Privacy notice

Date last modified: 24/05/2018

Who we are

The GOV.UK User Research Panel is provided by the Government Digital Service (GDS) which is part of the Cabinet Office. Our job is the digital transformation of government.

Your privacy is important to us. When you volunteer to test GOV.UK we will ask you some questions about who you are and how you use the internet. We may also ask you for further information in the future. You can choose whether or not to give us any further information.

When you answer our questions, we save your information. We only save personal information that we need to invite you to participate in the right research session. If you choose to sign up, we may ask for contact details and other personal information. You can choose whether you want to share information with us. You will always be told when we collect this information.

The data controller for GDS is the Cabinet Office – a data controller determines the purposes and means of processing personal data. For more information see the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) Data Protection Public Register. The Cabinet Office registration number is: Z7414053

What data we need

This privacy notice applies to collection and storage of your information for the GOV.UK user research community. It does not apply to personal information gathered during research sessions. If you participate in research, we will give you more information about how we will use any personal information you give us during the research session.

We may ask you to share:

  • your name and contact details
  • information about how you use the internet
  • information about your personal circumstances, such as employment, benefits or housing
  • information about any assistive technology you use to access the internet

We may also track (using cookies and page tagging):

  • your IP address
  • what web browser you use
  • how you use the GOV.UK user research community site
  • which web page you were on when you signed up to the GOV.UK user research community

By accepting this privacy notice, you are consenting to our use and disclosure of your personal information as described in this privacy notice, which may include sensitive personal information. If you do not want us to keep your personal information, please do not register.

The legal basis for processing this data for User Research is consent. When you sign up to volunteer, we require you to confirm a statement of consent. You can withdraw your consent at any time by unsubscribing. You can find a link to unsubscribe in any of the emails we’ve sent you.

Why we need it

The Government Digital Service wants to make websites better by learning from the people who use them. The information or data you share with us will only be used for improving government websites and services. Your answers will also help us ask you to participate in user research that’s relevant to you.

What we do with it

We may use the information or data you share with us to contact you with GOV.UK user research community surveys to help us learn more about you.

Your information will be stored securely and it will only be used it for user research.

We may share your information with other central government departments. This means we may invite you to take part in research being done by other central government departments.

We won’t share your information with any organisations outside central government. Your information will never be used for marketing, market research or commercial purposes. We won’t pass your details on to other websites.

We may pass on your personal information if we have a legal obligation to do so, for example, by court order, or to prevent fraud or other crime, or if we have to enforce or apply our terms of use and other agreements. This includes exchanging information with other government departments for legal reasons.

How long we keep your data

We will only hold your data while it is being used for research purposes and for no longer than 3 years. We will email you annually to reconfirm your consent. You can ask us to remove your data at any time.

You can unsubscribe from the panel at any time. You can find a link to unsubscribe in any of the emails we’ve sent you.

If you ask us to delete your data, we will delete the information we hold about you from our databases as soon as reasonably possible.

In some circumstances, we’ll keep information you’ve asked us to remove. This might be to resolve disputes, troubleshoot problems or apply our terms of participation. Due to technical and legal constraints, information is never completely removed from our databases, including stored back-up systems. You therefore shouldn’t expect that all of your personally identifiable information will be completely removed from our databases.

Children’s privacy protection

We understand the importance of protecting children's privacy online. Our services are not designed for, or intentionally targeted at, children 13 years of age or younger. It is not our policy to intentionally collect or maintain data about anyone under the age of 13.

Where we will store your data

We store your data in the UK and the data will not leave the UK. Your data will be processed by staff within the UK who work for us or one of our suppliers.

By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to treat your data securely and in accordance with this privacy notice.

How we protect your data and keep it secure

We have procedures and security features in place to keep your data secure on our servers. However, by agreeing to participate you should be aware and accept that:

  • the internet is not completely secure
  • we cannot guarantee the security of your data on its way to us
  • you send information or data over the internet at your own risk

What are your rights

You can find out what information we hold about you. You can ask us not to use any of the information we collect. You can contact to find out what information we hold about you.

While you are subscribed, we will send you emails and research participation offers. You can choose to unsubscribe at any time. If you unsubscribe, we will not send you emails or research participation offers. We will also delete your information from our system.

You have the right to:

  • request information about how your personal data are processed and to request a copy of that personal data
  • request that any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay
  • request that any incomplete personal data are completed, including by means of a supplementary statement
  • request that your personal data are erased if there is no longer a justification for them to be processed
  • request that the processing of your personal data is restricted in certain circumstances – for example, where accuracy is contested

Your personal data is processed on the basis of consent, so you have the right to:

  • withdraw consent to the processing of your personal data at any time
  • request a copy of any personal data you have provided, and for this to be provided in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format

Changes to this notice

We may modify or amend this privacy notice at our discretion at any time. When we make changes to this notice, we will amend the last modified date at the top of this page. Any modification or amendment to this privacy notice will be applied to you and your data as of that revision date. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy notice to be informed about how we are protecting your data.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice only applies to the online forms and surveys you complete when you volunteer to help us research and test GOV.UK. This privacy notice doesn’t cover research you participate in. It doesn't cover other pages you visit on GOV.UK or on other government services and transactions.

Following a link to another website

If you choose to go to another website from this one, you should read the privacy notice on that website to find out what that site will do with your information.

We may change this privacy notice

We may occasionally change this privacy notice so that it accurately reflects regulation and how we collect and disclose data. All amended terms will automatically be effective 30 days after they are posted on this web page.

How to contact us

The data controller for your personal data is the Cabinet Office.

If you have any questions about anything in this document or if you consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled you can contact the Data Protection Officer (DPO) at:

Or by post at:

    Data Protection Officer
    Cabinet Office
    70 Whitehall
    London SW1A 2AS

You may also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: or on 0303 123 1113.

Or by post at:

    Information Commissioner's Office
    Wycliffe House
    Water Lane
    Cheshire SK9 5AF