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Privacy policy

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The Family links website (familylinks.icrc.org) is managed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the support of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The purpose of familylinks.icrc.org is to help people trace missing relatives and restore contact. The ICRC uses the information it collects from you to provide a humanitarian service.

The ICRC is committed to protecting your online privacy. This privacy policy governs all pages hosted by familylinks.icrc.org.

We reserve the right to update or revise this policy, so please refer to it periodically.

This policy provides answers to the following questions:


What information is collected from you?


The type and amount of personal information collected and stored by the ICRC depend on how you use the website.

You can access most pages (such as news, information on our services and lists of people missing or safe and well) without stating who you are and without revealing any personal information.
We collect information about you when you decide:

  • to submit an enquiry, communicate with us or share information (via a contact form, a registration form, an e mail or telephone)
  • to self register and publish on the website your name and contact details or/and the name of a missing person
  • to subscribe to one of our online services

The ICRC does not collect information identifying you personally (such as your name, address, phone number or e-mail address) unless stated otherwise and when you provide that information.

Cookies

A cookie is a piece of data that is stored in your computer to collect non-identifying information about you, such as your surfing behaviour or user preferences for a specific website.

The Familylinks website uses two types of cookie:

  • Session cookie
    A session cookie lasts only as long as your session on the Family Links Website. It expires when the session ends and is not written onto your computer's hard drive. It is used to improve performance when browsing the website.
  • Long-term cookie
    A long term cookie is used to remember the preferred language of the user.

You can set up your computer to refuse cookies by turning them off in your browser. You do not need to have cookies turned on to use the Family Links Website.

To find out more about cookies or how to delete them from your computer, please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie and http://www.allaboutcookies.org.


How do we use your information?


The personal information that we collect from you is used only to provide a humanitarian service, to improve our website, and to send information that you have requested or that may be considered of interest to you.

The ICRC does not sell or rent the information to anyone. The ICRC keeps your information as long as required to fulfil its humanitarian mandate.


With whom may we share the information?

Unless stated otherwise, the information that you provide will be shared only with the ICRC and the relevant National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in order to provide you with the required humanitarian services.

As a general rule, the ICRC will not disclose any information identifying you personally, except with your consent and for a clear and defined humanitarian purpose.


When do we publish your information?


In specific contexts, the ICRC or the relevant National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies may also launch an online tracing service, as part of familylinks.icrc.org. When we do this, we will publish limited personal information (such as name, age, location or contact details) online.

We will only publish such information with your consent or when it is in the best interests of our beneficiaries, and for a clear humanitarian purpose: that of helping people to find out what has happened to missing relatives and to restore contact with them.

There are two different online tracing services that involve the publication of personal information:

1) Online publication
The ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies publish consolidated and reliable lists of missing persons and their relatives online, after the information has been cross-checked in the field, and the families of missing persons have given their informed consent for publication.

When it is in the best interests of our beneficiaries and there is no other more sensitive way to trace or inform their families, we may also publish the names of people who have been killed or injured. We may also publish pictures (without names) of children separated from their families, in order to find their families and reunite them.

2) Self-registration leading to publication
You can directly publish the identities of the missing relatives you are looking for and your own contact details online. You can also register yourself as “safe and well” and publish your name and contact details.

We most often launch this kind of online tracing service following major natural disasters. We have no way of knowing if self-published information is reliable. This means that the ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies.

Information that you publish about you or your missing relatives may be copied to other websites, be published in newspapers, be broadcast on radio or TV or appear in public places. You can ask the ICRC or a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society to modify or delete your personal information on this website, but we cannot modify or delete personal information that appears on other websites or in other media.

We therefore recommend that you do not publish any information that might harm you or someone else.

The ICRC is not responsible for any consequences arising from the publication of such information.


How can you access, update or delete your information?


Whenever possible, the ICRC will give you access to the information we collect about you.

To find out how to access, correct or delete your personal information, or if you have specific requests, please consult the web pages concerned or contact us at familylinks@icrc.org


How secure and accurate is the information?


The ICRC takes all reasonable technical and organizational steps to protect your information from misuse, loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Only employees who need access to your information to perform a specific task are granted access. But we cannot guarantee that your private communications will never be intercepted and misused by unauthorized third parties.

We therefore advise you to remain vigilant when using the site, and to avoid posting information or sending e-mails with sensitive information that could harm you or someone else.

The ICRC verifies the accuracy of the information it publishes. However the ICRC cannot be held responsible for information that other organizations or individuals publish on familylinks.icrc.org.

External websites

familylinks.icrc.org contains links to external websites. We are not responsible for the content or privacy policies of these websites.

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