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Privacy policy and cookies

It is the policy of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that personal information, such as your name, mailing address, email address or personal telephone number is private and confidential. By using this site, you consent to the terms of our privacy policy for the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes set out below. We do not collect, use or disclose your personal information for any purposes other than those identified below, except with your consent or as required by law.

Our Privacy Policy

This policy outlines the ways the HFEA collects and uses personal data and sensitive personal data from patients and individuals who contact the HFEA. This policy explains what information of yours will be collected by the HFEA either when you register or undergo treatment at a licenced fertility clinic, or when you contact us, how the information will be used, and how you can control the collection, correction and/or deletion of information. We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.

Read our Privacy policy in full

Our Website and Social Media policy

This policy includes the privacy information for our website and social media channels, our cookie policy and the terms and conditions for using our website, patient feedback tools and social media.

Read our website policy in full

Cookies we use

A cookie is a text file that is downloaded onto your computer the first time you use a website. If you visit the website again, your PC checks to see if it has a cookie that is relevant (that is, one containing the site name) and sends the information contained in that cookie back to the site. The site then ’knows’ that you have been there before, and in some cases, tailors what pops up on screen to take account of that fact. Often this will include things like counting the number of people who come to our site, and see what pages are viewed the most. This data helps us understand how visitors use the site and how we can improve the user experience. Other cookies on the site are for accessibility purposes for example, if a user increases the font size of the text on the website, then a cookie is used to remember their selection for the duration of their visit.

We will not place cookies on your computer if you do not opt-in to use cookies when you first come to the site. However, this may affect some of the usability of the site.

We use cookies with different categories:

  • Necessary cookies – these are required to allow the website to perform properly; for example, they help support the structure of the pages that are displayed to you, allowing you to navigate through the website.
  • Statistics-related cookies – these are used to collect and report information on how you use the website; for example, whether it’s a first visit or a return visit to the website and how long you stay on the website.

Necessary session cookies

  • ARRAffinity – This cookie is set by websites run on the Windows Azure cloud platform. It is used for load balancing to make sure the visitor page requests are routed to the same server in any browsing session. Expires at the end of the session.
  • ASP.NET_SessionId - Stores a visitor's unique, randomly generated Session ID and is used to pass information between site applications to enable them to function correctly. Expires at the end of the session.
  • _RequestVerificationToken - This is a security measure that helps protect the website from unauthorised data submissions. Expires at the end of the session.

Statistics-related cookies

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to track anonymous website usage data.

  • _ga – Distinguishes users anonymously. 2 year expiry.
  • _gat_gtag_UA_80302552_1 – Used to control the request rate. 1 minute expiry.
  • _gid – Distinguishes users anonymously. 24 hour expiry.

Microsoft Clarity

We use Microsoft Clarity to gather non-personally identifiable session information about website visitors.

  • _clck - Persists the Clarity User ID and preferences, unique to that site, on the browser. This ensures that behaviour in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID. 1-year expiry.
  • _clsk - Connects multiple page views by a user into a single Clarity session recording. 1-day expiry.
  • CLID - Identifies the first-time Clarity saw this user on any site using Clarity. 1-year expiry.
  • ANONCHK - Indicates whether MUID is transferred to ANID, a cookie used for advertising. Clarity doesn't use ANID and so this is always set to 0.
  • MR - Indicates whether to refresh MUID.
  • MUID - Identifies unique web browsers visiting Microsoft sites. These cookies are used for advertising, site analytics, and other operational purposes. 390-day expiry.
  • SM - Used in synchronizing the MUID across Microsoft domains.

Cookie settings

  • cookieAcceptance – This cookie saves your cookie preferences. Expires in 90 days and is not shared with any third party.


We use embedded YouTube videos. Google owns YouTube and the Google privacy policy goes into some detail about their cookie usage on YouTube. The active cookies they place on our website include:

  • GPS - 1-year expiry.
  • IDE - 390-day expiry.
  • PREF
  • VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE - 6-month expiry.
  • YSC - session expiry.

We provide further information on privacy issues in our privacy policy and website policy.


If you use a screen reader or other accessibility tools and are having difficulties with any of our documents, you can request them in an accessible format. Read our accessibility statement for more information.

Third party exclusion

We cannot guarantee that apps and plugins from third parties will conform to this sites accessibility standards.


Review date: 10 August 2024