Privacy, cookies, and third party services

What information we collect and how we use it

When you use Sort My Sign to send a report, you provide us with personal information including your name and contact details. We send this information, and details of the issue, to Highways England, and Transport Focus keep a copy for ourselves.

At the same time, your report appears on the Sort My Sign website. Your email address and phone number are not published, and your name is only published if you have opted to do so. Please take care to keep personal information such as your contact details to the correct fields.

Your personal details are stored, 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 database.

These are accessible only to Sort My Sign administrators who adhere to strict internal data-handling policies.

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. A copy of our policy is available on request.

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

What happens when you use Sort My Sign

Making a report

  • We send a copy of your report to Highways England. This privacy policy explains how Highways England will handle your information.
  • Transport Focus may use any information you provide in this form, including photographs, in our work on behalf of road users and we may contact you about this.
  • When Highways England or Transport Focus responds to your report, the reply will go directly to your email inbox. This response, and any subsequent correspondence, happens outside the Sort My Sign system.
  • We only ever send you emails in relation to your reports or use of the site.

Legal basis for processing

In using Sort My Sign for any of the functions listed above, we are processing your data under the legal basis 6(1)(f) – legitimate interests. We assert that there is a legitimate consumer interest in giving people an easy and public way to report sign problems. The benefits of reporting issues publicly are that others can quickly see what has already been reported, so it prevents the body from having to deal with duplicates. It also creates a snapshot for road users, so it's easy to see what the common issues are in a given area.

Retention periods and your right to removal

Reports

Except in exceptional circumstances, we do not delete reports made through Sort My Sign. You can anonymise reports so that there is no public connection between the content and your name. You can do this 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. However, if you ask for a report to be removed we will remove it.

Your personal information

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

If you submit a report but do not click on the confirmation email, your report will not be sent to Highways England; 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 Transport Focus via our support email address we keep your message for up to three years before deleting it. 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. Contact us to exercise your right to object.

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

Sort My Sign is run by independent road user watchdog Transport Focus. Our registered address is:

Transport Focus
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square
London
EC4Y 8JX

…and we can also be contacted here.

The Sort My Sign platform was built by mySociety on behalf of Transport Focus. mySociety are the data processors and Transport Focus are the data controllers.

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.