Privacy Notice and Cookies

Privacy Notice

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) at the British Museum processes the personal data you provide to us for a number of reasons and depending on your level of interaction with us. We may process your personal data where you have given us your consent; where there is a contract arrangement in place; where we have a legal obligation to do so; or where it is in our legitimate interests to do so.

Where you register for an account on the PAS website, we process the personal data you supply to us to create a user profile on the PAS database so that we can attach your personal data to your user generated content. This allows you to be named as the finder on the database and to identify where your find is located. We also use this data to communicate with you about your account. We will retain this data for seven years from the date of your last activity on the PAS site except as described below.

Where you have registered an interest in PAS activities, such as talks or other outreach events, whether through the PAS website, in person, by letter or by phone, and if you have given us your consent to do so, we will share your data with local Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs), who may send you relevant information in the format you have described. Your personal data will be retained for this purpose by PAS for five years from the date of your registration unless you renew your consent. You may opt out of receiving such information at any time.

Where you have supplied your personal data because you are a finder who has had finds recorded by the PAS or where your find has to be recorded to comply with the Treasure Act, we will additionally process your personal data to deliver the PAS finds recording service and to communicate with you about this.

We will retain records of Treasure related cases which may include your personal data for at least two years after your Treasure case is closed.

We will retain permanently records which may include your personal data where we are required to do so by law, or where representations have been made to the Secretary of State about any reward payment. This may include information within Treasure reports on items of Treasure for the Coroner and Receipts for items of reported Treasure. All PAS Database records for such finds may also be retained permanently. Some Treasure case files may be retained permanently for archival and research purposes at the discretion of the Treasure Section of the PAS.

We will only share your personal data for the purposes set out above and as appropriate with FLOs, Finds Liaison Assistants and their volunteers, Finds Advisers, the PAS Central Unit, Treasure Team staff (including British Museum and local curators, conservators and scientists) where they have signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), owners or occupiers of the land (or their representatives) on which the find was made, Coroners, or where required to do so for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime. We will not use or share your personal data with anyone else for any other purpose.

We use anonymised data to report to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), government and other stakeholders and funders and to provide statistical data for our Annual Reports and Annual Review.

Please see The British Museum Privacy policy for more details about how we use your personal data and about your rights or contact the Museum's Data Protection Officer at, telephone 020 7323 8000.


If you visit the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) website, we automatically gather and store the following information about your visit (via the use of Google Analytics) so that we can track the use of our website in order to make improvements and report on activities and resource usage:

  • the IP address from which you access our website
  • the name of the domain from which you access the Internet (e.g., if you are connecting from an America Online account
  • the type of browser and operating system used to access our website
  • the date and time of your visit to the site
  • the pages, files, documents and links that you visit
  • the internet address of the website from which you linked to our site (i.e. the previous site you visited before you came to us)

What happens to the information collected?

The information above is stored and used in the aggregate only, in order to provide us with information about the general use of our site. We analyse these data to allow us to make improvements to the site: for example if we find that some pages are rarely, or never visited, we may decide to remove or rewrite them.

What are cookies?

Cookies can be either persistent or session-based. Persistent cookies are small pieces of information sent to your browser by a website that you visit. They are stored on your computer, contain an expiry date, and may be used to track your browsing behaviour upon return to the issuing web site. When you register on a website, cookies allow the website to remember your information so you will not have to re-enter it the next time you visit. You can set your browser to refuse cookies from any website you visit. If you choose to do that you can usually still gain access to most, if not all of the site, but you may not be able to conduct certain types of transactions (such as shopping) or take advantage of some of the interactive elements offered. Session cookies are short-lived, are used only during a browsing session, and expire when you quit your browser. Upon closing your browser the session cookie set by the web site is destroyed and no personal information is maintained which might identify you should you visit the web site at a later date.