Privacy, cookies, and third party services

Privacy Policy

FixMyStreet is run by the charity mySociety.

Working in the fields of transparency and accountability, mySociety thinks hard and cares very much about the privacy and security of our users: the length of this privacy policy is one result of that. We know no-one goes through Privacy Policies for fun though, so we’ve tried to keep it a clear and reasonably quick read.

We hope it covers everything you need to know, but if you still have any questions please feel free to contact us.

What information we collect and how we use it

When you submit a report, we pass on your details, and details of the issue, to the council contact or contacts responsible for the area where you located the issue, or other relevant body such as TfL.

When you make a report

When you use FixMyStreet to send a report, you provide us with personal information including:

  • Your name
  • Contact details

We send this information to the body responsible for fixing your issue, as per your choice of category and location.

At the same time, your report appears on the FixMyStreet website. Your email address and phone number are not published, and your name is only published if you have opted to do so.

Some councils use FixMyStreet on their own websites. If you make a report within the boundaries of one of these councils (either through FixMyStreet.com or via the council website), it will be published on both sites.

FixMyStreet provides RSS/JSON feeds which allow anyone to publish reports on their own website or page. Typically these feeds consist of reports made within a specific local area, and are published on community or local interest sites.

Note that anything you include in the body of your report will be published in one or all of the places listed above, so please take care to keep personal information such as your contact details to the correct fields.

We store your personal details, along with your password where used (passwords are stored in a format that is unreadable to anyone — including us — known as a hash) and any reports or updates you make, in our own database.

These are accessible only to FixMyStreet administrators who adhere to strict internal data-handling policies, and, where a council is a FixMyStreet Pro client, to council staff, whose own data-handling and security policies will apply.

When you add an update

When you add an update to a report, we record this along with the initial report and your user data.

Updates are published on the website but not routinely sent to the council except in cases where a council has opted for full integration. You may opt to include your name; your email address is not published.

When you subscribe to an alert by email

We collect your email address, which we store with the details of whichever alert/s you have subscribed to.

When you contact the support team

Your message will be accessible to our small team of support staff, who adhere to strict internal data-handling policies.

Your personal information is never shared, or used for purposes other than those listed above, unless we are obliged to by law.

Research

We sometimes use data from FixMyStreet, or share it with trusted third parties, for research. This data is completely anonymised and contains no identifying details such as names, email addresses or the content of reports. Our Research Data Release policy may be seen on request.

What happens when you use FixMyStreet

Making a report

  • When your council responds to your report, if you have provided us with an email address, in most cases their reply will go directly to your email inbox. This response, and any subsequent correspondence, happens outside the FixMyStreet system, except in the case of some councils which have integrated with FixMyStreet so that their responses and auto-updates are published on the report page. If you have submitted via phone verification, you may not receive any response from the council, depending on how their systems are set up.
  • We email you if someone leaves an update on a report you’ve made.
  • If your report is particularly interesting, our Communications Manager may get in touch, as we like to feature notable requests on the mySociety blog (or just let us know directly!).
  • We only ever send you emails in relation to your reports or use of the site.

Subscribing to alerts

We’ll send you an automated email every time someone makes a report within the area you specify, or when updates are made to a report you’ve opted to follow. The frequency of these emails will depend on how large your chosen area is and how many reports are made within it, but you won’t get more than one an hour.

Unsubscribing

How do I stop receiving emails from you?

Every alert email we send contains an unsubscribe link at the bottom for you to stop receiving that alert.

Legal basis for processing

In using FixMyStreet for any of the functions listed above (sending a report, leaving an update, email alerts or site registration), we are processing your data under the legal basis 6(1)(f) – legitimate interests. We assert that we have a legitimate charitable and commercial interest in giving people an easy and public way to report street problems, even if they don't know who the problems should go to, and in sending them updates or alerts. The benefits of reporting problems publicly are that others can quickly see what has already been reported, so it prevents the council from having to deal with duplicates. It also creates a snapshot for local communities, so it's easy to see what the common problems are in a given area, and how quickly they get fixed. Other local residents can browse, read and comment on problems – and perhaps even offer a solution.

Retention periods and your right to removal

Reports and updates

Except in exceptional circumstances, we do not delete reports or updates made through FixMyStreet. Historic FixMyStreet reports provide an invaluable resource for researchers into the quantity and type of street problems made across the UK during the years the site has been running. This research can help inform civic planners, developers, coders, historians and social scientists, among others.

Therefore, if you ask for a report to be removed, in most cases we will instead invite you to anonymise it, so that there is no public connection between the content and your name. You can anonymise reports singly, or in bulk, by logging in to your account and clicking on the ‘“Hide your name” link beside the time and date of your report. From here you may anonymise this report or all reports you have made.

Your personal information

As well as your report or update appearing on the FixMyStreet website, your details, including name and email address, are stored in our admin system.

If you submit a report but do not click on the confirmation email, your report will not be sent to the council; however, the report and your details remain in our system and are accessible to site administrators.

Please contact us if you would like your details to be removed from our admin database.

Support mail

If you contact FixMyStreet via our support email address we keep your message for two years at which point they will be automatically deleted.. This is to aid continuity and so that we can view any historic context which may have bearing on subsequent support mail, even if members of the support staff change. Support staff adhere to internal privacy policies which may be viewed on request.

Your right to object

The General Data Protection Regulation gives you the right to object to our processing of your personal information and to ask us to stop processing it. However, it also gives us the right to continue to process it if we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing that override your interests, rights and freedoms. To exercise your right to object, you can contact us, giving specific reasons why you are objecting to the processing of your personal data. These reasons should be based upon your particular situation.

Your right to access

You may contact us at any time to ask to see what personal data we hold about you.

Your right to complain

If you believe that we have mishandled your data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can report a concern here (but do contact us first, so that we can try and help).

Who we are

FixMyStreet is run by mySociety, a UK not-for-profit social enterprise. Our registered address is:

mySociety
483 Green Lanes
London
N13 4BS
United Kingdom

…and we can also be contacted here.

Cookies

To make our service easier or more useful, we sometimes place small data files on your computer or mobile phone, known as cookies; many websites do this. We use this information to, for example, remember you have logged in so you don’t need to do that on every page, or to measure how people use the website so we can improve it and make sure it works properly. Below, we list the cookies and services that this site can use.

Name Typical Content Expires
fixmystreet_app_session A random unique identifier When browser is closed, or four weeks if “Keep me signed in” is ticked

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use this site. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information such as what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here, what you click on, and information about your web browser. IP addresses are masked (only a portion is stored) and personal information is only reported in aggregate. We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data for any purpose besides providing us with analytics information, and we recommend that any user of Google Analytics does the same.

Opting out

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

If you want to disable advertising-based tracking, you can adjust your Google Ads Settings, or opt out of advertising-based tracking across a number of providers in one go using the Network Advertising Initiative’s opt-out form.

Rest assured, we only track usage data for one reason: to help us understand how we can make the site work better for you, our users.

Credits

Bits of wording taken from the gov.uk cookies page (under the Open Government Licence).