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Privacy

Information on how the council safeguards the privacy of its website visitors in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988.

Published: 30 December 2020

Last updated: 29 June 2021

Westminster City Council will endeavour to safeguard the privacy of its website visitors. 

Information we collect

We will collect personal details appropriate to the service you require. In some areas, this may simply mean registering your name, address and email details. Other on-line forms will require more information.

Please note that calls to the contact centre may be monitored or recorded.

How we use personal information

There are various reasons that we need to collect personal data. For example, we may need your contact details for correspondence purposes. Similarly, we may need information because of legal requirements. Subject to your agreement, we may contact you to let you know about new online services, or get your feedback on how we're performing. In any event, we will only ever ask for information that is absolutely necessary and does not constitute an invasion of privacy.

Allowing your details to be used across other council services

We all get frustrated on occasion when we have to repeat the same basic information over and over again. Because of this, we're focusing on making it easy for people to do business with us, whenever and however they choose, all through a single contact, which should remember the relevant information.

By actively allowing your details to be used across other council services, you are allowing us to re-use information to minimise the time taken when you contact us in the future.

Rights

Please note that in agreeing to share these details you have not forfeited your rights as prescribed under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the council will continue to apply the same level of care to safeguard your privacy as we always have done. Your service entitlement from the council will not be affected should you decide not to allow your data to be shared in this way. For more information about how we process personal data please see our fair processing notice.

Email messages

We are keen to ensure that we are providing our citizens with services that they need. Consequently, you may receive occasional e-mail messages from Westminster City Council on matters that we consider may be of interest to you, if you have provided your email address to us for this purpose.

Information to improve our site

We collect web statistics automatically about your visit to our site based on your IP address. This information is used to help us track what people are doing on the site so that we can improve it. We don't use this information to identify you as an individual and you will remain anonymous, unless you're asked to identify yourself by completing a form or an online transaction.

Cookies

If you complete our online registration process, or subsequently login to the site, we will use cookies to remember your preferences during your current visit, and any future visits provided the cookie was not deleted in the interim. Cookies can be deleted at the end of each visit by logging out of the site. Your browser help text will contain information about how to refuse cookies from our site should you wish. Refusing cookies from our site will not affect your ability to perform online transactions, although we will not be able to display content that is relevant to you on certain pages, nor pre-fill forms with your name and contact details where relevant.

Other cookies - we use Google Analytics on our site in order to know what is of most interest to our customers. Using the data collected we can then gear our website to providing a more effective website for our customers. Personal information is not collected in this process.

We also use a product called Logo_Net. This code helps us track the route customers take through our website. Again we do not collect personal information.

We want to ensure you reach your destination as quickly as possible and we will offer advice on what we think you may be looking for. For example, you may see suggestions on the right hand side of some pages or you may see a chat feature in order for you to have an online conversation with a member of staff.

We would like you to continue to use our site with cookies switched on but if you are concerned you have the ability to turn them off though it will mean certain features of the site won't be available to you. Learn more about cookies, including how to disable them.

Visitor tracking tools

We use the below visitor tracking tools when cookie consent is granted:

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics as a usage monitoring tool.

We use Google Analytics to anonymously collect information about:

  • the volume of visitors who visit the site
  • which pages visitors visit
  • which links are clicked on the site
  • where visitors have come to the site from

Google Analytics anonymity protections:

  • IP addresses are anonymised before data is captured
  • the data retention period is set to the shortest option Google offers, 14 months
  • if a report is run which uses either the Age or Gender demographic variables, the report will not show:
    • any data attributed to someone under 18 years old
    • any output which would return a single line result of less than 12 visitors

We use this information to compile reports and help up improve the sites performance and usability.

Lucky Orange

We use Lucky Orange as a behaviour insight monitoring tool.

We use Lucky Orange to anonymously collect information:

  • To generate page by page heatmaps of how visitors have navigated around an individual page, which is used to ensure the usability of a page is optimised for visitors - for example we use heatmaps to check that the most popular content is prominently displayed on the page, and as high up the page as possible
  • To generate webform analytics, such as:
    • the completion rate of visitors using a webform
    • which webform fields have been completed, in which order
    • how long a webform field takes to be completed on average
    • which field are visitors abandoning the webform on
    • whether visitors have a propensity to edit the webform field having entered data
  • to anonymously tag and record individual visits to the site, which allows our User Researcher to target the recordings they view - for example a visitor journey may be tagged as “Pay” if they visit a page which is focused on a payment transaction, or it may be tagged as “Parking” if the Visitor visits a parking page, and a single journey may pick up multiple tags and the subsequent screen recording allows our User Researcher to observe clicks, moves and scrolls on pages that make up a visit
  • to run adhoc polls on individual pages - we have used this tool to invite visitors to register interest in being contacted by one of our User Researchers to provide feedback on parts of our site

Lucky Orange anonymity protections:

  • IP addresses are anonymised, so the last three digits aren’t recorded of the IP format: 11.111.111.###
  • when interaction journeys are recorded, and data entry fields in a webpage don’t record the keystrokes nor are they shown in the recording, instead they appear in the replay as asterisk
  • all Lucky Orange recordings/data captured is stored for 30 days, after which they are expunged from the system

We use this information by our User Researchers to deep dive into individual page performance and usability.

Microsoft Clarity

We use Microsoft Clarity as a behaviour insight monitoring tool.

We use Microsoft Clarity to anonymously collect information:

  • to generate heatmaps of how visitors have navigated around an individual page - this product is being piloted to test its features and value as a free product, whilst the primary heatmapping tool our User Researchers rely on is the paid for Lucky Orange tool.
  • to record individual visitor sessions to the site, similar to Lucky Orange - this product is being piloted to test its features and value as a free product, whilst the primary Visitor Journey tool our User Researchers rely on is the paid for Lucky Orange tool

Microsoft Clarity anonymity protections:

  • the field masking setting is set to 'Strict' – all text is masked in recordings

We use this information for our User Researchers to deep dive into individual page performance and usability.

Facebook pixel

We use a Facebook pixel as an Audience Engagement monitoring tool.

We use a Facebook pixel to identify visitor audiences who have responded to a Facebook advert Westminster Council has commissioned. We do this to:

  • analyse if Facebook adverts are delivering value for money
  • analyse if the Facebook adverts are reaching their intended audience
  • allow Westminster to identify respondents to Facebook adverts (anonymously) and send follow up adverts to further promote a campaign, such as our Fostering and Adoption or COVID vaccination campaigns, where we know it will take multiple adverts for a campaign message to be best delivered
  • Facebook visitor audiences provide a greater level of detail around audience membership demographics than other methodologies

We use this information to judge the efficacy and performance of our Facebook advert campaigns.

Using wifi in council buildings - Govroam, Eduroam and GovWiFi

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Contact

If you wish to contact the data protection officer, please email: [email protected].