Perthshire Society of Natural Science
On 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), EU Regulation 2016/79, comes into force. The Regulation confers upon charities the obligation to be explicit about their retention of personal information and, under normal circumstances, prohibits charities from holding and using individuals’ personal information without their explicit and freely given consent.
Individual Rights under the GDPR
The Regulation confirms the following rights for individuals:
1) The right to be informed
2) The right of access
3) The right to rectification
4) The right to erasure
5) The right not to be subject to automated decision-making, including profiling.
The Perthshire Society of Natural Science and personal information of members
The Perthshire Society of Natural Science (hereafter the Society), including its Sections (currently Archaeological and Historical, Botanical, Ornithological, and Photographic), is a registered Scottish Charity, SC012718. It collects and stores the personal information of its members. For this purpose ‘Members’ includes (a) those individuals that have a current paid-up full or student membership of the Society; (b) honorary members of the Society; (c) individuals who have previously been members of the Society in the last seven years but are not current members; (d) individuals who have previously been members of the Society and who have at some point in that membership signed a Gift Aid form on the Society’s behalf. ‘Personal information’ means the member’s name and contact details (postal address, telephone number and email address), type of membership held, and in the case of Gift Aid forms, whether at the time of signing the form he/she was liable to UK income tax.
Collection of information
This information is collected through completed membership forms, through the provision of the same information in other written form or verbal communication to officers of the Society or its Sections. Explicit consent will henceforth be required at the point of completion of the provision of information, for example by a clause in the membership form, to be signed by the individual.
In addition, both the web-server and website engine of the Society’s website, www.psns.org.uk, and of the Photographic Section (Perthshire Photographic Society)’s website, www.perthshirephotographicsociety.org.uk, log all incoming requests including timestamp, Internet Protocol (IP) Address and resource requested by any and all visitors as low-level access data. The low-level access data on these websites is automatically collected as part of the running of a web-server.
Storage of information
The personal information of all Society members is held as paper and/or digital records by the Secretary and Treasurer and of the Society. In addition, the personal information of members of the Sections is held by the Secretary and Treasurer of the appropriate Section. Some information will be held by other officers and/or members of the Council of the Society or the Committees of the appropriate Sections, when it is relevant to the execution of Council or Section Committee duties. Copies of correspondence, including emails, will also be retained, usually by the officer contacted, and officers may also share correspondence when the duties of their offices dictate. The Society will also keep a record of membership for historical purposes, except where ex-members request deletion. Low-level access data is generated on the websites continuously and stored for a period of at least a year. The websites are also used for storing information and emailing members.
Use of information
The personal information of members will be used to (a) maintain the membership list; (b) inform members of forthcoming Society or appropriate Section events and make other announcements of direct relevance to Society or Section activities; (c) make other notifications to members where the Council of the Society or the Committee of a Section deem it necessary either in the interests of individual members or to the wellbeing of the Society; (d) maintain accurate records relating to the financial and other activities of the Society or appropriate Section.
Perthshire Society of Natural Science Communication with Members
Communication with members will normally be by email where an email address has been provided, otherwise by post or telephone.
Members’ Statement of Consent
Paragraph 32 of the Regulation states:
Consent should be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her, such as by a written statement, including by electronic means, or an oral statement.
Article 6 of the Regulation, ‘Lawfulness of processing’, states:
1. Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:
(a) the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes;
(b) processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;
Since it is not possible for the Society or its Sections to fulfil its or their obligations to members without the members’ addresses and information on whether or not subscriptions have been paid, it is deemed that Article 6.1.(b) applies. In order to comply with Paragraph 32, current members are asked to sign the consent form and return it to the Treasurer of the Society.
If members wish to withdraw their consent, they may do so by application to the Treasurer, but members should note that the granting of consent is a condition of membership of the Society and that failure to give consent or subsequent withdrawal of that consent, constitutes resignation of membership of the Society.
Member Control of Personal Information
Members have the right to ask at any time for a copy to be provided to them of the personal information that the Society holds for them, and they have the right to correct this information. The Treasurer will comply with any member’s request for rectification or deletion of or access to personal data of this kind within one calendar month.
Protection of Information from Third Parties
The Society will not share members’ personal data with third parties except (a) when the independent examiner of the Society’s or Section’s accounts makes a request for information that is directly relevant to the prudent exercise of that role; (b) HMRC requires a record of names, address and subscription for a claim for Gift Aid; (c) a list of members attending a Society/Section event is requested by the staff of an institution or venue hosting that event on security or safety grounds; (d) in the event of the Society being in receipt of a court order or warrant to cooperate with an official investigation by the police or a like body.
Questions and Complaints
Complaints or queries about data handling or breaches of privacy should be directed in the first instance to the Treasurer of the Society.