1. WHO WE ARE
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK’s leading marine charity, driving political, cultural and social change for healthy seas and coasts that support abundant marine wildlife, sustainable livelihoods and enjoyment for all.
The Marine Conservation Society is a registered charity (Charity Number 1004005 in England & Wales and SC037480 in Scotland) with data controller number Z2641597.
2. DATA PROTECTION
MCS takes data protection very seriously and is committed to protecting your privacy and security. This policy explains how and why we use your personal data.
As you browse our website and whenever you communicate with us, we collect information. This deepens our understanding of what you are interested in, and helps us improve the efficiency of our conservation and fundraising communications. The more information we have, the more efficiently we are able to operate and the more funds we can direct into conservation activities.
MCS takes great care to preserve your privacy and safeguard any personal details you provide to us, and we will never exchange or sell your information to another organisation unless you give us your permission. We know that this is important to you and want to reassure you that you are always in control of how we use your personal information for marketing and fundraising activities.
3. WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT?
We collect and use your personal information for carefully considered and legitimate charitable business purposes that help ensure we can run MCS efficiently, raise funds effectively and deliver our charitable objectives. This policy sets out how we use your personal data, what data we collect, and the legal basis for its use and outlines your rights in respect of your personal data.
Personal data you give us
We collect personal data you provide us with when joining us as a member, making a donation, placing an order or communicating and campaigning with us in any form including via our website. For example:
- personal details (name, date of birth, email, address, telephone etc.) when you join as a member or supporter;
- if you purchase MCS membership as a gift for someone, join as a family or are the parent of a young supporter, your details will be recorded (as will the recipients’) and your relationship to that person will be recorded;
- financial information (payment information such as credit/debit card or direct debit details, and whether donations are gift-aided; and
- details of your interests and preferences (such as campaigns, the ways you support us or types of conservation projects you are interested in).
Information created by your involvement with MCS
Your activities and involvement with MCS will result in personal data being created, including details of how you have helped us by volunteering or being involved with our campaigns and activities.
If you donate to us then we will keep records of when and how much you gave to a particular appeal or campaign.
Information we generate
We conduct research and analysis on the information we hold, which can in turn generate personal data. For example, by analysing your interests and involvement with our work we would hope to build a profile to help us decide which of our communications are likely to interest you.
Information from third parties
We may also receive information about individuals from third parties. This can include information such as your name, address, credit/debit card details and whether you are a taxpayer so that we can claim Gift Aid.
We use social media platforms for engaging with our supporters, such as Facebook and Twitter. As a result, we collect information from social media where you have given us permission to do so, or if you post on one of our social media pages.
Sensitive personal data
We do not normally collect or store sensitive personal data (such as information relating to health, race, religious beliefs or political opinions) about supporters and members. However, there are some situations where this may occur to ensure we provide appropriate facilities (for example, if you wish to participate in an extreme running or kayak challenge event). If this does occur, we’ll take extra care to ensure your privacy rights are protected.
If you are a volunteer then we may collect extra information about you (for example, references, details of emergency contacts, medical conditions etc.). This information will be retained for legal reasons to protect us (including in the event of an insurance or legal claim) and for safeguarding purposes.
4. HOW WE USE INFORMATION
We always strive to provide a clear, honest and transparent approach regarding how and when we collect and use your personal data, we’ll only use your personal data where you would expect us to do so and we’ll only use your information for the purpose or purposes it was collected for, including as follows:
We use personal data to communicate with people and to promote MCS. This includes keeping you up-to-date with our news, updates, campaigns and ways you can help fundraise. For further information on this, please see Section 6 (Marketing).
We use personal data for administrative purposes (i.e. to carry out our charity and conservation work). This includes:
- receiving donations such as direct debits or gift-aid instructions;
- maintaining databases of our volunteers, members and supporters;
- fulfilling orders for goods or services (whether placed online, over the phone or in person);
- helping us respect your choices and preferences. If you ask not to receive marketing material, we’ll keep a record of this.
Internal research and analysis
We carry out internal research and analysis using the data provided by our supporters, donors and volunteers, to determine the success of campaigns and appeals, better understand behaviour and responses and identify patterns and trends. This helps inform our approach towards campaigning and makes MCS a stronger and more effective organisation. Understanding our supporters, their interests and what they care about also helps us provide a better experience (e.g. through communications that are more relevant.
We evaluate, categorise and profile personal data in order to tailor materials, services and communications (including targeted advertising) so that we only send you information you may be interested in. This also helps us understand our supporters and improve our organisation.
We profile supporters in terms of recency, frequency and value of financial and non-financial support. This information helps us to ensure communications are relevant and timely.
If, based on information that has been provided to us (such as postcode, demographics, or previous donations), it appears supporters might be willing and able to provide more assistance in our fight to save our seas, we may contact them to see if they wish to do so.
We collect information on preferences and interests (for example, whether you have a sustainable fish interest or have completed a jellyfish survey) so that we know what material you are mostly likely to be interested in.
We may aggregate and anonymise personal data so that it can no longer be linked to any particular person. This information can be used for a variety of purposes, such as recruiting new supporters, or to identify trends or patterns within our existing supporter base. This information helps inform our actions and improve our campaigns, products/services and materials.
5. DISCLOSING AND SHARING DATA
We will never sell your personal data. If you have opted-in to marketing, we may contact you with information about our partners, or third party products and services, but these communications will always come from MCS and will normally be incorporated into our own marketing materials such as advertisements in magazines or e-newsletters.
Subcontractors and partners
We may share personal data with subcontractors or suppliers who provide us with services. For example, if you order something from the MCS online shop, your name and address will be shared with the delivery company. However, these activities will be carried out under a contract that imposes strict requirements on our supplier to keep your information confidential and secure.
Occasionally, where we collaborate with other organisations, we may also share information with them (for example, if you register to attend an event being jointly organised by us and another charity). We will only share information when necessary and we’ll make sure to notify you first.
Cookies are text files placed on your computer to collect standard internet log information and visitor behaviour information. This information is used to track visitor use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity.
You can set your browser to not accept cookies; each browser provider will have information on how to do this. In a few cases some of our website features may not function correctly as a result. We use Google Analytics to help us understand how our website is performing and to collect data about traffic through our website via Google advertising cookies and anonymous identifiers. In addition to data collected through a standard Google Analytics implementation, MCS uses the following advertising features: Remarketing with Google Analytics, Google Display Network Impression Reporting, DoubleClick Platform integrations & Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting.
MCS will not facilitate the merging of personally-identifiable information with non-personally identifiable information collected through any Google advertising product or feature unless there is robust notice of, and the user’s prior affirmative (i.e., opt-in) consent to, that merger. You can prevent Google from recording the data generated by the cookie in relation to your use of the site (including your IP address) and from processing this data by downloading and installing the browser plug-in available via the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Find out more about the cookies set by the MCS website and how to delete and control them here: Cookie information
MCS asks its supporters to “opt-in” for most communications, including all our E-marketing communications (the term marketing is broadly defined and, for instance, covers information about conservation, fundraising and other MCS news).
You have the choice whether you want to receive these messages and be able to select how you want to receive them (post, phone, email, text).
You can decide not to receive communications or change how we contact you at any time. If you wish to do so please contact Supporter Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, writing to MCS at Overross House, Ross Park, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 7US or telephoning 01989 566017 between 9am – 5pm, Mon – Fri).
What do we mean by ‘marketing’?
Marketing does not just mean offering things for sale, but also includes news and information about: - our charity, campaigns and conservation work; - educating the public on marine conservation (ocean literacy); - volunteering opportunities and how you can help us with our work; - taking part in beach cleans and ‘citizen science’ projects; - our events, activities and local groups; - appeals and fundraising (including donations and competitions); - leaving MCS a legacy.
When you receive a communication from us, we may collect information about how you respond to or interact with that communication, and this may affect how we communicate with you in future.
Fundraising and marketing
As a charity, we rely totally on individual donations, membership fees and support from others to undertake our conservation work. From time to time, we will contact members and supporters with fundraising communications. These might be about an appeal, a competition we’re running, or to suggest ways you can help raise funds (for example, a sponsored challenge event, or buying a product if MCS will receive a percentage of the proceeds).
We are totally dependent on the generosity of our supporters, whether to sign a petition to help us lobby during a campaign, or to respond to an appeal to raise vital funds for the charity to continue to be voice for our seas. All our work requires us to communicate with our supporters to let them know what actions they can take. We call these marketing communications.
The Membership magazine, ‘Marine Conservation’ is mailed out as a benefit to our members. We send these out to all our members (unless we are specifically asked not to) and you can choose to unsubscribe from general marketing communications without giving up your subscription to ‘Marine Conservation’. However, please be aware that membership magazines do include advertisements, competitions and fundraising information.
7. CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
If your child is under 18 then we’ll need permission from you as their parent or guardian for them to enter one of our competitions or to share a picture, photo or story with us.
Photographs, pictures and stories in our magazines
We want young people to join in saving our seas, and sometimes there are opportunities for sharing photos, stories and pictures. We ask consent prior to publishing any child’s picture, photo or story; this may include also publishing their name and age if appropriate.
MCS will state in age-appropriate language that children must only enter the competition if they have permission from their parent first. We will make reasonable efforts to verify that consent has been given or authorised by the holder of parental responsibility and treat all the identifiable submitted competition materials, including names, ages and other details as personal data.
If your child enters a competition and is one of the lucky winners or runners-up, we’ll publish their name and winning entry alongside the other winners.
We will not distribute or share images of identifiable children or young people without knowledge of express permission supplied by a parent or guardian.
Information for parents
We take great care to protect and respect the rights of individuals in relation to their personal data, especially in the case of children. If your child is under 18, we’ll only use his or her personal data with your consent. This means that, for example, if your child wants to have his or her name or picture featured in our magazine, we’ll need you to confirm you are happy for us to do so.
Marketing and fundraising
We won’t knowingly send marketing emails, letters or messages to under 16 year-olds and, in order to order items from our online shop, you need to be an adult.
8. HOW WE PROTECT DATA
We use various physical and technical measures to keep your personal data safe and to prevent unauthorised access to, or use or disclosure of your personal information. Electronic data and databases are stored on secure computer systems and we control who has access to information (using both physical and electronic means). Our staff receive data protection training and we have a set of detailed data protection procedures which staff are required to follow when handling personal data.
All electronic MCS forms that request financial data will use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to encrypt the data between your browser and our servers.
If you use a credit card to donate, purchase a membership or purchase something from our online shop, we will pass your credit card details securely to our payment provider (Barclays). Other payment methods (for example, Worldpay) are handled in a similar manner. MCS complies with the payment card industry data security standard (PCI-DSS) published by the PCI Security Standards Council, and will never store card details.
Of course, we cannot guarantee the security of your home computer or the internet, and any online communications (for example, information provided by email or our website) are at the user’s own risk.
Where we store information
MCS’s operations are based in the UK and we store our data within the European Economic Area (EEA). Some organisations that provide services to us may transfer personal data outside the EEA, but we will only allow them to do this if your data is adequately protected.
For example, some of our systems use Microsoft products. As Microsoft is a US company, it may be that using their products results in personal data being transferred to or accessible from the US. However, we will allow this as personal data will still be adequately protected (Microsoft is certified under the USA’s Privacy Shield scheme).
How long we store information for
We will only use and store information for as long as it is required for the purposes for which it was collected. How long this will be depends on the type of information and how it is used. For example, if you ask us not to send you marketing emails, we will stop storing your emails for marketing purposes (although we will keep a record of your preference not to be emailed).
We continually review what information we hold and delete what is no longer required. We never store payment card information.
10. DATA PROTECTION RIGHTS
We want to ensure you remain in control of your personal data. Part of this is making sure you understand your legal rights, which are as follows:
- the right to confirmation as to whether or not we have your personal data and, if we do, to obtain a copy of the personal information we hold (this is known as a subject access request);
- the right to have your data erased (though this will not apply where it is necessary for us to continue to use the data for a lawful reason);
- the right to have inaccurate data rectified;
- the right to object to your data being used for marketing or profiling; and
- where technically feasible, you have the right to see the personal data you have provided to us that we process automatically based on your consent or the performance of a contract.
Please keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rights above and, although we will always try to respond to your satisfaction however, there may be situations where we are unable to do so.
If you would like further information on your rights or wish to exercise them, please write to us at MCS, Overross House, Ross Park, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 7US or email@example.com.
In the first instance, please talk to us using the details set out above.
You can also register with the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) which is run by the Fundraising Regulator and allows you to stop receiving email, telephone calls, addressed post and/or text messages from a selected charity by using the online service at fundraisingpreference.org.uk or by calling 0300 303 3517. Once you have made a request through the FPS, we will ensure that your new preferences take effect within 28 days.
You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you have any concerns about data protection at www.ico.org.uk or by calling 0303 123 1113.
11. LINKS TO OTHER SITES
Links to other sites
Our website contains hyperlinks to many other websites. We are not responsible for the content or functionality of any of those external websites (but please let us know if a link is not working by using the ‘Contact us’ link at the bottom of the page).
When purchasing goods or services from any of the businesses that our site links to, you will be entering into a contract with them (agreeing to their terms and conditions) and not with MCS.
Actions you can take
Did you know?…
Every day millions of microplastics enter the sea from personal care products such as scrubs and toothpastes
Plastic has been found in the stomachs of almost all marine species including fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles
Over time, one plastic bottle bobbing along in the ocean can break down in to hundreds of tiny plastic pieces