We collect different types of information about our users for four main reasons:
• To provide personalised services and marketing to users;
• To help us to monitor and improve the services we offer;
• To sell advertising space on the site and personalised adverts. This helps us to keep the site free for people who visit it;
In summary we might use your information to:
Remember when you visit our websites and track your browsing patterns by using cookies (please see our cookies policy);
Place your anonymised information into audience segments to identify your interests so that we might serve you with advertisements and offers that will interest you;
Ensure any products or services you receive are correctly administered (including subscriptions);
Communicate with you by email, post, telephone, sms text message, social media or mobile push message to let you know about any of our products, services or promotions (which, in some cases may be provided by third parties) but only according to the permissions you give us;
Ensure materials on our sites and applications are presented in the most effective manner for you and your computer or mobile device;
Collate and log numeric internet addresses to improve our sites and to monitor site usage. This allows us to assess and understand customer feedback and identify usage hotspots;
If you have subscribed to any of our services, we will use the information you provide to keep you updated on those services unless you have told us otherwise.
We will respect your privacy and you will only receive marketing communications from us and, if you agree, from other organisations we have carefully chosen. We will make sure it is clear when you can make these choices. For example, we have boxes you are able to tick to opt in if you want to receive marketing.
We may occasionally contact you with information or questions about your registration, your subscription account or postings, for example, with reminders, warnings or copyright requests.
We will be clear in our dealings with you as to what information we will collect about you and how we will use it.
Our sites are accessible via the internet. This means that people around the world who access our sites will be able to see anything you post on the sites, for example, comments about an article. We require all those who post comments upon our sites to abide by the spirit and letter of our house rules. If, for example, you were to write a defamatory comment on one of our articles we may be required by a court to disclose your personal data.
You have the right to ask us not to use your personal data for marketing purposes. You can request that you stop receiving information from us at any time by writing to us or emailing us.
We invest in high-quality security and do our utmost to protect user privacy. The password you provide when registering with our sites is encrypted to ensure protection against unauthorised access to your personal information. However it is worth remembering that no data transmission over the Internet can be entirely secure and therefore we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information and/or use of our site. Any information that you send is at your own risk and may be read by others. However once we have received your personal information we use strict procedures to protect the security of your personal information.
1) What information do we collate?
When you interact with one of our services we will have gathered information when you register, when you use our site through cookies or if you choose to reveal information in postings and when you enter sales promotions and competitions.
Certain services that we provide may involve us collecting extra information, such as where you are. This may apply to certain apps that you download, or which we provide. Therefore we retain information that can identify you (e.g. your name and address) and information that does not identify you (e.g. a visitor’s behaviour patterns when they visit our sites).
Information that does not identify you is used to evaluate our site, ensure that our site and services run properly and ensure we are paid for advertising services we offer.
We may use this information in the following ways to provide our service(s) to you as a user of our sites to enhance your user experience, to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between you and us, to ensure that content from our sites is presented in the most effective manner for you and your device, to identify you when you visit our sites (including to assist with logging you in), to notify you about changes to our sites, to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our sites.
2) Logging in using social media
If you log-in to our sites using social media, for example facebook, Google+, Twitter or similar social media platforms, you are granting permission to that social media platform to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth, sex and location which will then be used to form a user identity. You can also use your picture as part of your profile, though we do require the user pictures not to show inappropriate or graphic images.
The minimum information we need to register you is your name, email address and a password. We will ask you more questions for different services, including sales promotions. Unless we say otherwise, you have to answer all the registration questions.
We may also ask some other voluntary questions during registration for certain services (for example, professional networks) so we can gain a clearer understanding of who you are. This also allows us to personalise services for you. After you have registered, we may send you communications we think may interest you in accordance with your preferences. At any time you can decide not to receive these communications and will be able to ‘unsubscribe’ via the Preference Centre.
4) Use of children’s data
We do not knowingly collect or store any personal information about children under the age of 16.
5) Your consent
By using our sites and submitting information, you consent to the collection and use of your personal information b as described above and under certain circumstances for us to share that data with third parties in accordance with Section 7 below.
6) Updating your personal information
We offer a ‘My Account’ incorporating a ‘Preference Centre’, where you can update your personal information at any time and change your marketing preferences. You can get to this page from most pages on the site screen when you are signed in.
7) Who we share data with
We will not share your personal information with others for marketing purposes unless you have given us your permission. If we have your permission, we will share your information only with other organisations we have chosen carefully.
We may access and release personal information to satisfy relevant laws and government requests, to operate our systems properly and to protect both us and our users.
Any other organisations that access your information in the course of providing services on our behalf will be governed by strict contractual restrictions to make sure that they protect your information and keep to data-protection and privacy laws which apply.
We may use service providers to help us run these sites (or services available on the sites), some of which may be based outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Some of our web pages use plug-ins from other organisations. A plug-in is a (sometimes essential) piece of software code that enables an application or program to do something it couldn’t by itself. One of the more common plug-ins is Adobe Flash Player. Without Flash Player you won’t, for example, be able to view bulletins embedded into web pages. There are plug-ins for social media networking.
Those other organisations may use information about your visit to our sites on their pages. If you browse these pages while still also logged in to your account with us, information they collect may be connected to your account on their site. For more information on how these organisations use information, please read their privacy policies.
8) Why we share your information
We may share your personal information with third parties in the following circumstances:
For marketing purposes provided always that you consent to us sharing such information with third parties by notifying us via our sites or in other communications (e.g. opting in by ticking the relevant box(s) on the sites at the point of registration);
To other members of our group, our partners and service providers (for example people who provide technical services to our sites) for the purpose of managing or administering certain aspects of our sites, or to help us develop new services;
If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal information in order to comply with any legal obligation and/or in order to enforce or apply any other agreements between you and us; or
To protect the rights, property or safety of ourselves or other users.
In the event that we use third party advertisers or sponsors on our sites, we do not disclose identifiable information about individuals but we may provide them with aggregate information about our users. We may also use such aggregate information to help advertisers reach the kind of audience they want to target. We may make use of the personal data we have collected from you to enable us to comply with our advertisers’ and sponsors’ wishes by displaying their advertisement to that target audience.
11) Data Storage
The transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.