From time to time, you will be asked to submit personal information about yourself (e.g. name and email address) in order to receive or use services on our website. Such services include newsletters, competitions, live chats, message boards and Thames.co.uk membership.
By entering your details in the fields requested, you enables Thames and its service providers to provide you with the services you select. Whenever you provide such personal information, we will treat that information in accordance with this policy. When using your personal information Thames will act in accordance with current legislation and aim to meet current Internet best practice.
Information supplied by cookies can help us to provide you with a better online user experience and assist us to analyse the profile of our visitors. For example: if on a previous visit you went to our education pages, we might find this out from your cookie and highlight educational information on your second and subsequent visits.
We use analytic tools to measure and research Thames.co.uk usage regarding the visitors to our web site on our behalf using cookies, log file data and code which is embedded on our web site. Thames uses this type of information, as with that obtained from other cookies used on the site, to help it improve the services to its users. If you wish to reject' cookies, you can use the process set out below in point 7. To Totally Opt-Out of analytics tools collecting any data regarding your interaction on thames.co.uk
Thames Computer Services will use this information to make decisions about the operation of its web site and to improve services to users.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a web site's computer and stored on your computer's hard drive. Each web site can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser's preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a web site to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.
Many sites do this whenever a user visits their web site in order to track online traffic flows.
Cookies record information about your online preferences. Users have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. The last of these, of course, means that certain personalised services cannot then be provided to that user user and accordingly you may not be able to take full advantage of all of the bbc.co.uk features. Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.
If you have set your computer to reject cookies you can still browse bbc.co.uk anonymously until such time as you wish to register for bbc.co.uk services. For further information on cookies please visit http://www.aboutcookies.org
Use and storage of your personal information
When you supply any personal information to thames.co.uk (e.g. for competitions, thames.co.uk services or Thames.co.uk membership) we have legal obligations towards you in the way we use those data. We must collect the information fairly, that is, we must explain how we will use it (see the notices on particular web pages that let you know why we are requesting the information) and tell you if we want to pass the information on to anyone else.
In general, any information you provide to the Thames will only be used within the Thames and by its agents and service providers. Your information will be disclosed where we are obliged or permitted by law. Also, if you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to Thames.co.uk or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on Thames.co.uk, the Thames can use whatever information that is available to it about you to stop such behaviour. This may involve informing relevant third parties such as your employer, school e-mail/Internet provider and law enforcement agencies about the content and your behaviour.
We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as you use the service you have requested, and remove it in the event that the purpose has been met, or, in the case of Thames.co.uk membership you no longer wish to continue your registration as a Thames.co.uk member. For safety reasons, however, Thames may store messaging transcript data for a period of six months. Where personal information is held for people who are not yet registered but have taken part in other thames.co.uk services (e.g. competitions), that information will be held as long as is necessary to ensure that the service is run smoothly. We will ensure that all personal information supplied is held securely, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
If you are notified on a thames.co.uk site that your information may be used to allow thames.co.uk to contact you for "service administration purposes", this means that thames may contact you for a number of purposes related to the service you have signed up for. For example, we may wish to provide you with password reminders or notify you that the particular service has been suspended for maintenance. We will not contact you for promotional purposes, such as notifying you of improvements to the service or new services on thames.co.uk unless you specifically agree to be contacted for such purposes at the time you submit your information on the site, or at a later time if you sign up specifically to receive such promotional information.