01935 429609
Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society

Privacy Policy

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

Registered Charity No.1010351
Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PN
Telephone: 01935 429609. Email: [email protected]

The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society is committed to protecting and respecting any personal information that we hold about you. We take your privacy seriously and treat all the information you give us with great care. This Privacy Policy explains how we collect, store and use the personal information you give to us. If you have any questions concerning your personal data and how we look after it then please contact us at [email protected].

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, hereafter ‘the Act’) replaced the Data Protection Act from 25 May 2018 and applies, like the Data Protection Act, to personal information about living EU citizens. The British government has indicated that the UK leaving the EU is unlikely to affect this legislation.

Under the terms of the Act the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society is defined as a ‘Data Controller’.

On what lawful basis do we hold your personal information?

The Executive Committee of the SDFHS, who are the Trustees of the charity (registered in England, No: 1010351), have determined that the storage and processing of basic personal data is covered by the assumption of ‘legitimate interest’ allowed by the Act. We have performed a Legitimate Interest Assessment to support this.

Under The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) which sits alongside the GDPR, we do need the express permission of members to send electronic newsletters, since these are regarded as being ‘marketing’. When you join the Society, or, in the future, when you renew an annual subscription, you will be asked if they would like to give consent (or, if it has already been given, to renew consent on a regular basis) to receive enewsletters sent to members.

If you chose not to receive enewsletters from us, this will not affect our ability to send you communications on non-marketing matters in connection with your membership of the Society.

For some personal information we have a legal obligation to process and retain records.

How do we collect your personal information?

The personal information that we hold about you is acquired from your application form when you joined the Society, from your annual renewal payments, or from letters and emails that you send to us.

If you provide personal information to the Society electronically, for example when joining, renewing membership or making purchases, you are responsible for ensuring that you input your personal information correctly since we have no way of independently validating the information you have provided.

What personal information do we hold and process?

1. Membership

The personal information we hold and store for membership purposes is your membership number, name, postal address, details of annual subscription payments (including Standing Order forms, but not credit/debit card details: since 20 March 2019 the Society has not accepted card details for processing in house), Gift Aid forms signed in our favour, how you heard about the Society, your telephone number(s), email address and, if your consent has been given, preference for receiving enewsletters from us.

2. Sales

We also store personal information (name, address, email address and/or telephone number) related to purchases (publications, places for events, etc) from our Bookshop or our online shop. This personal information may relate to either members or non-members.

3. Research

The Society does not undertake research on anyone who is, or may be, alive.

Research requests submitted to the Society contain personal information (eg: the enquirer’s postal or email address and/or telephone number). This personal information may relate to either members or non-members.

Pedigrees submitted to the Society may contain personal information (eg: name, address, date and place of birth) on living people. This personal information may relate to either members or non-members.

The Society has a Photographic Project  which includes contact details for the person who submitted the photographs and the same information is included on the paper forms submitted with the images. This personal information may relate to either members or non-members. 

4. Contact Lists

Trustees, Local Groups and/or Centre Volunteers may store contact details outside the Society’s Family History Centre for specific purposes (eg. organising meetings) connected with the Society’s aims and purposes. This personal information may relate to either members or non-members.

To ensure that your personal information is accurate and up-to-date, please inform us as soon as possible of any changes (eg: a new address). Please also contact us if you believe that any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate. You may also ask us (verbally or in writing) to restrict processing of your personal information if you have issues with the content of the information we hold or how we have processed your data.

You may ask (verbally or in writing) for a copy of the personal information we hold on you and we will provide this to you, either by post or electronically, within one month of the request being received. If we are unable to provide the information within one month, then we will keep you informed of the reason(s) and progress made towards complying with your request.

You may also, at any time, ask us (verbally or in writing) to delete any personal information that we hold about you. Data other than your membership number, name and address (which are required for the mailing of the journal) and subscription payment details (required to prove current membership) will be deleted on request.

How do we use your personal information?

We will use your personal information to:

We will only use your personal information to send you an enewsletter if you have consented to this. You may, at any time, ask to be removed from our emailing list.

Do we share your information with anyone else?

In order to post to you our journal The Greenwood Tree, we send lists with your membership number, name and postal address to a mailing house. The mailing house retains the lists for a period of three months, to allow time for the resolution of any issues that might arise, and then deletes them.

If you have signed a Gift Aid form in our favour (UK tax-payers only) then we send, annually, to HMRC a claim form which includes your name, partial postal address, amount of subscription/donation paid in the relevant tax year and the date it was received by us.

If you have signed a Standing Order in our favour, then the form which you have completed will be posted to your bank.

If you have consented to receive electronic newsletters from us, then we may, from time to time, upload to a direct mailing website your e-mail address only. We delete a mailing list a week afterwards, to allow you time to unsubscribe from the list (and therefore from receiving our enewsletters) if you decide you no longer wish to receive them. You may also notify us directly at any time if you do not wish to continue receiving enewsletters.

You may make a payment to us using our online shop. By paying via our payment processor (currently PayPal) you agree to accept their terms and conditions for the use of their services, including their privacy policy. The Society has a ‘Members Area’ on our website and, if you join this, you will be asked for your name, email address and membership number. We also have a presence on Facebook (a ‘Page’ and a ‘Group’), operate a Twitter account and have a WordPress blog. We recommend that you read the privacy policies, and terms and conditions, for all these online platforms as we are not responsible for data you share with them.

Please bear in mind that any information, such as your public profile, or other content that you make public in our journal The Greenwood Tree, in the Members Area of our website, or on Facebook or Twitter, are all available to others. Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties. The Society has no control over circulation of media, whether print or electronic, and any personal information that you have shared in these media will be available online or in libraries and therefore accessible by the general public.

The Society will never pass your personal information on to a third party for any reason, other than those listed above which are necessary to provide you with membership services.

How do we protect your personal information?

We will always take appropriate measures to ensure that your personal information is kept secure, accurate and up-to-date and kept only for so long as is necessary for the purposes for which it is used.

1. Membership

Your personal information is entered into our password-protected membership database (Filemaker) on the Society’s server, and to which access is restricted. Personal information relating to membership (application or renewal forms, copies of Standing Order forms, Gift Aid forms) held on paper is stored in lockable filing cabinets to which access is restricted.

The records of members who resign or who have died are deleted from the current year’s database as soon as we are informed. Members who do not renew a subscription are deleted from the database in the Autumn of the year for which they have not renewed.

Copies of the database are stored on the server for the previous seven years, in line with HMRC guidelines for the retention of financial data.

Paper application forms and subscription renewal forms are retained for a year in case of queries and are then shredded. Gift Aid forms and Standing Order forms are retained for seven years and/or while the person is still a member.

2. Sales

Publications. Basic on-line sales information (order reference, order details, customer name, customer location country, date of order and date of dispatch) is entered into a spreadsheet on the Society’s server.  Access is allowed only for the those volunteers with a need to use the information.

Paper copies of all sales orders, and dispatch notes are retained for seven years in case of complaints or returns, and as part of the Society’s financial data.

Events. Booking details (name, number of places, amount paid, email address and/or phone number) is entered into a spreadsheet on the Society’s server, and lists of names, only, are generated for use on the day of an event. Spreadsheets and lists are deleted at the end of the calendar year.

3. Research

Research requests can be received by post or electronically and printed. The paper documents are stored securely until the end of the following calendar year and then shredded.

Pedigrees submitted by members may contain details of living people, but this information is never passed on to a third party. When copies of pedigrees are sent to enquirers, no information which relates to the past one hundred years is included. In the Pedigrees’ database, anyone living is so marked to ensure that their details are not passed on to a third party. Paper records are stored securely, in lockable filing cabinets in an area to which access is restricted. Since Pedigrees form part of the Society’s essential research archive, they are never deleted.

Personal information submitted for the Photographic Project is stored securely in a password-protected database. The original paper records, submitted with the images, are stored in a lockable filing cabinet in an area to which access is restricted. Since the information forms part of the Society’s essential research archive, it is never deleted.

4. Contact Lists

Individual Trustees, Representatives of our Local Groups and/or Centre Volunteers are required to follow this Privacy Policy, and to keep securely any personal information that they may store and process outside the Society’s Family History Centre. This personal information usually consists of contact lists held electronically on personal PCs. Data is retained for no longer than it is needed for a specific purpose and is deleted as soon as is practicable.

What to do if you believe we are mishandling your personal information

Please contact us and we will investigate your complaint and do our best to resolve the issue. In the first instance, please contact the Society’s Secretary: [email protected] or by post (please mark the envelope ‘Private and Confidential’): The Secretary, SDFHS, Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PN.

If you then still have concerns, you may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, either online (https://ico.org.uk/concerns/) or by post:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

This Privacy Policy was approved by the SDFHS Executive Committee on 4 May 2018. It was reviewed and reapproved, with minor amendments, on 10 May 2019.