We’ve tried to be as clear as we can be and to avoid unnecessary jargon, while including all the relevant information – but please do firstname.lastname@example.org if anything doesn’t make sense or needs expanding on. Because, by necessity, this is a long document and because we’re all pressed for time, we've summarised the key points – you can click on each one to get more detailed information. Please do read the whole thing if you can.
The data controller of www.mumsnet.com is Mumsnet Ltd, Studios 13-16, Deane House Studios, 27 Greenwood Place, London, NW5 1LB. Adam Stokes is our data protection officer and can be contacted at email@example.com or at The Data Protection Officer, Mumsnet Ltd, Studios 13-16, Deane House Studios, 27 Greenwood Place, London, NW5 1LB.
Our aims and duty of care
We recognise our duty of care with regards to your data and will always endeavour to do the right thing with the personal data you choose to share with us, including: not compromising your anonymity; protecting your privacy; storing your data securely and giving you control over your own data.
Our mission at Mumsnet is to help make parents’ lives easier. We believe that securing your data, preserving your anonymity, protecting your privacy, and giving you control over your data are an important aspect of that mission.
We believe that employing data and data analytics appropriately can improve the user experience on Mumsnet. Data you give us when filling in forms (when joining, for example or when using the site or our apps) helps us show you more relevant things. It also allows us to see which aspects of the site are popular and well-used, meaning we can improve Mumsnet for everyone.
Your data - what we store and why
We store: IP address, cookies, your device’s unique ID, page browsing history, ads you’ve viewed and clicked, searches you’ve made on site, approximate location, and any enquiries you’ve made. For registered members we also store username, password and email address; discussions you may have with Mumsnet or Gransnet site moderators; and a summary of decisions we’ve taken if we’ve reviewed your use of Mumsnet or Gransnet Talk for any reason. Registered members may also have given us more data on sign up, such as the age of their children.
We store your email address to register you and contact you (if you have asked for email newsletters) and we store things such as IP address, cookies and device ID so that our systems recognise you if you return to Mumsnet. We store things such as your device’s reading habits to show you things we think may be of interest to you (eg content or ads). When we look at this information across large numbers of users, it helps us see which parts of Mumsnet are well-used and which aren’t, and this helps us to decide what sort of content and features might be useful to develop. Subject to the permissions you have given us (as described in your permissions and choices below), we may also pass your device's reading habits to selected partners for them to show you things that may be of interest to you (eg content or ads).
We don’t require your name or address when you view Mumsnet content or register with the site, and you can use Mumsnet fully without providing it.
Subject to your permissions and choices, we collect, store and process the data listed in this section. We believe we provide a useful service, and therefore have a legitimate interest in processing your data which benefits both Mumsnet and you as a Mumsnet user.
We store the following data for all users, whether registered or not:
- IP address, cookies, device ID – to identify your web browser and device.
- Page browsing information – to enable us to show you more relevant things and to understand how people use Mumsnet, so we can improve it.
- Within our user database, we assign your internet browser and device a unique 'Identity Number'. Against this identity number we record the topic of the content that your device is viewing or creating – in other words, your device’s 'reading habits'. This helps us understand what you may be interested in so that we can show you things we think may be relevant to you (such as ads or other Mumsnet content). When we look at this information from all users, we can see what is popular and less popular, helping us to develop Mumsnet over time.
- Ads viewed and clicked and searches you’ve made on site – to show you more relevant ads and content in future.
- Enquiries you make – we sometimes give you the option of using Mumsnet to enquire about a product or service (such as getting a quote to repair your boiler). This is optional and we only give users this option if we trust the company and think the service might be helpful to you. We will always explicitly ask for your permission before recording or passing this information to that company or to anyone else.
We store the following information for registered members:
- Username, password, email address – so that you can log in. If you choose to register to use a Mumsnet product we ask for your email address so that we can create an account for you and check you’re a real person (to prevent ‘bots’ signing up). We won’t send you newsletters or mass email communications that you haven’t asked for, and we don’t sell your email address to anyone else.
- Discussions that take place over email or via Private Messages between you and Mumsnet or Gransnet moderators – so that we have a record.
- A summary of any actions we may have taken with regard to your use of Mumsnet or Gransnet Talk (usually in response to reported posts) – so that we have a record and can moderate fairly.
We also store the following optional data for registered members:
- Registration data: facts about you that you choose to provide in the sign-up process, such as your date of birth, gender, whether you are pregnant, whether you have children, their ages and genders, and which email newsletters from us you would like to receive. If you give us this data it helps us to show you more relevant things (for example, sending you emails about pregnancy if you have asked for them). We do not share this information with anyone else. Provision of this data is optional; you can skip this stage.
- Permissions to email you, to send you newsletters that you have chosen to receive.
- Private Messages that you choose to send other users.
- Data that you provide when taking part in surveys, panels, product tests, quizzes or competitions. For these things, we sometimes ask for your name and address (for example to send you a product to test) or other data requested by the competition provider (such as your email address). Before recording or passing this information to another organisation, we will provide the organisation’s data policy and clearly ask for your permission each time.
Children and minors
- Mumsnet services are not available to children under 16 years of age. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 16 years of age.
Posting on Mumsnet or Gransnet Talk
Of your registration data, only your Mumsnet or Gransnet username is displayed on screen for other users to see – but posts on Mumsnet or Gransnet Talk are visible to anyone on the internet. So when posting, you should bear in mind that any personally identifying details you include in the text or pictures you post could be seen by anyone.
We also provide an anonymised copy of all Talk posts to a handful of carefully chosen organisations so that they can analyse social trends. None of your personal information is ever shared and we remove usernames before sharing this information.
Mumsnet or Gransnet forums (with the exception of some topics, like 'Off the beaten track') are visible to search engines. This means that any personal information users choose to share in their posts on a Mumsnet product can be seen widely. We cannot control who sees these posts.
In all your posts across Mumsnet, in personal messages to other users, and in choosing your username, you should be mindful about the possibility that information you choose to disclose could lead to someone working out who you are in ‘real life’. For example, anything that references your real life name, your children’s real names, where you live or your date of birth could make it easy for someone to work out who you are.
Mumsnet and Gransnet are sites for grown-ups and we believe that our users are adults who can decide for themselves what information they choose to share on Mumsnet and Gransnet Talk. That said, if you’re ever worried that you’ve said too much, hit ‘report’ on one of your posts and explain the problem to our moderation team; they will be happy to help if they can.
You should be aware that the moderation team and a small number of other members of staff at Mumsnet and Gransnet have access to your Talk posts and can see that content in combination with your registration data. We restrict the number of staff who have access to this data to the minimum and we constantly review this. You can check your registration data in My Account.
We provide a copy of all Talk posts to a small number of organisations for analysis or to create software analysis tools to analyse brands and sentiment towards topics. Your personal data and username are not included in the copies of posts that we provide to these organisations.
Your permissions and choices
You can change your registration data and your email preferences on Mumsnet at any time on your My Account page. You can also manage your cookie preferences – click on this section for how to do this, but remember it may affect how well this site works. You can delete your account by going to My Account.
Your registration data
You can change the information that you provided when you registered, including your email address and Mumsnet username, on your My Account page.
If you have signed in using Facebook or Google, you can stop access at any time via your Facebook or Google account settings. If you still wish to post on Mumsnet or Gransnet, you’ll then need to register a username and password via the Registration page.
Your email preferences
You can change which newsletters you receive, or ensure that you do not receive any newsletters from Mumsnet, by going to My Account.
If you’re ever worried that you’ve said too much, hit ‘report’ on one of your posts and explain the problem to our site moderation team; they will be happy to help if they can. You can request a retrospective name change – this means that all your previous posts will appear under a different username.
Cookies and other tracking technologies
Most web browsers automatically accept cookies. A cookie is a small, temporary file which a web server sends to your web browser to be stored. Cookies allow Mumsnet to identify your web browser and device if we see it again.
Cookies do not contain your name or other personal details and there are some benefits to you and Mumsnet:
- 'Information storage and access' cookies allow you to perform certain functions like logging into Mumsnet or Gransnet. Cookies improve your experience of the site. For example, they allow you to log in and post, and allow us to show you discussions you've already read in a different colour, and to display them top-down or bottom-up according to your preference.
- 'Measurement' cookies allow us to gather information about how many people visit or use a Mumsnet product, how often, and what they look at while on the site (a process called ‘analytics’). If you visit multiple pages or come back to a Mumsnet product after a break, cookies mean we do not count you as a new visitor. Using cookies like this allows us to compile aggregate statistics about how many users Mumsnet has and how long people use the site for, on average. We share this anonymous information with advertisers. Understanding what’s well-used on Mumsnet means we can create more of what users find useful and less of what they don’t.
The first time you visit Mumsnet, you should see a pop-up where you can either accept our recommended cookie settings or manage your individual preferences by clicking ‘Manage Consent’.
You can reset your cookie and privacy settings at any time by clicking here. Clicking this link will reset any cookie and privacy permissions you’ve already set up with us and allow you to re-set up your preferred settings.
Alternatively, most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set, visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org.
Find out how to manage cookies on popular browsers:
To find information relating to other browsers, visit the browser developer's website.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Other tracking technologies
Many sites use things like web beacons, clear GIFs, page tags and web bugs to understand how people are using them and to target advertising to them. They usually take the form of a small, transparent image that is embedded in a web page or email. They work with cookies and capture data like your IP address, when you viewed the page or email, what device you were using and where you were.
To avoid web beacons and other tracking technologies, you can normally render them ineffective by switching off cookies in your browser. There are also browser add-ons and extensions that specifically block web beacons.
To avoid web beacons in emails, you can turn off images in your email service. Check your email’s Help section to find out how.
Deleting your Mumsnet Account
You can delete your account by going to My Account. Your Mumsnet posts won’t be deleted, but there will no longer be any personal information associated with them.
If you’d like you can ask us to provide details of the personal information we hold about you, under the 2018 EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To request this information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Mumsnet Limited, Studios 13-16, Deane House Studios, 27 Greenwood Place, London NW5 1LB.
How long is your data held?
Any personal data you give us, or that we collect when you use a Mumsnet product, will be retained by us for as long as it’s needed to perform its function. Registration data is held permanently unless you deregister. There’s no one-size-fits-all time limit, but we regularly review the data we hold to ensure it is still necessary.
To give some examples: data provided by members of our Insight panel for that specific purpose is retained for as long as the user remains a member of the panel. Information provided when entering competitions is held for a maximum of three months. Information you give us when you sign up is stored permanently unless you choose to delete it or unless you delete your Mumsnet account.
Private Messages are stored until you delete them. If you delete your account, your messages will also be deleted.
We regularly review the data held by Mumsnet’s different teams and delete information that is no longer needed. All the data we hold is stored securely and only accessible to authorised staff members, who have regular data training.
Signing in with Facebook or Google
You can choose to log in to Mumsnet using Facebook or Google, or Gransnet using Google. When you do this, Facebook or Google will know you’ve logged in to Mumsnet or Gransnet. By logging in via Facebook or Google you grant us access to your Facebook or Google registered email address. We do not use (and cannot obtain) your Friends list and we do not ask for or receive any data that Facebook holds on you.
If you choose to join a Mumsnet product you are asked to create a username and password. If you prefer, you can log in using Facebook or Google instead, meaning you don’t have to create and remember another password.
If you log in via Facebook or Google you will grant us access to your Facebook or Google registered email address only. We do not use (and cannot obtain) your Friends list and we do not ask for or receive other Facebook data. By default, the Facebook login process says it requires access to your Public Profile, but we do not store or use that data. However, if you choose this option, Facebook and Google will know that you have logged in to Mumsnet or Gransnet. We do not know whether Facebook or Google use this data (for example to make ads more relevant) but it is quite likely.
You may stop access at any time via your Facebook or Google account settings. If you want to carry on being able to post on Mumsnet or Gransnet you will then need to register a username and password.
Where is your data stored?
Your data is stored by our web hosting company DSC, and by Amazon Web Services. Unless you have turned cookies off, some data technology companies (such as Google and Lotame) store your cookies; they do not have access to any personal information about you beyond your browsing habits.
The following companies store your cookies on our behalf. We do not share personal data (such as your name or email address) with these companies.
Tags are lines of code that run on sites and apps. Mumsnet uses tag management software to run code that connects to third-party technology companies. These third-party technology companies deliver Social Log-In, Advertising and Analytics.
These companies allow you to use your social media account to log in to Mumsnet and Gransnet. This is optional when you join Mumsnet. If you choose to log in via Google or Facebook, those companies will know that you have logged in to Mumsnet.
Competitions, surveys, quizzes, events and product tests
We use third parties to collect data for insight activity and competitions that we run. These are the companies we may use:
We use the following third-party company to help deliver advertising across Mumsnet:
GAM is the ad server we use to display advertising around our sites and on our apps and also allows us to segment users into categories based on their browsing behaviour across the web and third-party data. Google Ad Manager will classify user interests eg pregnancy, health, food, etc. This is then used to show users relevant advertising.
Google Publisher Tags and Media Trust monitor and block bad ads, for example, ads that are fraudulent or contain malware.
Google Funding Choices is the tool we use to manage and record cookie consent.
Blockthrough allows us to show non-personalised advertising to users who use ad blockers. Any advertising shown would not be based on the user’s browsing behaviour, but would simply be relevant to the Mumsnet website as a whole.
Oriel allows us to monitor the number of users who have ad blockers installed on their devices.
Captify analyses what users are searching for on Mumsnet and then use that data to re-target these users elsewhere on the web.
These companies help Mumsnet understand our users:
Hotjar helps Mumsnet and Gransnet understand how our sites and apps are performing (for example, reporting on the speed that pages take to load).
Lead Forensics helps the Mumsnet and Gransnet commercial teams identify possible sales leads by telling us the IP address match of people visiting the ‘Advertise with Us’ page.
Copper is a tool used by our commercial team to store and manage sales leads.
NeoReach is used by our commercial team to manage a database of influencers.
HelpScout is customer service software used by our community team to manage correspondence with users.
Our website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.
Exceptional circumstances - safeguarding and official investigations
If there are obvious safeguarding reasons, or if we are contacted by the police about a possible breach of the law, we may share your personal information with public authorities without your permission. If we are compelled to do so by a court order, we will share your personal data to the extent specified in the order.
If there are compelling safeguarding considerations, we may share your data with public authorities without your permission. We understand 'compelling safeguarding considerations' to mean credible evidence of imminent risk of serious harm, especially to a child or vulnerable person.
In such circumstances, on the judgement of a senior person within Mumsnet and in consultation with the Data Protection Officer, we may proactively contact relevant authorities (the police or ambulance service, for example) and share any relevant data we have, such as location data, relevant posts, private messages, details of any children who might be at risk, and descriptions of the situation.
If contacted by the police about possible breaches of the law disclosed in posts, we may sometimes – on the judgement of a senior person within Mumsnet and in consultation with the Data Protection Officer – share your personal information with them. We will share your personal information if compelled to do so by a court order, for example under Section 5 of the 2013 Defamation Act.
Complying with the law and best practice around data
The way we store and process data is compliant with the UK Data Protection Act 2018, the 2018 EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and other relevant pieces of legislation. We always aim to comply both with the spirit as well as the letter of the law and to be responsible with your data.
The way that we store and process data is compliant with the following legislation:
UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)EU Data Protection Directive 1995 (DPD)EU General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR)ePrivacy Directive 2002 (amended 2009)
As well as keeping up-to-date with laws about data, we aim to make sensible decisions based on common sense, listening to users’ views and industry best practices.
If our data is compromised
If our security is breached, our data is compromised or if we fail to comply with the law, we will tell affected users as soon as we become aware of the failure. We will report any data breach to the Information Commissioner and, if appropriate, the police, in a timely fashion.
Used appropriately, we strongly believe using data improves the user experience across all Mumsnet and supports our aim of making parents’ lives easier. Data you give us when filling in forms on site (when joining, for example) or when you're using the site or our apps helps us show you more relevant things and improve Mumsnet for everyone.
If, via human error, or via a breach of our security, we fail to comply with the law, we will let affected users know as soon as we are aware of it. We will report any data breach to the Information Commissioner in UK and, depending on the circumstances, the Police.
All Mumsnet use best practice, multi-tier web application security for our servers including Denial of Service protection and Web Application Firewall at the network edge. For staff access to all administrative systems, we enforce 2-step verification and IP-based access restrictions. Regular security updates keep staff informed of the latest security threats.
Regarding Amazon, 'Alexa' means their Alexa Voice Service which includes third-party services (like our skills) and other related software.
When you use our skills you have to talk to Alexa. This voice input is sent to Amazon and us, where we use it to understand what our skill should do for you. This is absolutely necessary for our service to give you an appropriate answer.
We only collect personal data necessary to run our skill – this is your due date. We do not share this with anyone outside of Mumsnet.
To improve our services we analyse automatically how often utterances are spoken and other analytics. This is done automatically by Amazon in the Amazon Developer Portal.
For some of our skills, it is necessary to save data for you in our databases. This data is connected to your Alexa-UserId but never to your name or any other personal information. In the case of our 'Mumsnet Pregnancy' skill, we save your due date. Otherwise, we would not be able to provide this service.
Mumsnet Premium subscription
Mumsnet offers monthly and annual subscription service, giving users the opportunity to use the Mumsnet website and app ad-free. When you subscribe on our website, you will need to make payment for the goods or services you have ordered.
In order to process your payment, we use Stripe, a third-party payment processor, to manage recurring payments for this product. Stripe store the following information about anyone who subscribes:
- Email address
- Payment information (including name on card)
How to complain
If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at email@example.com or by writing to The Data Protection Officer, Mumsnet Ltd, Studios 13-16, Deane House Studios, 27 Greenwood Place, London, NW5 1LB.
You can also complain to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office if you are unhappy with how we have used your data at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Helpline number: 0303 123 1113
ICO website: https://www.ico.org.uk
Further updates will be noted here as and when they are made.
22 May 2018: deletion policy on Private Messages updated
17 September 2018: cookie explanations updated to reflect new consent process
29 August 2019: updates to 'what data is stored and why'
20 April 2020: updated throughout the policy to clarify how data is used across all Mumsnet
20 April 2020: updates to ‘where is your data stored’ section