Personal information charter
Our commitment to maintaining the security and confidentiality of personal information.
We collect and hold personal and non-personal information so that we can fulfil our statutory duties, serve customers, improve the customer experience and meet our obligations as an employer.
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) provides the statutory framework in relation to personal information. When we handle personal information supplied by you as part of our statutory functions, your rights under the DPA are limited, eg you cannot ask us to remove or delete information from the register of title, as we are obliged to publish this. The DPA permits us to use personal information for these purposes.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 govern what other information we may release as a result of a request for information.
How we collect and use your information
We use Granicus, a third party, to send mass emails. Emails are sent from HMLandRegistry@email.landregistry.gov.uk.
Users can subscribe, manage their preferences or unsubscribe at any time.
- collect or store any information that could be used to identify the user
- make any attempt to find out the identity of the user
- associate any data gathered with any personally identifying information from any other source
If we want to collect personally identifying information through our web services, we will make this clear.
First-party cookies (shown below) are controlled by HM Land Registry and are used to deliver the core functionality of our services.
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Third-party cookies (shown below) are used to collect information about how our services are being used. We do this to make sure our services are meeting our customers’ needs and to understand how we could improve them. We do not allow third parties to use or share our analytics data.
Find out about cookies used on GOV.UK.
Customers may use our forms to request information, products and services, or to give feedback. We may collect contact information, eg email addresses, and financial information, eg bank account details and credit cards numbers. Contact information may be used to send out orders or to allow us to get in touch with customers (users may opt out of further communication if they choose). Financial information may be used to charge for products and services.
Please note, information received from online forms is not encrypted and may not be completely secure.
Customers who lodge applications or correspondence with us in connection with a registered title or about the registration of land and properties are providing us with information. The use of this information is governed by the Land Registration Act 2002 and Land Registration Rules 2003. This includes both personal and non-personal information. Official copies of registers of titles and title plans are publicly available upon payment of the prescribed fee. It is also possible to apply for or inspect copies of documents held by HM Land Registry including scanned electronic images. This information is also publicly available (also upon payment of the prescribed fee) and governed by section 66 of the Land Registration Act 2002 which sets out the protocol. As the information is made available under this statutory access code, the same information is not available using the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
This information is held indefinitely. The Public Records Act 1958 as amended ordinarily requires that public records selected for permanent preservation are transferred to The National Archives once they are 20 years old. However, this requirement does not apply where the Lord Chancellor has given his approval for their retention by the body holding them. We have obtained an Instrument of Retention in respect of our registers and associated documents, which includes all the associated paperwork, which means we have physical custody of all of those records.
When we handle personal information supplied by you as part of our statutory functions, your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 are limited. The Data Protection Act 1998 permits us to use personal information for these official purposes. The information is exempt from the disclosure provisions, as it falls within section 34 of that act. This exempts information that has to be made available to the public under legislation.
In order to maintain the integrity of the register of title, we may disclose to or share with others any information we may hold.
For customers using our Business e-services (including portal and Business Gateway), we will capture information including details of the enquiry against the records we hold on our customer relationship management system. For other enquiries, we may collect the name and contact details for when we have a need to contact them to resolve the enquiry.
Customer contact centre
When users call our customer contact centre, we may collect information, eg names, contact details and title information. Some telephone calls are recorded for quality assurance. We keep telephone recordings for 60 calendar days.
We ask users to take part in research about our products, services and systems. Participation is voluntary and consent is required before taking part. The informed consents are held securely.
During the research, data is recorded using screen recording software, or eye-tracking technology for specific projects. This data helps us to develop our products and services and is held until it no longer has a useful value for the project.
For more information about our user research, email our Customer and Market Insight team.
When we receive a complaint, we create a complaint file which normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.
We only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics, but not in a form which identifies anyone.
We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a title is in dispute. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will, in exceptional circumstances try to respect that, but it will not usually not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.
We keep personal information in complaint files for 10 years, in line with our retention policy. They are kept in a secure environment and access to them is restricted on a ‘need to know’ basis. Our document disposal policy and list are available on request.
Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.
We do not usually identify any complainants unless the details have already been made public.
Information from complaint files is not available under HM Land Registry’s statutory inspection protocol and Open Register.
We offer various services to the public and may use a third party to deal with some services.
We have to hold the details of those who have requested any particular service in order to provide it. We only use these details to provide the service requested and other related purposes, eg we might use information about people who have requested a publication to carry out a survey about whether they are happy with the level of service they received.
This charter does not cover third party websites linked to from our services. We advise you to read the privacy statements on other websites you visit.
Job applicants, current and former employees
When individuals apply to work at HM Land Registry we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example where we want to take up a reference, we will not do so without informing them beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law.
Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 24 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, it will then be destroyed or deleted. We keep de-personalised statistical information about applicants to help improve our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.
Once a person has taken up employment with HM Land Registry, we will compile a file relating to their employment. Our staff information charter sets out what we do.
Personal information held outside our statutory purposes
For some of our services, the terms and conditions set out what we may do with your information. You should check the terms and conditions for those services. Subject to this, when you supply personal information for purposes outside of our statutory obligations and duties, we will:
- make sure you know why we need it
- ask only for what we need
- protect it and ensure that access to it is restricted
- let you know if we share it with other organisations (unless it is shared for law enforcement purposes)
- make sure we do not keep it longer than necessary
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 to keep your information reliable and up to date.
Access to personal information
HM Land Registry tries to be as open as possible in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:
- give you a description of it
- tell you why we are holding it
- tell you who it could be disclosed to
- let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form
Please note, there are exceptions under the Data Protection Act 1998 and if these apply, we may not provide you with the information requested.
If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by contacting the Data Protection Officer.
We aim to ensure that your information and preferences are accurate and complete. If you want to view, change your information or opt out of receiving information from us, please let us know by sending your name, full address, email address and company name (if applicable).
FREEPOST RSZE - TEZA - JCTH
HM Land Registry
HM Land Registry Croydon Office
1 Bedford Park
Please note, you cannot use this to ask us to make changes to the register of title, eg removing price paid information in the register.
Disclosure of personal information
In many circumstances, we will not disclose or use personal data without consent. However there will be occasions when we will need to disclose or share or otherwise use personal information within our own internal departments and/or with other government departments and agencies, law enforcement and regulatory agencies and other relevant bodies. Examples of such occasions are when we investigate a land registration matter or complaint or to prevent and detect crime.
We may disclose details of anyone using our Property Alert service if a request is made to identify individuals searching specific title numbers.
Freedom of Information
You should note that we are under a duty to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. We may disclose information in order to comply with any legislation including the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or an order of court, without obtaining your consent so that we can comply with any applicable information disclosure requirements.
Sharing of information
We may, where appropriate, share any information held with third parties such as other government departments, law enforcement and regulatory agencies and other relevant bodies, (including specified anti-fraud organisations under section 68 Serious Crime Act 2007, counter fraud department, and counter fraud organisations and their members) if false or inaccurate information is provided and/or if the sharing of information is considered to be:
- in the public interest, for example, investigation of land banking schemes and/or
- for the prevention and detection of crime including prevention, detection and investigation of registration fraud
Information disclosed to counter fraud organisations may be accessed and used by us and other organisations to prevent fraud and money laundering. If you want more detail about how information held by counter fraud organisations may be used, please contact our Data Protection Officer.
Information that relates to confirmed fraud will be routinely shared with the police for one or more of the following policing purposes:
- protecting life and property
- preserving order
- preventing the commission of offences
- bringing offenders to justice
- any duty or responsibility of the police arising from common or statute law
We follow the Information Commissioner’s Data Sharing Code of Practice so far as practicable. There may be occasions when we may share information on a limited basis in order to assess whether data sharing on a formal basis is beneficial for these purposes.
Protecting your information
We acknowledge your trust and are committed to protecting the information you provide us. To prevent unauthorised access, maintain accuracy and ensure proper use of information, we have physical, electronic and managerial processes to safeguard and secure the information we collect.
Complaints or queries
We aim to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information, so take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. If you think that our collection or use of information is inaccurate, unfair or misleading, we encourage you to bring it to our attention. We also welcome suggestions for improving our procedures. How to complain
You can get more details on:
- how to find out what information we hold about you
- how to ask us to correct any mistakes
- circumstances where we can pass on your personal information without telling you, eg to prevent and detect crime or to produce anonymised statistics
- our instructions to staff on how to collect, use and delete your personal information
- how to make a complaint
For further information contact:
Data Protection Officer
1 Bedford Park
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner.