Personal information charter

This information charter sets out the standards you can expect from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) when we ask for, or hold, your personal information.

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues to apply in the UK until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. As an EU Regulation, in principle the GDPR will no longer apply to the UK after the transition period. From 1 January 2021, the government intends to incorporate the GDPR into UK data protection law.

We will ensure that we treat all personal information in accordance with data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.

Your rights

When the FCO or its agencies collects, holds, uses or processes in any way your personal data, you are entitled to be told:

  • the purpose for which the data is being used, and our lawful basis for processing it
  • how long we will keep your data, who we will share it with
  • whether it will be transferred or accessed outside the UK or EU, and what legal safeguards are in place to protect it
  • about any rights you may have, including the right to access your information, or to object to its being used
  • about your right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you feel that your personal information has been mishandled
  • about the identity of our Data Protection Officer (an independent advisor on data protection matters)

You are also entitled to have your personal information:

  • protected and kept secure
  • kept accurate and up to date
  • not used for purposes which are incompatible with those for which it was collected
  • kept only for as long as it is needed for the purpose for which it was collected (unless it must be kept as part of the historic record)

How to access your personal information

If you would like a copy of any personal information that we hold about you, please contact the Parliamentary, Ministerial and Central Services at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Parliamentary, Ministerial and Central Services,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street

Privacy notices

Our data controller privacy notice explains how will process your data in accordance with data protection legislation.

These privacy notices explain in more detail how we will handle your data in specific circumstances:

Visiting the FCO and our embassies, high commissions and consulates

Working for the FCO

Foreign diplomatic staff

Consular services

Other FCO services

Using special category and criminal conviction personal data

The Appropriate Policy Document sets out how the FCO will protect special category and criminal convictions personal data.

Data Protection Officer

If you have any concerns about how the department is handling your personal data, you may contact the department’s Data Protection Officer (DPO).

The DPO provides independent advice and monitoring of FCO’s use of personal information. They can be contacted at the following postal and email addresses:

Eleanor Stewart
Data Protection Officer
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street


Telephone: 020 7008 1500