Research at FCO

Providing feedback on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) services.

Feedback and research at FCO

The FCO promotes the United Kingdom’s interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe. We offer a wide range of services handling anything from a major crisis evacuation to the issue of emergency travel documents or verification of a document.

We aim to provide a high quality service and are keen to receive feedback, which we use to assess and improve the way our services are provided and work with a small number of partner research agencies to collect feedback about our services.

If you apply for a service online you will be offered an opportunity to provide consent at the time of application. You will be able to make an informed choice about whether or not you wish to share your personal data (name, email, telephone and service you received/reason why you contacted us) for the purposes of being contacted for feedback by our partner agency.

If you provide consent to share your data you will not automatically be selected for an interview; our partner agency randomly select customers to participate.

Your data will continue to remain protected at all times and processed in accordance with the applicable data protection legislation including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA).

If you are not an online customer but instead have sought consular assistance overseas and have provided your contact details as part of that service, you may be approached by us to ask you to take part in our feedback programme. We may do this via a number of channels; over the phone, via SMS text, email or face to face.

If you provide consent to share your data, you may later withdraw that consent at any stage, including after you have shared feedback. You can withdraw consent by emailing consular.research@fco.gov.uk, stating “withdrawal of consent” in the subject line of the email and providing your full name, email address and the name of the service you received.

Please see the research privacy notice for more information.

If you wish to make a complaint, or provide any other feedback about consular services, please visit Complaints, compliments and feedback.

Research Privacy notice

Who we are

Consular Customer Insight Team
Consular Directorate
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH.

For queries on this research privacy policy please contact consular.research@fco.gov.uk.

What data we process and why

The FCO works in the UK and overseas to safeguard Britain’s national security, build Britain’s prosperity and support British citizens overseas. In doing so we process personal data.

In particular, the Consular Customer Insight Team processes personal data for the purposes of collecting anonymised feedback in order to improve services.

Personal data that is collected includes, full name, email address, telephone number and the consular service you received. In some cases this data may also include special category data if, for example, you have disclosed a health condition in relation to consular assistance you received overseas.

This data will have been collected via one of the following ways;

  • Online on the basis of self-entry in order to complete an online ETD or Legalisation service AND you selected that you were content to share your personal data for the purpose of being contacted for feedback OR

  • Online on the basis of self-entry in order to book a consular appointment at a Consulate, High Commission or Embassy overseas AND you selected that you were content to share your personal data for the purpose of being contacted for feedback OR

  • On paper on the basis of self-entering data into a birth/death/marriage registration form AND you selected that you were content to share your personal data for the purpose of being contacted for feedback OR

  • On the basis of telephoning a consular contact centre in order to receive support to enter details for an online service AND had a statement read out to you about your personal data AND agreed to share your personal data for the purpose of being contacted for feedback OR

  • Over the phone or face to face as the result of receiving consular assistance AND had a statement read out to you/discussion with a member of consular staff about your personal data and agreed to share your personal data for the purpose of being contacted for feedback OR

  • Over the phone or face to face as the result of receiving consular assistance AND received an email/letter/SMS text about your consular assistance experience AND agreed to share your personal data for the purpose of being contacted for feedback

We process this data because you have given explicit consent for this data to be shared with our partner agency for the purpose of being contacted for feedback. I have included explicit here because we may process special category data and so we need consent to be explicit to satisfy Art.9(2) as well as Art.6(1)(a) GDPR.

You are under no obligation to consent to share your data for the purpose of gathering feedback. You may also withdraw your consent at any time by emailing consular.research@fco.gov.uk. Please include “withdrawal of consent to provide feedback” in the subject line of your email. Please also include your name and the type of service you received or reason you contacted us overseas, this will help us identify you and remove your data from our feedback process. Alternatively, you can send your withdrawal notice addressed to:

Consular Insight Team
Consular Directorate
WH4.36
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

What we do with your data

If you provide your explicit consent, we will pass your name, email address, telephone number and the name of the service you received/reason you contacted a consular team overseas to our partner research agency. Our partner agency then select a representative range of the different customers that contact the FCO and ask them to participate in an interview about their experiences of the FCO service they received. That feedback is anonymised, so that customers cannot be identified and it is then used to inform and improve our Consular services. Even if you give consent, therefore, you may or may not be contacted to participate in such an interview.

We will nor share your personal data with our partner agencies for the purpose of feedback without your explicit consent.

How long we keep your data

Once we have passed your data to our partner agency they will retain your personal data for a period of 12 months.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • Erasure - request that your personal data is erased where one of the statutory grounds applies

  • Restrict processing - request that the processing of your personal data is restricted in certain circumstances – for example, where accuracy is contested.

  • Rectification - request that any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay. Request that any incomplete personal data is completed, including by means of a supplementary statement.

  • Access - request information about how your personal data is processed and to request a copy of that personal data.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about anything in this notice, or if you consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled, or if you would like to exercise any of your rights, you can contact us at consular.research@fco.gov.uk

Data protection Officer

You can also contact the Data Protection Officer at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

Data Protection Officer
Knowledge Management Department
Knowledge and Technology Directorate
Room K4.02
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

Email: Data.Protection@fco.gov.uk Tel: 020 7008 1500

Complaints

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

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

Email: casework@ico.org.uk Tel: 0303 123 1113

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 data 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.