Our use of your data, cookies, and external services: what you should know, and how to opt out if you want to.

Summary: We care a lot about our users’ privacy. We provide details below, and we try our hardest to look after the private data that we hold. Like many other websites, we sometimes use cookies, Facebook and Google Analytics to help us make our websites better. These tools are very common and used by many other sites, but they do have privacy implications, and as a charity concerned with socially positive uses of the internet, we think it’s important to explain them in full. If you don’t want to share your browsing activities on mySociety’s sites with other companies, you can adjust your usage or install opt-out browser plugins.

Privacy

We ask for your email address so that the transport organisation who's responsible for your problem can write back to you, and also so that we can send you updates about your problem, and any other people's problems that you choose to support. Occasionally, reports posted on FixMyTransport generate press interest. In such cases, we will email you to pass along the journalist's contact details. There is no obligation to follow up on these, and we will not share your contact details without your consent. We will also, occasionally, send you information when we make changes to the site which will make it easier for you to overcome your transport problems. But we won't do anything else with your email address.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest news on FixMyTransport, you could follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or sign up for the mySociety newsletter.

Cookies

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.

NameTypical ContentExpires
_fixmytransport_sessionA random unique identifierWhen web browser is closed, or 1 month if 'Remember me' is used
user_credentialsA random unique identifier and a numeric user identifierWhen web browser is closed, or 1 month if 'Remember me' is used

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:

NameTypical ContentExpires
__utmaUnique anonymous visitor ID2 years
__utmbUnique anonymous session ID30 minutes
__utmzInformation on how the site was reached (e.g. direct or via a link/search/advertisement)6 months
__utmxWhich variation of a page you are seeing if we are testing different versions to see which is best2 years

Google’s Official Statement about Analytics Data

“This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States . Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.”

Facebook

We use Facebook on this site to make it quicker and easier to login to the site, and to share information with your friends. When you visit a site that uses a Facebook service, you’re telling Facebook that you visited. Facebook do not use this information to create any profile of your browsing behaviour, and data obtained by them in this manner is kept only for a short period and then deleted. For more information, please see Facebook's page on cookies, which is very clear and well-written.

If you’re unhappy with the idea of sharing the fact you visited our sites (and any other sites) with Facebook, you can install a Facebook blocker.

More general information on how third party services work.

Credits

Bits of wording taken from the gov.uk cookies page (under the Open Government Licence).

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