Afghanistan veteran with medals and child

Our privacy policy

Our privacy policy

This privacy policy sets out the data processing practices of SSAFA for personal information in electronic and manual form. If you have any requests concerning your personal information or any queries with regard to these practices please contact the Online Communications Manager.

Please note that you do not have to provide personal information in order to use most of this website. However if you wish to use certain services such as the ability to send us your questions and comments and receive notices of new vacancies with us, you will need to provide certain personal information.

Your acceptance of this policy, and our right to change it

By using the SSAFA websites, social media pages, entering a competition or providing your information you consent to our collection and use of the information you provide in the way(s) set out in this policy. If you do not agree to this policy please do not use our sites, social media pages or services.

We may make changes to this policy from time to time. If we do so, we will post the changes on this page and they will apply from the time we post them. This policy was last updated on 7 April 2017.

What is personal data?

Personal data is information that can be used to help identify an individual, such as name, address, phone number or email address. 

The policy in brief

It’s important that you read the full policy to understand what information we hold, how we may use it, and what your rights are – but if you don’t have time to read it all now, here’s a quick summary:

  • We collect information that is either personal data (as outlined above) or non-personal data (such as IP addresses, pages accessed etc)
  • We collect information to provide services or goods, to provide information, to fundraise for our lifesaving work, for administration, research, profiling, analysis, and for the prevention/detection of crime
  • We only collect the information that we need or that would be useful to us in our quest to provide the best possible service
  • We do our very best to keep personal information secure, including SSL technology (secure server software) wherever we collect personal data online
  • We never sell your data and we will never share it with another company or charity for marketing purposes
  • we only share data where we are required by law or with carefully selected partners who do work for us. All Our partners are required by their contract to treat your data as carefully as we would, to only use it as instructed, and to allow us to check that they do this
  • Our websites use cookies – for more information check Our Cookies Policy
  • We will only retain your data for as long as it is required.                        

These are the basics, but you can read the full policy (below).                                                                                                                                   

The Full Policy

This policy applies to all the websites SSAFA operates, our use of emails and text messages for marketing purposes, and any other methods we use for collecting information. It covers what we collect and why, what we do with the information, what we won’t do with the information, and what rights you have.

What information we collect and why?

We will only ever collect the information we need – including data that will be useful to help improve our services. We collect two kinds of information:

  • non-personal information such as IP addresses (the location of the computer on the internet), pages accessed and files downloaded. This helps us to determine how many people use our sites, how many people visit on a regular basis, and how popular our pages are. This information doesn't tell us anything about who you are or where you live. It simply allows us to monitor and improve our service.
  • personal information such as name, postal address, phone number, email address, date of birth (where appropriate), information about your interests and hobbies etc.

We collect this information in connection with specific activities, such as newsletter requests, registration or membership requests, product purchases, feedback, donations, competition entries etc. The information is either needed to fulfil your request or to enable us to provide you with a more personalised service. You don't have to disclose any of this information to browse the sites. However, if you do choose to withhold requested information, we may not be able to provide you with certain services.

 What do we do with the information?

We will use the information you provide to:

  • fulfil your requests – such as applications for membership, donations, competition entries, participation in campaigns and provision of information
  • process sales transactions, donations, or other payments and verify financial transactions
    identify visitors and contributors
  •  handle orders, deliver products and communicate with you about orders
  • provide a personalised service to you when you visit our websites – this could include customising the content and/or layout of our pages for individual users
  •  record any contact we have with you
  • prevent or detect fraud or abuses of our websites and enable third parties to carry out technical, logistical or other functions on our behalf
  • to carry out research on the demographics, interests and behaviour of our users and supporters to help us gain a better understanding of them and to enable us to improve our service. This research may be carried out internally by our employees or we may ask another company to do this work for us
  •  communicate with our supporters and customers
  •  if you have agreed to it, provide you with information that we think may be of interest to you.

Using your information for marketing

With your consent, we will contact you to let you know about the progress we are making and to ask for donations or other support.  Occasionally, we may include information from partner organisations or organisations who support us in these communications.  We make it easy for you to tell us how you want us to communicate, in a way that suits you. Our forms have clear marketing preference questions and we include information on how to opt out when we send you marketing. If you don’t want to hear from us, that’s fine.  Just let us know when you provide your data or contact Supporter Care on 020 7463 9225.

We do not sell or share personal details to third parties for the purposes of marketing.  But, if we run an event in partnership with another named organisation your details may need to be shared. We will be very clear what will happen to your data when you register.

If we contact you by email, every message we send will include a link to opt out of receiving future messages if you change your mind. If we contact you by other means and you want to change how, or if, you receive our communications, please call Supporter Care on 020 7463 9225.

Sharing your information 

We will only share your information if:

We are legally required to do so, e.g. by a law enforcement agency legitimately exercising a power or if compelled by an order of the Court. We believe it is necessary to protect or defend our rights, property or the personal safety of our people or visitors to our premises or websites
we are working with a carefully-selected partner that is carrying out work on our behalf. These partners may include mailing houses, marketing agencies, IT specialists and research firms. The kind of work we may ask them to do includes processing, packaging, mailing and delivering purchases, answering questions about products or services, sending postal mail, emails and text messages, carrying out research or analysis and processing card payments. We only choose partners we can trust.

We will only pass personal data to them if they have signed a contract that requires them to:

  • abide by the requirements of the Data Protection Act
  •   treat your information as carefully as we would
  •  only use the information for the purposes it was supplied (and not for their own purposes or   the purposes of any other organisation)
  •  allow us to carry out checks to ensure they are doing all these things.

Storing your information

Information is stored by us on computers located in the UK. We may transfer the information to other offices and to other reputable third party organisations as explained above –your information will not be passed outside of the European Economic Area. We may also store information in paper files.

We place a great importance on the security of all personally identifiable information associated with our supporters, customers and users. We have security measures in place to attempt to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of personal data under our control. For example, only authorised personnel are authorised to access user information and we use secure server software (SSL) to encrypt financial and personal information you input before it is sent to us. While we cannot ensure or guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration of data will not occur while it is under our control, we use our best efforts to try to prevent this.

Unfortunately, the transmission of data across the internet is not completely secure and whilst we do our best to try to protect the security of your information we cannot ensure or guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration of data will not occur whilst data is being transferred.

Where you or we have provided a password enabling you to access parts of our websites or use our services, it is your responsibility to keep this password confidential. Please don't share your password with anyone.

We will keep your information only for as long as we need it to provide you with the goods, services or information you have required, to administer your relationship with us, to inform our research or the preferences of our supporters, to comply with the law, or to ensure we do not communicate with people that have asked us not to. When we no longer need information we will always dispose of it securely, using specialist companies if necessary to do this work for us.

What we don’t do with your information

We never sell or share your information to other organisations to use for their own purposes.

Your rights

The Data Protection Act gives you certain rights over your data and how we use it. These include:

  • the right in certain circumstances to have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • the right to prevent your data being used for direct marketing
  • the right of access to a copy of the information We hold about you (known as a subject access request)

If you wish to exercise any of these rights please contact the SSAFA Data Protection Officer in writing at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, Queen Elizabeth House, 4, St Dunstan’s Hill, London, EC3R 8AD or by emailing terry.c@ssafa.org.uk. Please note it is our policy to charge the statutory maximum fee of £10 for a subject access request.

For more information about your rights under the Data Protection Act go to the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office at ico.org.uk.

SSAFA is not a ‘public authority’ as defined under the Freedom of Information Act and we will not therefore respond to requests for information made under this Act; using the funds generously donated to us by our supporters for such activities is not in accordance with our charitable purposes.

Cookies

We use cookies on Our websites, for full details see Our Cookies Policy.

Other important information

Forcesline and confidentiality

SSAFA Forcesline offers a confidential listening and signposting service, which is independent of the military chain of command. In the majority of cases, anything that you tell us will be kept private and will be between caller and staff.

Personal details are not shared with anyone else unless permission has been given and only on a restricted basis. Calls are not recorded but can be listened to by a fellow Forcesline helpline operator or Forcesline Manager for training or support purposes. However, on very rare occasions we may have to break confidentiality. These exceptions are below and are made only when there is a potential risk to the caller or others and/or where required by law.

We would only need to share information if:

  • You ask us to
  • It is considered by the Forcesline worker that an individual will be placed at risk of physical danger and withholding information could cause harm or injury
    to an individual
  • It is disclosed or considered that a criminal offence has been or will be committed
  • Information disclosed relates to acts of terrorism
  • Disclosure of information relates to the protection of children

Disclosure of information relates to the protection of vulnerable adults

Where it is considered essential to share information outside of the Forcesline service, the person whose confidentiality is to be broken will in normal circumstances be informed and where possible permission sought from them.

The Forcesline team are here to listen and support you and to signpost to practical help when required.

 

Children’s data

Some of the services we offer are aimed specifically at children (for example Short Breaks programme) and to deliver these services safely it is necessary for us to collect data and store it on our database.

It is our policy not to request donations or subscriptions, or accept product orders, from children under 18.

Links to third party websites

Our websites contain links to third party websites that we believe may be of interest to our website visitors. This privacy policy only governs our websites and we are not responsible for the privacy policies that govern third party websites even where we have provided links to them. If you use any link on our website we recommend you read the privacy policy of that website before sharing any personal or financial data.

Social media sites

We operate a number of social media pages (including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram). Although this policy covers how we will use any data collected from those pages it does not cover how the providers of social media websites will use your information. Please ensure you read the privacy policy of the social media website before sharing data and make use of the privacy settings and reporting mechanisms to control how your data is used.

Other people’s data

Some of the services we offer allow you to provide the personal data of other people (eg tagging people on photos on social media). Before providing anyone else’s data please ensure they are happy for you to do so and under no circumstances must you make public another person’s home address, email address, or phone number.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this policy or how we use data please contact the SSAFA Data Protection Officer at the address given above or via email at terry.c@ssafa.org.uk.