Privacy policy

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User anonymity and personal information on SMHFA websites
Use of cookies on
Website analytics
Data protection and confidentiality

User anonymity and personal information on NHS Health Scotland websites

Log files are maintained and analysed of all requests for files on the Health Scotland web servers. Log files do not capture personal information, but do capture the user´s IP address which is automatically recognised by Health Scotland web servers. Aggregated analyses of these log files are used to monitor website usage. These analyses may be made available to Health Scotland staff and partner agencies to allow them to measure, for example, overall popularity of the site and typical user paths through the site.

Except as stated already, Health Scotland will make no attempt to identify individual users. You should be aware, however, that access to web pages will generally create log entries in the systems of your ISP or network services provider. These entities may be in a position to identify the client computer equipment used to access a page. Such monitoring would be done by the provider of network services and is beyond the responsibility or control of Health Scotland.

NHS Health Scotland will make no attempt to track or identify individual users, except where there is a reasonable suspicion that unauthorised access to systems is being attempted. In the case of all users, NHS Health Scotland reserves the right to attempt to identify and track any individual who is reasonably suspected of trying to gain unauthorised access to computer systems or resources operating as part of NHS Health Scotland web services. As a condition of use of this site, all users must give permission for NHS Health Scotland to use its access logs to attempt to track users who are reasonably suspected of gaining, or attempting to gain, unauthorised access.

All log file information collected by NHS Health Scotland is kept secure and no access to raw log files is given to any third party.

Use of cookies on

We want to make our websites easy to use, useful and reliable. This sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your computer or mobile device, in small text files known as 'cookies'. Cookies cannot be used to identify you personally.

Cookies can improve services for you. For example, they can allow a website to recognise your device, so that you don't have to re-enter information several times. This can be useful when filling in a website form. Cookies can also allow your device save user preferences, or recognise your username and password in secure areas.

The cookies used on are:

Cookie name:  ASP.NET_SessionID
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: when you close your browser

Purpose: NHS Health Scotland uses Microsoft .net server technology to support This technology will set this ASP.NET cookie to keep track of what is known as 'session state' for retaining information between webpage requests. The cookie is cleared when you close your browser session.

Visit the Directgov website for more information about cookies, including how you can change your computer settings to manage or delete them.


Website analytics

NHS Health Scotland also uses web analytics (eVisit Analyst) to measure use of the website including number of visitors, how frequently pages are viewed, and the city and country of origin of users. This helps to determine what is popular, and can influence future content and development of the website.

eVisit Analyst uses IP (internet protocol) address and browser user agent information (such as browser type, device type and operating system) to gather these web statistics. Data is processed anonymously and is not used in any way, or in combination with any other data, to personally identify individuals. The data is stored by for us by our analytics service provider, in the EU, for a period of 18 months. It is not shared with any other third party. The web analytics service does not store cookies on your computer or mobile device.

Data protection and confidentiality

Some services on NHS Health Scotland websites require us to collect personal information from you. To comply with the Data Protection Act and NHS confidentiality guidance, we have a duty to tell you how we store the information we collect and how it is used.

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