription we will remove you from our mailing list and your details will be deleted from our records.

We use the services of dotMailer Limited (new window) to manage our e-mail alert service and distribute e-mails to subscribers. The subscription details that you give us are held securely on dotMailer servers in the UK, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, and is used only to provide the alert service. Any data that you provide through our subscription form will be transmitted securely to dotMailer and automatically processed so that you may be added to the list of subscribers.

Your message will be sent via a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), a protocol used for secure communications over the Internet. Web addresses that begin with "https" indicate that an SSL connection will be used.

Glossary

Cookie: a small file that a website automatically downloads to your computer or mobile phone's memory or hard drive. Each cookie contains a unique identifier. Cookies can be sent to browsers only if the browser's preferences allow it, and to protect your privacy your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. If you have visited our website on a previous occasion within the last 90 days, the cookie stored on your system will tell us that you are a repeat visitor. Cookies can be disabled in your web browser and existing cookies can be deleted (see your browser's "Help" menu to find out how to do this).

IP address: an address consisting of four numbers (e.g. 127.0.0.1) that identifies the network from which you are connecting to the Internet. Your computer or mobile phone may have either a unique IP address or one that is shared with many other users of your Internet service provider.

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