Privacy notice

The Government Communication Service (GCS) is the professional body for people working in communication roles across government. Our aim is to deliver world-class communications that support Ministers’ priorities, improve people’s lives and enable the effective operation of our public service. We serve both politicians and the public.

What information do we collect about you?

We collect the following personal data from our registered members:

  • your name, email address and phone number(s)
  • Twitter and LinkedIn profiles (if applicable)
  • general information about your job role, such as job title, grade and region

In addition to this we collect the following data from all site users:

  • your Internet Protocol (IP) address, and details of which version of web browser you used
  • information on how you use the site, using cookies and page tagging techniques

How do we use this information?

The data which we collect from all site users (IP address, browser version and information on how you use the site) will be used by authorised people in GCS, supplier organisations, other government departments, agencies and public bodies, in order to maintain security and improve the site by monitoring how you use it.

The additional data which our registered members provide allows us to keep a record of current GCS members, to contact them via email with GCS-related information and to occasionally survey them on relevant subjects. It also allows us to provide the People Finder service – a useful directory of all those members who have agreed to have their contact details displayed. Otherwise this data will be shared only with the data processors who provide our web hosting and our email newsletter and surveying services.

We will never:

  • sell or rent your data to third parties
  • share your data with third parties for marketing purposes

We will share your data if we are required to do so by law – for example, by court order, or to prevent fraud or other crime.

How long do we keep it?

We will only retain your data for as long as it is needed for the purposes set out in this notice or for as long as is required by law. In general, this means that we will delete member-specific data when members ask to deregister from the site. And we will hold all other data for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 7 years.

Where might it go?

Our IT infrastructure and technology has been validated from inception to delivery with supporting contracts to ensure compliance with all data sharing activities.

Your data may, throughout the course of its processing at GCS, be transferred outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Where this is the case all appropriate technical and legal safeguards will be put in place to ensure that you are afforded the same level of protection as within the EEA.

How we protect your information and keep it secure

We are committed to doing all that we can to keep your data secure. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place technical and organisational procedures to secure the data we collect about you – for example, we protect your data using varying levels of encryption. We also make sure that any third parties that we deal with have an obligation to keep all personal data they process on our behalf secure.

Access to your information

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, please email us at

We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate.

Event booking (via third party website Eventbrite)

We use the third party website Eventbrite to manage all of our event booking. When you register with Eventbrite they will request:

  • your name and email address
  • your line manager’s email
  • general information about your job role, such as job title, grade and organisation
  • disability/access requirements

We may on occasion ask for and hold other data strictly related to the running and content of that event. For example, if the event is catered we will ask about dietary information. For an advanced course in a particular field, we may ask about your previous experience in that field.

We hold this data in order to manage attendance at events, communicate with you concerning the event, inform content, and for statistical evaluation. This may include contacting you after an intervening period to conduct follow-up evaluation.

We share your name and organisation with the event venue where that is a security requirement for you to access the venue in question. We may share information about your professional role with trainers where you are attending a course in order to inform and tailor the training you receive. We may share your email with other participants, but only where you have explicitly consented to this, and may provide it to trainers solely for the purpose of providing any materials, such as slide decks or further reading lists, in the immediate aftermath of the event.

Where given information on any disability or access requirements, we use this data solely for the purpose of making any necessary accommodations at the event in question to ensure you can attend and participate. We will only share this information if it is necessary in order to make appropriate accommodations, and only with those it is strictly necessary in order to do so.

We will never use your data for commercial purposes.

View the Eventbrite Privacy Policy.

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 date at the bottom of this page. Any modification or amendment to this privacy notice will be applied to you and your data as of that revision date. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy notice to be informed about how we are protecting your data.

How to contact us

The data controller for GCS is the Cabinet Office. A data controller determines the purposes and means of processing personal data. For more information see the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Data Protection Public Register.

If you have any questions about anything in this notice or if you consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled you can contact the Data Protection Officer (DPO) at:

Or by post at:
Data Protection Officer
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS

You may also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: or on 0303 123 1113.

Or by post at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

The Cabinet Office registration number is: Z7414053

Date last modified: 22nd May 2018

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