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.
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.
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 the feedback/contact form is not stored on the website, but is instead emailed to an internal service desk system accessible only by authorised National Records of Scotland staff. We use a relay service to scan emails for spam and malware before they reach the service desk system. This form is not intended for the transmission of confidential or security-related material and should not be used for such. Please be aware that emails you send us, and those we may send to you, are not secure because email messages can be intercepted.
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.
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:
- Session Cookies - these are temporary cookie files, which are erased when you close your browser. When you restart your browser and go back to the site that created the cookie, the website will not recognize you.
- Persistent Cookies - these remain 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
Cookies used by the National Records of Scotland website:
Cookies for measuring site usage
We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it’s meeting its users’ needs and to understand how we could do it better. Google Analytics stores information about what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on. We do not collect or store your personal information (e.g. your name or address) so this information cannot be used to identify who you are. We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.
|_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.nrscotland.gov.uk) and Scotland’s Census (www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk), which are managed by National Records of Scotland. This statement does not cover links within this site to other websites.