The Essex Birdwatching Society (the Society) is committed to protecting members’ privacy and security. This article outlines the policy and explains how and why the Society uses your personal data, to ensure that you remain informed in the methods agreed to be contacted, to remain informed and in control of your information.

Members have the choice as to whether they wish to receive information and to be able to select how they want to receive correspondence. (i.e. post, text, telephone and/or e-mail). Unless specifically requested otherwise each member automatically receives, by post, a copy of the current annual ‘Essex Bird Report’, the twice yearly ‘Essex Birding’ magazine, the annual ‘Fixture Programme’ of Indoor Meetings and Field Trip Meetings and the Newsletter. The Society is adopting a default “opt-in” policy whereby, unless requested to the contrary, the Society may choose to contact members by letter or by email (where email address has been provided) regarding matters relating to the Society or information the Society feels members may be interested in. For example members who submit sightings and/or photos via the website may be contacted should further details of those sightings be required.    

Members can decide not to receive communications and/or publications, or change how the Society contacts each member at any time by advising the Secretary in writing. All personal data held by the Society will only be accessed for use in order to further the Society’s activities and Object. The Society will never sell members personal data, and will only share it with organisations we work with where necessary and only if its robust privacy and security are guaranteed.

Membership Records (Past and Present)

These include names, contact addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, mobile number as supplied and details of joining and leaving dates. The records also show the amount of membership fee paid, how paid and whether or not the member has signed the Gift-Aid Declaration. The membership records are kept by the Membership Secretary and the personal details of members will
only be supplied by the membership secretary to:-

a) Other committee members for use in connection with the Society’s activities.
b) Any organisations sending out any Society publications on behalf of the Society (names and addresses only, with the Society requiring that the organisation only use the records as a mailing list for the publication and that the records be destroyed correctly once the publication has been sent).
c) Another member as long as the member whose details are being supplied agrees to those details being supplied.
d) For publication in the Society’s Newsletter as long as the member has agreed to receive such publication.
e) Any organisations so that it can hold member’s name and e-mail address for the purpose of sending out e-mails to all members for whom the Society has an e-mail address as an agreed method of communication (at sometime in the future it is anticipated that this organisation will be Mailchip and any member can unsubscribe from that mailing list at any time).
f) Any organisations providing the online backup for the membership records.

g) The Society do not normally collect or store members ‘sensitive’ personal data, such as information relating to health, beliefs, sexual or political affiliation. However, there are some situations where this will occur (e.g. if a member volunteers such information or if an accident occurs at a Society meeting). If this does occur, the Society will take extra care to ensure privacy rights are protected.

Records of past members will be retained by the Society unless the member who has left the Society’s membership specifically requests, in writing or by e-mail –, to the Society’s Secretary for his or her details to be removed from the Society records. Any such request will be acknowledged and confirmed as removed.

Other Data Records held by the Society

1. Bird sightings:
These will involve sightings of birds reported by not only members of the Society but also by other members of the public. These records are kept entirely separately from those kept by the Membership Secretary and are kept with the bird records for which the County Recorder and his assistants are responsible.
2. Non-rarity sightings:
Such records only ask for the name of the person making the report plus where that person was when the sighting was made. There is a space for notes where additional contact details could be supplied if the observer wanted to supply such details.
3. Rarity sighting:
a) Such records ask for not only the name of the observer but also the address and telephone number of the observer. Also the observer has to indicate where that person was when the sighting was made.
By supplying sightings, unless the person reporting the sighting has specifically advised to the
contrary, the person is agreeing that the Society may use his or her personal information supplied
with that sighting for the following purposes:
To distribute or lend the personal information to organisations with which the Society shares survey
information (i.e. British Trust for Ornithology, Essex Records partnership).

b) To publish on the Society's website, in the Society's Bird Reports, in the Essex Birding Magazine, in
the Newsletters and any other publications (name of the person only).
c) When the person concerned agrees to other personal details being published.
d) To any organisations providing the online backup for the bird records.
The Society will only supply the personal information to any other third party (unless the Society has
permission from the person) if required to do by law.

Other Personal Information

a) Members who pay their annual subscription by standing order do so by a personal arrangement made between the member and their own bank/building society. Therefore after completing the standing order form it should be sent directly to the member’s own bank/building society. However, if the standing order form is returned by mistake to the Membership Secretary with the membership
form it will be forwarded immediately to the bank/building society address shown on the form without any details being retained or recorded by the Society about the members bank/building society. The only information retained is the method how member’s annual subscriptions are paid, as declared on the membership form.

b) Non-members may supply personal information for example on attending a field trip or when purchasing from the Society. This personal information will not be supplied to anyone other than other committee members unless it is necessary for the Society to do so in order to arrange for the delivery of a purchased item or if the non-member consents to the supply of such information. An example would be where a non-member wants to join in a field trip and would like a lift and supplies their telephone number so that arrangements can be made for that lift.
c) Photographs are sometimes taken at Society meetings and events. These photographs may contain images of members and guests, which unless a specific request is received in writing that an image should not be published these photographs may be used in Society publications or as part of Society displays.
The Society is willing to supply at any time details of the personal information held about a person to that person upon application. If the information is required please write to the Society’s Secretary or e-mail –
The Society will correct, as soon as possible, any information found to be incorrect and/or is advised to be incorrect and/or requires to be changed/updated.