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Takedown Policy

1.    Introduction

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the National Record of the Historic Environment, unlocking the knowledge we create, collect and hold by improving access to information and archives. These relate to Scotland’s archaeology, buildings and landscapes and come from multiple sources, including our own survey, recording and research programmes, and have been accumulated over 100 years.

We are working to make as much of this information and material available on-line as we can through various websites, including Canmore, Scran, Scotland’s Places, Britain from Above, PastMap etc. If you are concerned that we have published on any of our websites any images or information you believe should not be available to users, please let us know.

We will look at all such requests and this document outlines the process.

2.    Takedown process

Contact us by sending an email to stating in the subject line that it is a ‘take down request’. Please include the following information:

•      Your contact details

•      Sufficient information, including exact catalogue or Canmore site reference, for us to identify the relevant item(s) or text

•      The reason for your request

On receipt of your email we will:

•      Acknowledge receipt

•      Remove the image or information from the website temporarily while we investigate the request

•      A senior member of staff will be assigned to carry out a review and to come to a decision about online public access. This will be completed within 30 working days.

•      You will be informed of the decision and provided with an explanation and if not satisfied, you will have the right to appeal within 40 days via the HES complaints procedure.

•      The image or information in question will either be made available again or will be removed from online view.


3.    Conditions for takedown

As a general rule, material published on our websites is considered to be in the public domain and will be removed from online public view only in exceptional circumstances. However, any material removed will remain accessible to visitors in the HES Search Room.

Permanent takedown will be considered in the following instances:

•      A record contains personal or sensitive personal information about a living individual and continued access to this would be unlawful or unfair under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 or the Human Rights Act 1998.

•      Information or images published online may be an infringement of copyright

•      Information or images are considered to be defamatory or obscene or could contravene equalities or other diversity legislation

•      Information or images were obtained illegally

•      Information or images have been published online in error


4.    Our commitments

Historic Environment Scotland is committed to ensuring that information and material it holds is preserved and made available for people to use. However, we are also committed to ensuring that material is archived and displayed lawfully and appropriately.