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privacy notice

Introduction

This privacy notice sets out how the Science Media Centre uses and protects all personal data you provide us. We are committed to protecting your privacy and we want you to be assured that your data is managed properly by our charity. Any personal data you provide to us will be used lawfully and in accordance with this privacy notice, and our privacy policy.

We respect all personal data you choose to share with us, including that which we may obtain from other sources, and we will ensure it is stored safely and processed fairly and lawfully in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the General Data Protection Regulation (from May 2018). [Referred to as DPA/GDPR in this notice].

We aim to be clear when we collect your data, (and throughout your involvement with our charity), about how we intend to use it, and will not do anything with your personal data that you wouldn’t reasonably expect as a scientist, press contact, or fundraising contact of our charity and cause.

Developing a good relationship and better understanding of our supporters and contacts through correct and legal use of your personal data to help ensure accurate media coverage of science, fundraise more efficiently, and ultimately, reach our short and long-term charitable goals. We aim to track your involvement with our charity and build strong mutually respectful relationships that last.

We have already made, and will continue to make, improvements to this notice so that it reflects a best-practice model, in order to make it fully understandable to all our supporters and contacts.

 

What is the Science Media Centre?

The Science Media Centre (SMC) is a UK charity (charity reg. no. 1140827),  which believes that scientists can have a huge impact on the way the media cover scientific issues, by engaging more quickly and more effectively with the stories that are influencing public debate and attitudes to science.

SMC is a Data Controller registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  SMC’s ICO registration number is Z2735174.  SMC is also a processor of personal data.

Our data protection officer is the Head of Operations, Natasha Neill, who can be contacted on dpo@sciencemediacentre.org

 

What data do we collect and why?

To comply with GDPR, we categorised the people that we work with into scientists, press contacts and fundraising contacts and we’ve listed below what data we hold and why. We also collect data on employees, event attendees, Trustees and advisory board members.

Please note that more than one of the categories may apply to you. If you have any questions about which category applies to you – please get in touch.

If you are one of our scientists, one of our press contacts, or a fundraising contact, then we may collect the following types of information:

 

Scientists:

We class scientists as those individuals on our main SMC database, including scientists, experts and contacts.

We hold your data under specific, explicit and recorded consent, which can be withdrawn or changed at any time.

We collect the following information:

  • Name and title
  • Contact details such as email addresses, home addresses and telephone number
  • Biographical details of your career, or area of expertise
  • The name and contact details of your institution, organisation, or place of work
  • Records of expert responses you give to us about science stories in the news or press briefings you’ve spoken at
  • Records of email conversations between you and members of staff of the SMC

This information will initially be provided by you at the point of consent, and may also include any additional publically available information. As you continue to work with the SMC, your record will be updated to reflect the stories that you’ve worked on with us.

We use this information to get expert comment for science stories in the news media, and to help build a network of scientists interested in improving the quality of science reaching the public through working with the SMC and the wider media.

We might email or call you to ask for comments on a breaking story, on a study yet to be published or to appear on a press briefing panel or ask for your thoughts on some of the media coverage within your area of expertise.

We do not pass your data onto anyone else without your consent. For example, if you are willing to talk to a journalist on a breaking news story, in each instance, we will always confirm with you before passing on your contact details.

The consent given is valid until February 2023, before which, all scientists on the database will be asked anew to consent to the holding and processing of their data.

We process your data in the following ways:

  • The SMC database (this includes profiling by adding SMC keywords to identify your areas of expertise e.g. statins; flooding; genome editing so that we can contact you about appropriate topics)
  • SMC mailing lists (topic specific email groups to seek advice, share relevant articles and update you about developing news or policy situations)
  • The SMC website (all comments you provide which are sent to journalists are made publically available)

 

Press Contact:

We class press contacts as the journalists, press officers and those working within science communications who frequently work with the SMC.

We hold your data under legitimate interest as we view interaction between the SMC and our press contacts as a core element of SMC’s charitable objects, and thus necessary component of the professional activity of both parties.

You can at any time object to the holding or processing of your data.  If you do, we will remove you from our database.

We collect the following information:

  • Name and title
  • Contact details such as email addresses, home addresses and telephone numbers
  • The name and contact details of your institution, organisation, or place of work
  • This information will initially be provided by you but may also include any additional publically available information.

We use this information to communicate the expert views of our scientists, to remain in communication with the day-to-day workings of the press, to receive science and news stories, and to receive research output from organisations and institutions.

We may pass your details onto other individuals and organisations where a legitimate interest applies. For example, we may pass your details onto a journalist, or scientist. We may also pass your details onto members of our global network of Science Media Centres when relevant (for example, if they are working on a Lancet study and need the contact details for the press office). Note that the level of data protection in states outside the European Economic Area may differ from the GDPR, although local data privacy laws may apply.

We process your data in the following ways:

  • The SMC database
  • SMC mailing lists (topic specific email groups to share our work or ask for advice)

 

Fundraising Contact:

As a charity, SMC considers that raising funds is a legitimate interest, and that the proportionate processing of personal data for such purpose is necessary to that aim.

We class fundraising contacts as the contacts at organisations who have donated to the SMC in the past three years, or those who we have approached about a donation in the past year.

If you are an existing funder of the SMC we hold your data under legal obligation.

If you have agreed to donate to the SMC in the past two years, we will hold your data under legitimate interest whilst we seek a renewal of funding.

If we have newly approached you for funding, we will hold your data under legitimate interest for up to a year as we view interaction between the SMC and funders as a necessary component of the professional activity of both parties.

Ensuring that the SMC has enough funds to achieve its mission is important, but we also care about fundraising responsibly. The usual SMC approach to a new organisation will be a single email and up to two follow-ups – if there is still no response, we will not process your data.

At any time, you can also object to the holding or processing of your data.  If you do, we will remove you from our database.

We may collect the following types of information:

  • Name and title
  • The name and contact details of your institution or organisation
  • Bank and payment details
  • The name and contact details of your institution, organisation, or place of work
  • Contact notes relating to your involvement with the SMC

This information will initially be provided by you but may also include any additional publically available information.

We use this information for the purposes of building relationships with funders of the SMC, executing payments and bank transfers, and keeping track of the financial involvement any organisation has with the SMC.

We do not pass your data onto anyone else without your consent.

We process your data in the following ways:

  • The SMC funding database
  • SMC mailing lists (topic specific email groups to share our work)
  • Payment paperwork creation

 

Event attendees

Event attendees for our Introduction to the News Media events and other events including the SMC Christmas Party, will have their data processed under SMC’s legitimate interests. We will hold your data for up to a year after the event. After then we may retain anonymised pooled data in a feedback report.

At any time, you can also object to the holding or processing of your data, and we will remove you from our database.

We may collect the following types of information:

  • Name and title
  • Contact details
  • Feedback on the event

This information will be provided by you, and we will use your information to communicate with you about the event. We may ask you to complete surveys before and after the event, to improve the format of our events.

 

Staff

The SMC holds personal data on employees (this includes our paid interns) and members of our volunteer scheme. We hold this information under performance of a contract.

We keep all staff records for 6 years after termination of employment, volunteer records for two years since their finished placement and recruitment records for two years since the recruitment round.

If you are a previous member of staff or volunteer with any questions about your data, please contact the Head of Operations for more information.

 

Personal data

The SMC acknowledges that personal data of individuals are retained within archived information and emails.  In view of its charitable objects, SMC has a legitimate interest in retaining such information. Examples might be historic versions of the database (kept to track errors) or press releases and scientific papers on all the stories we’ve worked on since 2002 (for reference purposes).

As this data is not processed by the SMC, it is not regularly updated or subject to consent. As the data is held by the SMC, it is subject to the rights of the individual.

 

Your Individual Rights

The GDPR strengthens and adds to individuals’ rights that exist under the DPA, and the SMC is committed to supporting these rights. The GDPR provides the rights for individuals to be informed, to have access, to rectification, to erasure, to restrict processing, to data portability, to object and to automated decision making and profiling.

If you feel your rights have been violated, you can lodge a complaint that is overseen by the Trustees of the SMC. To see our complaints policy or lodge a formal complaint, please email our DPO.

For more information on how the SMC supports your rights, please get in touch.

 

Security

We are committed to keeping your information secure. We have put suitable physical, electronic, and managerial procedures in place to safeguard and secure the information we collect. If you have any questions about security please get in touch.

 

Notification of changes

We will usually keep our records up to date proactively as soon as we receive a bounceback. But if you’d like to update the information we hold, please tell us.

 

Additional information

If you wish to know more about our data processing, or have any queries regarding the content of this notice then please contact us and we’ll be happy to explain more.

You can also change your mind at any time about how we contact you, how we process your data, or ask us to stop contacting you altogether by emailing consent@sciencemediacentre.org

Please note that Science Media Centre may change this notice from time to time by updating this page.

This notice was last updated on 15/02/2018.

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