MS Information / MS Maps Privacy and Content Disclaimer notice

What are Marine Scotland Maps and Marine Scotland Information?

The Scottish Government has statutory responsibilities for national and regional marine planning under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The two web sites Marine Scotland Maps and Marine Scotland Information (MSI) allow the public to see the marine planning evidence base online; provide access to certain data sets for download as well as allowing registered users to store their own data.  This privacy notice explains what happens to the personal information provided when a user registers with or browses these sites.

The Scottish Government takes the right to privacy seriously and this privacy notice reflects our commitment to the fair and transparent processing of personal information. This notice sets out why we may need personal information, what we need and how we will use it.

Collection and use of personal information

We collect certain information or data about you when you use Marine Scotland Maps and Marine Scotland Information (MSI)

This includes:

  • details (email address) if you choose to register for using Marine Scotland Maps. Users can opt-out at any time.
  • your email address if you contact our ‘Submit Fault Report / Comment’ feedback mailbox or email us.
  • information on how you use the site, using cookies and page tagging techniques to help us improve the website (these cookies aren't used to identify you personally).

This helps us to:

  • improve the site by monitoring how you use it.
  • respond to any feedback you send us, if you've asked us to.

We won't share your information with any other organisations for marketing, market research or commercial purposes, and we don't pass on your details to other websites.

Disclosing / sharing your information

Though we make every effort to preserve user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information if we have a legal obligation to do so.

We use outside contractors to manage and host our Marine Scotland Maps and MSI services. These companies do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

Why do we collect personal information?

If a user wishes to add their own spatial information to Marine Scotland Maps, using the ‘Data Editing Tools’, then the user must register with the site.  To register only requires a user to submit their email address and create a system password. As part of the registration process an email is sent to the user to complete registration so checking that the email address is valid. No other personal information is required. An email address is required for identification, so users can access their own spatial information when returning to the site at a later date and to allow users to use the automated ‘Forgot Password’ function. A registered user can only see their own data in addition to all the public data sets.

The Scottish Government will not use this email address other than to contact a user if there are any issues with their use of the site. The Scottish Government holds and processes the personal information because the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government complies fully with our obligations under data protection laws. These laws are the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and any other data protection legislation enacted by the UK Government.

Who is processing the personal information?

A controller is the entity (organisation) that determines the purposes, conditions and means of the processing of personal information. For Marine Scotland Maps and Marine Scotland Information the Scottish Government is the Data Controller. The Marine Scotland directorate processes this information on behalf of the Scottish Ministers.

How is personal information collected?

The Scottish Government collects information from Marine Scotland Maps and MSI in a variety of ways including when a user registers, when a user utilises the ‘Submit Fault Report / Comment’ button on Marine Scotland Maps main toolbar if the user adds their email address or if a user emails / telephones MS staff with a system query.  Information on how you use the site, using cookies and page tagging techniques helps us improve the website (these cookies aren't used to identify you personally).

What personal information is collected?

The Scottish Government will process personal information including: names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers if these are provided by system users.

What happens to personal information (including how it will be stored and for how long)?

The email address of a Marine Scotland Maps registered user will be held as long as the user wishes to remain a registered user. On request their account will be deleted along with their email address. Email addresses are stored in a secure access Cloud based database and are not shared with any other party. Passwords are not accessible to any system administrator.

Anyone who corresponds with the Marine Scotland Maps or Marine Scotland Information management team will have correspondence stored in the Scottish Government’s official corporate record.

Personal information will not be transferred to, stored at, or processed in a destination outside the European Economic Area (EEA). We will store your information on databases held in locations that have been tested for electronic and physical security and access will be permitted only to those with a need to know.

Queries about how personal information is handled

If you have any queries or concerns about how your personal information will be handled please contact us. Our details are included on the Contact Us page.

Data subject rights

You have the right to access the personal data we process about you, the right to object to processing that is or is likely to cause substantial damage or distress to you or another, the right to request to rectify, erase, block or destroy inaccurate information and the right to be confident that we will handle your personal information responsibly and in line with good practice.

To exercise these rights, you can write to the Scottish Government Data Protection Officer, supported by the Data Protection and Information Asset Team at:

Data Protection and Information Assets Team

V Spur, Saughton House

Broomhouse Drive


EH11 3XD



If you feel we have been unable to resolve your information rights concern, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO are the supervisory authority responsible for data protection in the UK. 

For further information, including independent data protection advice and information in relation to your rights, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

Information Governance department

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Tel: 0303 123 1113


You can also report a concern here -

Revisions to this privacy notice

The Scottish Government may revise this privacy notice from time to time. Each revised version will be dated and posted on the MS Information website.

Content disclaimer

We seek to ensure that information on MS Maps and MS Information are up-to-date and accurate. However, the information does not constitute legal or professional advice and Marine Scotland and all 3rd party data providers cannot accept liability for actions arising from its use. Neither can we be held responsible for the contents of any pages referenced by an external link.

Links to and from MS Maps and MS Information

Both MS Maps and MS Information contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to the MS Maps and MSI websites and doesn't cover other websites.

We welcome websites to link to the site. You don't have to ask for permission to do so.

However, we don't give you permission to suggest that your website is associated with, or endorsed by, MS Maps or MSI.

Where our site contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only. We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources, and accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.

Date: March 2023