Cochrane Privacy Policy

An official Cochrane policy. Last updated November 2023.

The Cochrane Collaboration (company number 03044323 and charity number 1045921) ("Cochrane", "we", "us") are committed to protecting the privacy and security of those whose personal data we process. We acknowledge the need to protect personal data that is collected by or disclosed to us and to manage it in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR (“Data Protection Laws").

Please read this policy carefully to understand how we collect and use (process) your personal data during and after your relationship with us, in accordance with Data Protection Laws.

We will review this Privacy Statement regularly to comply with our legal obligations. We will notify you of any important changes, but please check back for updates at any time.

About us

Cochrane is for anyone interested in using high-quality information to make health decisions. Whether you are a healthcare professional, patient or carer, researcher or funder, Cochrane evidence provides a powerful tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making. As a data controller we have legal obligations to ensure that we only use your data in a fair, transparent and secure manner. If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Statement, our use of your data or wish to exercise any of your legal rights under Data Protection Laws, please contact

When do we collect your personal data?

We collect personal data when you interact with Cochrane. We make it clear when and why your data is being collected. In most cases the personal data that we process will be provided by you. This includes details provided when:

  • Accessing Cochrane websites and online resources
  • Creating a Cochrane Account
  • Completing an activity with us
  • Contacting our support services
  • Filling in a form on our websites
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Attending a Cochrane event or visiting our offices
  • Contacting us for any other reason
  • Exercising any of your rights under Data Protection Laws

What data do we collect?

We collect the minimum personal data required for your interaction with Cochrane.

  • Visitors to Cochrane websites
  • Cochrane Account holders
    • We collect basic personal data when you sign up for a Cochrane Account. This includes your name, email address and country of residence. You may choose to provide further information, such as the languages you speak and your healthcare interests. Please see the Cochrane Account terms and conditions for further information.
  • Cochrane contributors
    • We collect contact and affiliation information relevant to your role with us.
  • Subscribers to paid services
    • If you provide Cochrane with financial or payment details, these will be held for seven years following the relevant transaction.
  • Cochrane event participants and visitors to our offices
    • We collect registration information including dietary and access requirements. Our premises may be monitored by CCTV.
  • Other individuals who interact with Cochrane (for example, journalists)
    • We collect your contact information, your job title and any other personal information you provide to us when you contact us, such as your social media handle.

The accuracy of your information is very important to us, so please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us. As a Cochrane Account holder you can login to your Cochrane Account at any time to update your personal details. If you are unsure how to update your personal information, please get in touch with us at

Diversity monitoring

We may request personal data such as gender and/or date of birth in order to monitor and improve the diversity of our community and to support the advancement of charitable objectives and outreach activities. Where data are used for diversity monitoring, they are anonymised for processing. You can choose not to provide this data.

Special category data

Data Protection Laws recognise that certain ‘special categories’ of data are more sensitive. These include information relating to health, race, ethnic origin and political or religious beliefs. We only ask for special category personal data if there is a specific need for this. We will use it only for the purpose for which it was provided, such as to refer patients and carers with specific health issues to relevant Cochrane Reviews or Cochrane groups and only ever with your explicit consent.

How do we use your personal data?

We use your personal data to give you the information, services, or products you ask for. We can also use your personal data for administrative purposes, to let you know about changes within Cochrane and to inform you of other Cochrane activities. We will only use your data within Cochrane for the purposes for which it was obtained. We do not use automated decision-making processes. As a Cochrane Account holder you can control your communication preferences in your Cochrane Account. Communications with our members are in accordance with our Membership Terms and Conditions. We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. This is likely to be limited to the following examples:

  • To provide the services that you have requested as part of a contract with us, for example to enrol you to attend a conference
  • For our own internal record keeping where there is either a legal requirement for us to do so or where it is in our legitimate interest
  • To control access to, and/or provide security at our offices where it is in our legitimate interest to do so
  • To send you newsletters and other communications promoting our work where you have consented to this. You can ask us to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by logging onto your Cochrane Account or by following the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you.
  • Where it is in our legitimate interest to do so, to send you invitations by email to take part in surveys so that we can understand the views and opinions of our community members and wider audience. You can opt-out from receiving survey invites either by contacting us or by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the survey. Respondent data is aggregated.

Disclosure: Do we share your personal data?

Unless we have a lawful basis for doing so, Cochrane will not share your personal data with or sell your personal data to any third party for marketing purposes and you will not receive offers from other companies or organisations as a result of giving your details to us.
We may share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in the section “How do we use your personal data?”:

  • Service providers acting as processors based in
    • the UK, for the collection of online payments, the provision of online learning services the provision of IT support services and CRM hosting services and the provision of publishing services;
    • the EU, for the provision of IT support services, and the sale of Cochrane Interactive Learning subscriptions to customers in Spain, Portugal and South America;
    • the USA for the provision of IT support services, editorial management software services, the hosting of our event registration website, and the provision of CRM services; and
    • India for the sale of Cochrane Interactive Learning subscriptions to customers in India.
  • Professional advisers acting as processors or joint controllers including lawyers, bankers, auditors and insurers based in the UK.
  • Regulators and other authorities acting as processors or joint controllers based in the UK who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances.
  • Third parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy policy.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party processors to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

How do we protect your personal data?

We take appropriate physical, electronic and managerial measures to ensure that we keep your data secure. We undertake regular IT security and data protection auditing to ensure our systems meet the expectations of the law and those of our clients. Those of our employees and contractors who have access to personal data are required to undertake data protection training.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and the ICO of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

Transfers of data outside of the UK

We may transfer your personal information to third party data processors who are based outside the UK to the jurisdictions listed in the section above, “Disclosure: Do we share your personal data?”

We only transfer your information (i) if there is an adequacy decision for the specific country to which the data is transferred, or (ii) pursuant to specific contracts approved for use with such transfers.

How long do we keep your personal data?

We will retain your personal data as long as is necessary to provide the services to which you have requested, or where we have another legitimate and lawful reason to do so. Different Cochrane departments and groups have specific data retention schedules related to their areas of activity. For instance, personal data included in documents related to review production, may be archived by review groups for our editorial records. These data will be stored securely. We may need to retain some information to comply with our legal obligations such as financial and accounting records. In most cases we will delete your data 7 years after your last transaction with us. Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are [available in our retention policy which you can request from us by contacting us.

What are your rights in relation to your personal data?

You can:

  • Ask us to correct your personal data if information is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete. You can also manage your current details and communications preferences yourself in your Cochrane Account.
  • Ask us to provide a copy of the data we hold about you.
  • Withdraw your consent at any time, if we have asked for your consent to process certain data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consen
  • Ask us to delete the data we hold about you. If we need to continue holding this information (for example, if you are a published author) we will explain our reasons for this and how the data will be stored.
  • Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
  • Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios:
    • If you want us to establish the data's accuracy.
    • Where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it.
    • Where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
    • You have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

To exercise any of these rights or if you have any questions about our Privacy Notice please contact

You can also address queries to:

Data Protection Lead
11-13 Cavendish Square

Telephone: +44 207 183 7503

While we hope to be able to resolve any concerns you have about the way that we are processing your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you believe your data has been processed in a way that does not comply with the GDPR or have any wider concerns about our compliance with data protection law. You can do so by calling the ICO helpline on +44 303 123 1113 or via their website. We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We keep our privacy notices under regular review. This notice was last updated in August 2023.

How do we use cookies and tracking technology?

Cookies are small files of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it, but we won't set these optional cookies unless you enable them. You can find more information about the individual cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them in the table below.

Our websites ask you to consent before we place cookies on your machine. You can always change your cookie preferences at any time by clicking on the ‘Cookies settings’ link in the footer of every page. Alternatively, most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. Please refer to the help information contained in your browser or search the internet for ‘How to disable cookies’.

Table: Use and storage of cookies on our websites

NamePurposeDefault Expiration Time
Necessary cookies
SESS[id], JSESSIONID[id], JPHPSSID[id]To remember your selections or preferences that you’ve already made when looking at information or using a service.when you exit the browser
has_jsTo check whether the user's browser has JavaScript enabled.when you exit the browser
_cookiesTo save consent given by a user to use cookies.1 year
PREF*, VSC*, VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE*, remote_sid*We embed videos from our official YouTube channel using YouTube’s privacy-enhanced mode. This mode may set cookies on your computer once you click on the YouTube video player, but YouTube will not store personally-identifiable cookie information for playbacks of embedded videos using the privacy-enhanced mode.
Read more at YouTube’s embedding videos information page.
PREF - *: eight months
VSC - *: at the end of your session
VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE - *: eight months
remote_sid - *: at the end of your session
CONSENTWe use Google Search for searches within our websites. When searching, Google Search exposes the ‘CONSENT’ cookie to store a user’s state regarding their cookies choices outside our websites - i.e. nothing is stored when performing a search.2 years
Optional cookies
__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmt, _utmv, __utmz, _g, _ga, _gat, _gidThese cookies are used by Google Analytics, the system we use to allow us to collect anonymous information about our visitors for statistical purposes. More information._utma: 2 years
_utmb: 30 mins.
_utmc: when you exit the browser
_utmt: 10 minutes
_utmv: 2 years
_utmz: 6 months
_ga: 2 years
_gat: 1 minute
_gid: 24 hours
_pk_ref, _pk_cvar, _pk_id, _pk_ses, mtm_consent, mtm_consent_removed, uses Matomo for website analytics. The data collected is not shared with any third party. More information._pk_id: 13 months
_pk_ref: 6 months
_pk_ses, _pk_cvar, _pk_hsr: 30 minutes
mtm_cookie_consent: 5 years



Although is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered, we make no representations and give no warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. By giving you this information we are not giving any form of advice or recommendation and we do not intend you to rely upon it when making (or refraining from making) any decision. The Information is not a substitute for the exercise of professional judgement. If you are not qualified or experienced enough to make that judgement, you should take professional advice.


The content on is primarily created in English. Translations are the responsibility of the teams producing them. They are produced with care and follow standard processes to ensure quality control. However, in case of mismatches, inaccurate or inappropriate translations, the English original prevails.