Privacy and cookies
Our use of your data, cookies, and external services: what you should know, and how to opt out if you want to.
mySociety will not supply the names, email addresses, postcodes or any other personal data of constituents to anyone, including MPs, except in two limited circumstances:
- a constituent uses the link we include to WriteToThem.com to contact their MP, in which case they are obliged to reveal their email and postal addresses to the MP, in accordance with that site's usage policy.
- a constituent chooses to respond on the public forum on HearFromYourMP, in which case we will reveal their name only, adjacent to their post(s). We will not reveal any other information, unless the user includes personal information on their post.
We believe that constituents have the right to listen to what their representatives say without revealing their identities — this is what happens every time someone buys a local newspaper, or stands anonymously in a crowd listening to an MP. We see no reason to challenge it.
To make our service easier or more useful, we sometimes place small data files on your computer or mobile phone, known as cookies; many websites do this. We use this information to, for example, remember you have logged in so you don't need to do that on every page, or to measure how people use the website so we can improve it and make sure it works properly. Below, we list the cookies and services that this site can use.
|pb_person_id||A digitally signed token of the logged-in user's numeric ID, and when they logged in||When browser is closed|
|test_cookie||"1", to test if cookies are supported||When browser is closed|
Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)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 such as what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here, what you click on, and information about your web browser. IP addresses are masked (only a portion is stored) and personal information is only reported in aggregate. We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data for any purpose besides providing us with analytics information, and we recommend that any user of Google Analytics does the same.
If you’re unhappy with data about your visit to be used in this way, you can install the official browser plugin for blocking Google Analytics.
The cookies set by Google Analytics are as follows:
|__utma||Unique anonymous visitor ID||2 years|
|__utmb||Unique anonymous session ID||30 minutes|
|__utmz||Information on how the site was reached (e.g. direct or via a link/search/advertisement)||6 months|
|__utmx||Which variation of a page you are seeing if we are testing different versions to see which is best||2 years|
Google’s Official Statement about Analytics Data
Bits of wording taken from the gov.uk cookies page (under the Open Government Licence).