Privacy & confidentiality
The Live Chat Helpline is an anonymous and confidential service. We have taken extensive measures to protect your privacy.
Your personal details
Our Live Chat Helpline is an anonymous service. You should not provide any personally identifying details, such as your name or email address.
The only identifiable information that we have access to is the IP address of the device you are using.
Are the chats recorded?
What you discuss with the Live Chat Helpline operators during your live chat session is intended to be a private conversation. We do not save transcripts of the live chat sessions. We will delete your chat transcript after the Live Chat Helpline session has ended.
Operators will only record the type of support or information provided to you and how long the chat lasted for. This information will not identify you personally, will not identify information you may have provided, and is only collected for monitoring and reporting purposes.
At the end of each session, you will be asked to provide basic demographic information, such as your age, gender and ethnicity. No personal information will be requested. Any information that you provide will not be seen by the live chat operators. This information is requested for monitoring and reporting purposes, and you do not have to provide it if you do not want to.
Sharing information with other agencies
Most of the time whatever you tell us will stay between you and the operator. However, we may need to share information with others if we believe a child or adult at risk is at risk of serious or immediate harm, or if we are instructed by a court of law.
If this is the case, and you disclose information that could lead us to identify your name and location, we may have to share information with the appropriate authorities.
We would initially ask for your consent to share such information, and we can only help in these situations if we have information which identifies you.
Breaking confidentiality without consent
In extremely rare cases, the Live Chat Helpline may need to share personal information without gaining consent. This will be in situations where:
- If a user shares information (such as location) which identifies a child or vulnerable adult who is at risk of serious harm
- A user appears to be unable to give consent or become unconscious and they have told us where they are, allowing us to alert emergency services
- A user threatens the safety of RCEW Live Chat operators or other staff, or any other third person about whom the user makes specific threats of harm
- There is a legal requirement to provide information following receipt of a court order requiring us to share information
- If information is received regarding an imminent act of terrorism or similar risk to the life of a third party