Privacy and cookies

Brighton & Hove City Council collects, holds and processes a considerable amount of information, including personal information. We need this information to provide our services.

We know this information is important to our residents and we take our responsibilities under the Data Protection Act seriously. We make sure that any personal information collected and used is done so appropriately, correctly and safely.

This page tells you how Brighton & Hove City Council uses your personal information.

For full details of our policies and guidelines, and to make a request for information, please check our Data Protection page.

Requesting your data

If you wish to request your own personal data via a Subject Access Request (SAR) please visit our data protection page. Further information on the Data Protection Act may be found on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) Website.

Your personal data

The council is the data controller for purposes of the Data Protection Act (1998) and is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under registration number Z5840053.

The council has an approved Data Protection Policy which provides the high level principles we operate to. This privacy notice describes how we translate those principles into practice and explains what we will, and will not, do with personal information.

We do not sell personal details to any external organisations. External contractors may process information on behalf of the council. We require all these contractors to make sure they keep the personal information safe and prohibiting them from doing anything other than following our instructions.

What is personal data?

Personal data includes basic details such as name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and notes and comments made about a person. The information may be held in paper files, electronically or both. This may include, but is not limited to: computer entries, written correspondence, emails, letters, files, photographs and video recordings.

Sensitive personal data includes information on: race or ethnicity, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual life and any criminal offences or prosecutions.

We will always tell you why and how the information will be used as we will normally ask for consent to hold sensitive data.

Our approach

For most purposes, we will only process your information with your consent. We will presume that by providing us with your details you are consenting for us to use them to provide the services you are using. We will explain the purpose for processing your information and how we will use it as early as possible.

We will not use your personal details for any other purpose without obtaining your consent or unless we have a lawful reason to do so. You may have been asked to provide this consent at the time when you originally contacted us, for example as part of the application form.

Fraud prevention

The main exception to this is the prevention of fraud. The council must safeguard public funds and we reserve the right to check the information you have provided for accuracy and to detect fraud. We may match data we hold to identify unusual matches or discrepancies; this may include matching council data with external data sources such as information held by credit reference agencies. As a result, we will use the information you provide to make sure all amounts we are owed are paid on time and ensuring any benefits you receive are appropriate. We may share your information with Debt Management agencies and the Courts to help collect any outstanding debts. We may also share your information for the same purposes with other public organisations, including neighbouring councils that handle public funds and with police forces. We may also provide forwarding address of council tenants to utility companies that are collecting outstanding debts.

We take part in the National Fraud Initiative’s anti-fraud data matching exercise.

We do our own data matching, using names, dates of birth and address. We will compare computer records held by one department, against others held by the same or other departments, to check they match. This is to make sure our information is correct and to create a customer index which can be used to help identify customers via a single customer record. Data matching is carried out on information held by the following services: Council Tax, Housing Benefits, Parking Permits including Blue Badge and Housing.

Other uses of data

All Local Authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve. To help with this, we use data and information from a range of sources including hospitals to understand more about the nature and causes of disease and ill-health in the area.

For some regulated services your application may be published and potentially discussed in open committee. This will always be made clear on any relevant application forms and supporting documentation.

We have to share information with certain other public bodies such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC), courts, tribunals, other formal bodies dealing with legal processes or external regulatory bodies. We also have to assist in the prevention and detection of crime and we will therefore generally supply specific information requested by the police or other crime detection agencies, if we are satisfied that the disclosure would be lawful and appropriate.

Where a team or service area ask you for personal information through an online form, this information will only be used for the purpose indicated on the form and it will be held securely.

CCTV (Closed Circuit Television)

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is operated in and around council properties (including customer service centres, offices, libraries, and council housing communal areas). The purpose of the CCTV is for staff safety and crime prevention and detection. The footage is normally held for 30 days and may be shared with the police for crime prevention and detection purposes.

Most CCTV cameras located around the cities highways and public spaces are operated and controlled by Sussex Police.

Electoral Register

The Electoral Register for Brighton & Hove is a separate legal entity from the council and is separately notified with the Information Commissioner as a data controller as Superintendent Registrar Brighton & Hove Registration District, registration Number Z5908457.

Website cookies

The Brighton & Hove City Council website uses cookies to work.

  • We use cookies to remember settings you have chosen, like website translation and font size, and actions you have taken, for example submitting a form. This means you don’t need to re-enter this information each time you visit a new web page.
  • We use cookies to gather information about how our website is used to help us maintain and develop our services. For example we monitor what pages and links are most popular.
  • We do not use cookies to personally identify you or collect information about you as an individual.

You can decide what cookies are allowed and delete cookies at any time by adjusting settings on your web browser. Please be aware that restricting cookies may have an impact upon the functionality of our website. Scroll down to our summary of terms below to find out more about cookies.

Where personal data is requested through forms, the data is only used for the purpose stated on the form and will not be given or sold to any third parties.

This privacy policy only covers the Brighton & Hove City Council website at and Websites linked to and from this site are not covered by this policy. External sites linked to from our website include our social media sites. For more information go to our external links disclaimer.

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to understand how you use our website. Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit
  • how long you spend on each page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you’re visiting the site
Name Description Expires
_utma Randomly generated number 2 years
_utmb Randomly generated number 30 minutes
_utmc Randomly generated number When you close the browser
_utmx Randomly generated number 2 years
_utmxx Randomly generated number 2 years
_utmz Randomly generated number and information on how the site was reached (for example directly, or by a link or search) 6 months

Opt out of Google Analytics tracking

You can opt out of Google Analytics tracking by downloading their broswer add-on.


We use Hotjar to understand how you use our website through their services that include heatmaps, page usage recordings and feedback polls and surveys. The Hotjar privacy policy explains more about how they collect data and keep it safe.

Through the Hotjar tracking code embedded on our website, the information collected includes:

Device-specific data

The following information may be collected through your device and browser:

  • your device's IP address (collected and stored in an anonymised format)
  • device screen size
  • device type (unique device identifiers) and browser information
  • geographic location (country only)
  • preferred language used to display the webpage.

Log data

Our servers automatically record information which is created upon using Hotjar. Data includes:

  • referring domain
  • pages visited
  • geographic location (country only)
  • preferred language used to display the webpage
  • date and time when website pages were accessed.
Name Description Expires
_hjUserId This cookie is set as soon as a user loads a page which contains the Hotjar code. The cookie contains a universally unique identifier (UUID) which allows Hotjar to track the same visitor across multiple pages and sessions. 1 year
_hjClosedSurveyInvites This cookie is set once a visitor interacts with a Survey invitation modal popup. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not re-appear if it has already been shown. 1 year
_hjDonePolls  This cookie is set once a visitor completes a poll using the Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the same poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 1 year
_hjMinimizedPolls This cookie is set once a visitor minimises a Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimises when the visitor navigates through your site. 1 year
_hjDoneTestersWidgets  This cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 1 year
_hjMinimizedTestersWidgets This cookie is set once a visitor minimises a Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimises when the visitor navigates through your site. 1 year
_hjIncludedInSample  This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels. When you close the browser

Opt out of Hotjar tracking

You can opt out of Hotjar tracking by turning on the Do Not Track header in your web browser.