Personal information charter

Our personal information charter contains the standards you can expect when we ask for, or hold, your personal information. It also covers what we ask of you, to help us keep information up to date.

We need to handle personal information about you so that we can provide services for you. This is how we look after that information.

When we ask you for personal information, we undertake:

  • to make sure you know why we need it
  • to only ask for what we need and not to collect too much or irrelevant information
  • to protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t
  • to only share it with other organisations when the law allows
  • to make sure we don’t keep it longer than necessary
  • not to make it available for commercial use without your permission

In return, we ask you to:

  • give us accurate information
  • tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes, such as a new address

This helps us keep your information reliable and up to date.

Further information

For more information, please contact:

Information Rights Team
Home Office
2 Marsham Street

Telephone: 020 7035 6699


The Information Commissioner

When we ask you for information, we will keep to the law, including the Data Protection Act 1998. For independent advice about data protection, privacy and datasharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Fax: 01625 524510

You can also visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Information management strategy

Our information management strategy outlines our approach to managing our knowledge and information, to achieve the right balance between making information more widely available to the public, while ensuring that adequate protection is in place.

Our policy includes how we will:

  • provide appropriate, accurate and up-to-date information, when people request it
  • make information available to those who have a good reason to need to see it
  • take appropriate measures to protect information
  • ensure that information created, collected and stored is proportionate to the business need, and is retained only for as long as it is needed

Data Protection Act 1998

The processing of personal data is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998, under which the Home Office is registered as a data controller. Any personal data you provide will be held securely and in accordance with the act. We will use your personal data for the purpose(s) in relation to which you have provided it. We may however need to disclose personal data to a third party so that they can provide the service you have requested, or fulfil a Subject Access Request.

Additionally, we may need to disclose information where there is a legitimate reason for disclosure (such as a court order), but we will ensure that we always comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Any information about you that we pass to a third party will be held securely by that party, in accordance with the act, and used only to provide services or information you have requested.

As a data subject you have the right to ask for a copy of personal data about you and to ask for inaccuracies to be corrected. Queries about Home Office compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 should be addressed to:

Information Policy Team
Information and Record Management Services
4th Floor
Seacole Building
2 Marsham Street

Twitter policy

The Home Office Twitter stream (@ukhomeoffice) is managed by the Media Centre team working with Press Office and E-Comms.

We will try to tweet every day about Home Office activities, so that those who follow us on Twitter can be the first to learn our latest news.

Our tweets will include alerts about:

  • news stories and press releases
  • speeches and statements by the Home Secretary and ministers
  • new photo galleries on our Flickr stream
  • the latest videos on the Home Office YouTube channel
  • invitations for you to give us feedback through consultations

Following @ukhomeoffice

If you follow our Twitterfeed, you will be among the first to learn about Home Office announcements and information. We generally will not follow you back. At the moment we are only following other governmental Twitter accounts.

If we are not following any department that is simply because we haven’t yet come across their Twitter stream.

@ messages

We review all @ messages every day, but as a general rule we do not reply to them. Instead we share the feedback we’re getting from you with the appropriate people in the department. Even if we do not reply to you directly, that does not mean we aren’t listening to you.

Direct messages

In most circumstances we will not reply to direct messages. The limitations of Twitter’s format mean that we would not be able to give you a full and useful reply.

If you send us a direct message you will receive a message explaining how to get in touch with us by email, phone or letter.

Members of the media

Our Twitter stream is not intended to be used by the media to contact us. If you are a member of the media, you should contact the Press Office directly.