Data Protection

As a Registered Charity, Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society is duty bound to collect and maintain personal information in order to administer the affairs of the Society.

The Society will operate in accordance with the provisions of The Data Protection Act 1998 ("the Act") and uphold The Data Protection Principles set out in Schedule 1 of the Act. The Act implements European Council Directive 95/46/EC and supersedes the Data Protection Act 1984 ("the 1984 act"). The Act covers personal data that is stored on computer or paper - the meaning of personal data is much wider than that of the 1984 act.

This means

  • We have to tell you what personal data we collect.
  • We have to tell you why we collect that data.
  • We have to ensure we do not keep personal data for any longer than is necessary.
  • We have to maintain the data to ensure it is accurate and fit for purpose.
  • We have to ensure that data is accessible only by authorised persons.
  • We have to tell you who we will disclose your personal data to and why.
  • You have a right to inspect the data that we hold about you.
  • You can object to the Society processing your personal data.

What Personal Data does the Society collect?

  • For members of the Society, we will collect your name, postal address and telephone number.
  • For Junior members we will collect your name, date of birth and postal address.
  • We may collect other contact information (for example e-mail addresses) if you wish to provide this data.
  • As a result of your membership of the Society other personal data will be generated; this will include records of payments made by you to the Society and, if you are a swipe card holder and/or authorised telescope user, your activation of door access and use of telescope.
  • If you visit the Society we will collect your name and the reason for your visit. We may also collect the area where you have travelled from and how you heard of us/the event you are attending.

Why does the Society collect this data?

  • We have to collect a minimum amount of information to maintain membership records and to enable us to send notices (for example, of the Annual General Meeting) to members as we are legally bound to do.
  • The Society needs to record information on the number of visitors and the areas they live; this is for the use of funders who monitor the number of visitors benefiting from certain awards made.
  • To allow the Society to monitor the effectiveness of public outreach advertising.
  • The Society will not use your personal data for the purposes of direct marketing or for any automated decision-making.

How long will the Society keep personal data?

  • We will retain your contact data for a maximum of 7 years after ceasing to be a member of the Society. Any personal data no longer of legitimate use to the Society will be deleted within 90 days of the end of the financial year.

How will the Society ensure my personal data is accurate

  • The Society and the individual both have responsibilities for ensuring that personal data is accurate and fit for purpose.
  • If your personal data changes (for example you move house or change email address) you should inform the Secretary in writing of the change.

How will the Society ensure that my personal data is secure?

  • Membership information is held on a secure database, access to which is limited to three members of the committee.

Will the Society disclose personal data to anyone else?

The Society will only disclose personal data:

  • To other members of the Society - but only if we have your permission to do so.
  • Where we are obliged to do so by law or are directed to do so by the Courts.

How can I see the personal data the Society holds about me?

  • You should write to the Secretary asking for a copy of the personal data the Society holds about you. You should state clearly if you wish to see a record of payments.

Can I object to my personal data being processed?

  • Yes, you can object to personal data being processed if you believe that such processing would, in the words of the Act, cause substantial damage or distress to you or another individual. In practical terms, the data held by the Society is the minimum for workable administration.
  • If you object you should do so, in writing, to the Secretary stating what damage or distress would be caused and to whom. We have 21 days to respond, either to comply with your request or to state why the request is unreasonable or unjustified.


April 2017