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Policies and publications

Privacy and cookie policy

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers and website visitors. Our relationship with you is valuable and we understand the importance you place on the privacy and security of information which personally identifies you.

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when HIE collects personal information through online media. It applies to information we collect about:

  • Visitors to our websites
  • People who use our online services
  • Job applicants

This privacy notice explains the principles used by HIE to collect and process personal data using the HIE website. It does not provide an exhaustive list of all aspects of data collection and use. HIE continually updates the services and facilities provided and website users can contact us at any time for further information about how their data will be collected and processed.

Where we collect personally identifiable information using our website, for example from those wishing to access certain services, we ensure it is clear that we are collecting personal data and explain what we intend to do with it. We will never share your personal information without your consent.

Visitors to our websites - Website Usage Data

Our websites keep track of standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns to better understand website usage and to help us to improve our services for users. This information is collected by what are called cookies. The cookies used do not identify individual users and we do not make any attempt to find out identities of those using our websites.

What are cookies?

Most websites you visit will use cookies to help to improve your experience by enabling that website to ‘remember’ you, either for the duration of your visit (using a ‘session cookie’) or for repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’).

Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences, and generally improving your experience of a website. Cookies make the interaction between you and the website faster and easier. If a website doesn’t use cookies, it will think you are a new visitor every time you move to a new page on the site – for example, when you enter your login details and move to another page it won’t recognise you and it won’t be able to keep you logged in.

Third party cookies on HIE pages

Please note that during your visits to HIE websites you may notice some cookies that are not related to HIE or HIE's contractors. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Flickr, you may be presented with cookies from these websites. HIE does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Below is a list of all cookies used on HIE pages




More info

Google Analytics


These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.

Google Privacy Policy


+ some others

This is the service that operates the Add To Any social bookmarking and sharing buttons. Cookies will have the domain a2a.lockerz.com We use social buttons by Lockerz / Add To Any on some pages of the site to allow users to easily share content with your social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and to bookmark pages for future reference. These sites may set a cookie and your usage including the pages users visit. Users should check privacy or cookie policy for this service to find out more about these and how to opt-out or delete this information


Internal system


The web platform the website is built on uses technology provided by the ASP.NET Framework. This cookie is often used to store internal system information such as the last page visited and the status of any online forms. It's completely anonymous and expires once the user leaves the website. The website won't work properly without it.

Visit the Microsoft website


We recognise industry standards and employ appropriate security safeguards to protect information from unauthorised access and misuse. Whenever you transmit sensitive information, such as billing or credit card information to us through our website, we provide you access to our secure server that ensures encryption across the internet to protect your privacy.

Accessing services

HIE offers various services through online media, some of which require the user to provide personal information. In order to provide these services, HIE has to hold the details of the people who have requested them. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a publication to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received. When you subscribe to our services, you can cancel your subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this. These services include but are not limited to:

  • Newsletters and subscriptions
  • Marketing and promotional activities for a wide range of events and facilities
  • Contests and surveys
  • Collecting optional Information

When entering personal information to access some of our services, you may from time to time be asked to provide additional information. We request this information so that we may serve you better (for example to provide specific products and services which you tell us would be likely to interest you) and understand what you are seeking from HIE. If we request this additional information from you, we will clearly identify it as optional and you will not be required to provide it to receive the service you are requesting.

Discussion forums

Some users of our website are offered the opportunity to participate in discussion forums and post news, comments and other content to message boards. These services enable users to interact easily with our staff and other visitors to the site about HIE and its products and services. By definition, these discussion forums and message boards are not private forms of communication, so any information which is posted on them can be accessed by the general public.

Job applicants

We advertise details of job opportunities with HIE and its partners on our website. If you apply for one of the available positions, you are required to provide us with contact details so we can get in touch with you. These details, together with the contents of your curriculum vitae, will be treated as confidential and will only be used for the purposes of considering you for a particular position.

Your rights

You have the right to ask for a copy of your personal information that is held by HIE and we may charge a small fee to process this request (a Subject Access Request). You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. Contact us by emailing info@hient.co.uk

Disclosure and sharing of personal information

HIE processes personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and does not sell or rent any personal data.

Please contact us if you require any further information on:

  • agreements we have with other organisations for sharing information;
  • circumstances where we can pass on personal data without consent for example, to prevent and detect crime and to produce anonymised statistics;
  • our instructions to staff on how to collect, use and delete personal data; and
  • how we check that the information we hold is accurate and up to date.

This privacy notice explains our data processing practices that apply to this website. It does not cover other websites to which this website links. If you have any queries concerning your personal information or any questions on our use of your information, please email info@hient.co.uk

How to control and delete cookies

Highlands and Islands Enterprise will not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you. However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s website, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise website. The Help function within your browser should tell you how to restrict or block cookies.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit the About cookies website, which contains information on how to do this for a variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your computer as well as more general information about cookies. For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to its manual.

Cookies set by third party sites

We sometimes embed photos and video content from third party websites such as YouTube and Flickr. As a result, when you visit a page with content embedded from or social sharing functionality, for example, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn you may be presented with cookies from these websites or they may set a cookie when you are also logged in to their service.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the relevant third party website for more information about these. 

Check your browser's Help for details, or visit the About cookies website for more information. Most browsers will give you the option to accept cookies from websites while blocking those from third parties.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated in March 2014

User submissions - non-personal data

Please do not post confidential or proprietary information to our website. Any material, information or any other communication you transmit or post to our website (other than your personal information) will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary, unless we are advised to the contrary, and we will have no liability for it. HIE and its designees will be free to copy, disclose, distribute, incorporate and otherwise use the communications in all data, images, sound, text and other things embodied therein for any and all commercial or non-commercial purposes. Users of our website are prohibited from posting or transmitting to or from this site any unlawful, threatening, libellous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material with the potential to cause gratuitous offence.

Code of Data Matching Practice

Highlands and Islands Enterprise is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

On behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency that requires further investigation.

No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

Audit Scotland currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Scotland's instructions, which can be found at www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/our-work/national-fraud-initiative

The use of data by the Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data matching by the Audit Scotland is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found at

For further information on the Audit Scotland’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/our-work/national-fraud-initiative

For further information on data matching at this authority email customer.service@hient.co.uk 

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