This notice covers the way Arthritis Care uses and looks after the information that it holds about you. Most of this information is provided by you when you complete a form or contact us in other ways, but it may also include our response to communications from you, records of financial transactions, events you have attended and other contacts we have had with you.
We also collect anonymous data relating to the way people use the website, which we cannot connect to you personally, and our website may install one or more cookies on your computer (see separate section below).
Statement of intent
It is our intention to treat you fairly at all times as well as to comply with our legal obligations. This means that, when we collect information about you:
• We will make it clear what purpose(s) we will use the information for.
• We will offer you appropriate choices, especially about how and why we might contact you.
• We will make sure that as far as possible we collect the right information about you and that it is accurate.
• We will not hold the information longer than necessary.
• We will look after the information, keep it secure and take precautions to make sure that it is only used by people who have been authorised to use it.
• We will not pass your information to anyone outside Arthritis Care without your knowledge.
• We will respect your legal rights, including your right to have a copy of the personal data we hold.
When we obtain information
You will normally need to provide some information about yourself in order to use our services, participate in activities or support our organisation. Usually the information we collect is quite limited (such as just your name and contact details) but you may choose to provide more detailed information in writing or verbally – for example if you use our helpline.
Usually the purpose for us having the information will be obvious, but if we may want to use the information for other purposes as well, we will always indicate this.
We will also make it clear whether we intend to share your information with other organisations (unless an organisation is working directly for us, under our instructions, in which case we will ensure that they look after your information and use it only for our purposes) and we will give you the opportunity to opt out.
Unsolicited contact from us
From time to time we may want to update you on the work of Arthritis Care, contact you about how you might be able to support us, or tell you about other aspects of our work that you might be interested in. We respect your right not to receive unsolicited contacts of this sort if you don’t want to. We will always give you the opportunity to tell us this as easily as possible – for example by providing a box for you to tick when you provide us with information.
You can also contact Supporter Services at Arthritis Care, Floor 4, Linen Court, 10 East Road, London N1 6AD or 020 7380 6540 to change your preferences at any time.
When you tick a box to opt out of unsolicited contact this will be recorded as your preference indefinitely unless you tell us that you have changed your mind and do want to hear from us. However, you can change your choice by opting in to receiving specific types of contact by email (for example by signing up online to an e-newsletter). If you do this, you will only receive the communications you have specifically asked for.
Contacting you by email saves us money and is often more convenient for us and for you. We will therefore encourage you to let us know that you are happy to be contacted by email about our activities and how you can support us.
If you have volunteered your email address to us we will assume that you are happy to receive emails about our activities and how you can support us. However, if you prefer us not to email you in this way we will give you the opportunity to say so, usually in one of these ways: by ticking a box when you provide your email address, by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ option in any email, or by going online at any time and updating your preferences.
Some people may find phone calls intrusive. Therefore, we will never call you to ask for your support or to tell you about our activities if you have registered your number with the Telephone Preference Service unless you have told us that you are happy to receive calls from us, or as a direct follow-up to a previous contact (such as making a donation that we wish to thank you for).
We will encourage you to let us know if you are happy to be contacted by text message about our activities and how you can support us. If you have volunteered your mobile phone number to us we will assume that you are happy to receive texts about our activities and how you can support us. However, if you prefer us not to contact you in this way we will give you the opportunity to say so, usually in one of these ways: by ticking a box when you provide your phone number, by following instructions in the text, or by going online at any time and updating your preferences.
Accuracy of the information we hold
You and we both benefit if the information we hold about you is accurate. You are encouraged to tell us at any time (by post, phone or email) that your details are wrong or have changed and we will take all necessary steps to correct the information we hold. We may also contact you from time to time to check that we hold the right information.
At Arthritis Care we take your privacy and confidentiality very seriously. We strictly abide by the Data Protection Act and also follow our own very strong confidentiality policy. We do not keep your name, address or anything that could identify you – as soon as your contact with us has ended and your pack has been sent, we delete this information within four months.
Don’t worry though if you come back to us needing more information, have a complaint or your pack has been lost in the post – Electronic information we hold about you will be stored securely on our database and password protected files.
Like all helplines, we keep anonymous data to help us with our fundraising, campaigns, information and strategic planning. Some of this data is used to inform the medical community or politicians about what it is like for people living with musculoskeletal conditions and the sorts of help and services we need. We hope you feel assured that when you talk to us you are treated with respect and dignity, and that your privacy is paramount.
Access to your personal information
You have the right to ask for a copy of the ‘personal data’ which Arthritis Care holds about you. Such a ‘Subject Access Request’ must be in writing. Note that ‘personal data’ is defined in the Data Protection Act and may not include some of the information we hold. There may also be some limited parts of the information we hold that we cannot provide, in order to protect the confidentiality of other people. We charge £10 for handling requests. Please enclose this fee with your request. Please address requests to the Data Protection Officer.
Users under 18
If you are under 18 but aged 12 or over you may use the Arthritis Care website and our other services, but you are encouraged to discuss with your parent or guardian before providing any personal information.
If you are under 12 please do not use our website or any of our services without your parent or guardian's permission.
Exceptions to our general policy
Although our services are strictly confidential, we may disclose your information – to the appropriate authorities – in exceptional circumstances where we have a legal obligation or where we judge that there is a risk of serious harm to you or other people.
Any information that is stored as Arthritis Care cookies can help us to provide you with a better service and assists us to analyse the profile of our visitors. For example: if on a previous visit you went to the Scotland area news pages, then we might find this out from your cookie and highlight particular – especially local – information which you may find interesting on a subsequent visit.
What is a cookie?
When you enter a site your computer or other device may automatically be issued with a cookie. Cookies are text files which identify your computer to our server. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used. Many sites do this whenever a user visits their site, in order to track traffic flows.
Cookies themselves only record which areas of the site have been visited by the computer in question, and for how long. Users have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time, although in this last case it means that certain personalised services cannot then be provided to that user.
Even assuming you have not set your computer to accept cookies, you can browse our site anonymously until such time as you register for services provided by Arthritis Care.