askTheSite and all of our content partners are subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 and work to ensure the privacy of those who use the service.
Under this Act, YouthNet UK is what is known as a Data Controller. In simple terms, this means that we determine what personal information about you is collected and what it will be used for.
What we collect and why
On askTheSite we collect information about your age, gender and general location in order to answer your question. The experts behind askTheSite are able to provide better answers if they know a few basic things about you, even though they dont know who you are.
We also use this information to get a general picture of the kinds of people using our service. This is really important if we are to prove we are reaching the people we aim to reach.
If you choose to provide an email address or mobile number, we will use this to let you know that your answer is available. However, once you have been informed that your answer is ready, your mobile and email details will be deleted.
What we do and don't do with your information
Generally, we will not pass on your email address or mobile number to any other organisation (see the Confidentiality and askTheSite section below for more details).
Answers provided by askTheSite are only viewable to the user who asked the question being answered. Access is through a secure part of the site, via a unique ID.
Sensitive Personal Information
In the course of submitting a question you may include information about yourself which is of a sensitive nature, such as information relating to race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, physical or mental health, sexual life, and involvement or alleged involvement in any criminal illegal activity or proceedings.
By providing such information you explicitly consent that we may process it in connection with askTheSite.
Archive questions and answers
Within the website there is also a publicly accessible archive of commonly asked questions and answers. Some of these archive questions and answers are versions of individual responses we have provided. Before they are published we remove all personal information that could be used to identify the original user of our service.
If you do not wish your question and answer to be used in any way in the public archive, then please un-tick the box that provides us with permission to publish. You will still receive an answer to your question. It just wont be posted on the site.
Confidentiality and askTheSite
Confidentiality is key component of askTheSite. This means that only in very unusual circumstances would it be necessary for us to contact police or other agencies about the content of questions received.
Under UK law, askTheSite cannot legally provide confidentiality under the following circumstances:
- A question contains specific information about a terrorist suspect or terrorist activity that will take place or has taken place in the world. This information must immediately be disclosed to the police.
- askTheSite (and YouthNet UK) is forced through legal action to disclose specific confidential information; this can include legal action taken through the Data Protection Act and during criminal investigations.
Our choice to break confidentiality
Under the Data Protection Act we can choose to break confidentiality if we feel that doing so would be in the public interest or that not doing so would hinder a criminal investigation. Under very rare, extreme circumstances, we may choose to break confidentiality.
If we believe a user is in immediate and great danger. Or a user is about to place another person in immediate and great danger.
That a user has provided enough personal information for us to believe there is an opportunity to intervene.
We wouldn't even think of trying to intervene if the circumstances were not extreme.