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Data Protection and Privacy

We hope that our website provides helpful information about volunteering with VSO, our programmes and work worldwide and our on-going campaigns to tackle disadvantage.

VSO is committed to safeguarding your privacy online. This policy explains how we will collect, use and disclose information.  It applies to our online information gathering and dissemination practices only and does not apply to any of our practices conducted offline. This policy may change from time to time, so please check this page periodically. 

Personal information and sensitive personal information

What information is collected?

Who collects the information?

How is the collected information used?

Who is collected information shared with?

How secure is the information collected?

Opting out of communications

How do I find out more?

Contact us

Personal information and sensitive personal information

Personal information means information that identifies you as an individual, such as:

  • name
  • postal address
  • email address
  • telephone number

Sensitive personal information means information about:

  • race or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious or similar beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • physical or mental health or condition or sexual life
  • the commission of, or proceedings for, any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by you, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings

What information is collected?

We may collect personal information and/or sensitive personal information from you in a variety of ways, including when you submit one of our online forms, for example, our:

  • volunteer applications
  • volunteer event registrations
  • fundraising events registrations
  • donation pledges
  • fundraising forms
  • newsletter registrations
  • requests for information

We may also collect personal information and/or sensitive personal information when you download resources from our website, complete a survey or if you contact us by email.

In addition, we use software to identify which areas of our site are visited most frequently. This helps us to understand how our site is being used so that we can make it more useful for visitors. This software uses cookies (text files that identify your computer to our server) and IP addresses (the domain from which you access the Internet) to indicate which pages have been accessed and when. This information is collected automatically. It does not contain any personal information or sensitive personal information, so browsing is anonymous.

How to control and delete cookies

Cookies are used across our website for a number of reasons, for example:

  • the areas of the website you visit the amount of time you spend on the site 
  • whether you are new to the site, or have visited it before 
  • how you came to our website – for example, through an email link or a search engine 
  • the type of device and browser you use

However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by the VSO UK website, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The Help function within your browser should tell you how. 

Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your computer as well as more general information about cookies. For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of the VSO UK website.

Who collects the information?

When you are on the VSO website and are required to submit personal information or sensitive personal information, this is collected by VSO. 

How is the collected information used?

Information collected may be used to:

  • respond to your request for information
  • provide you with newsletters or details of events
  • process your orders and applications
  • engage you as a volunteer and make any appropriate arrangements
  • process your donation pledges
  • keep a record of your contact details
  • contact you with current and future information about our work, events, campaigns and activities, or any other features of VSO described on the website
  • for our business purposes, such as data analysis, audits, fraud monitoring and prevention, enhancing, improving or modifying our services, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of promotional campaigns and operating and expanding our business activities
  • as we believe to be necessary or appropriate: (1) under applicable law, including laws outside your country of residence; (2) to comply with legal process; (3) to respond to requests from public and government authorities including public and government authorities outside your country of residence; (4) to enforce our terms and conditions; (5) to protect our operations; (f) to protect our rights, privacy, safety or property and/or that of you or others; and (6) to allow us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.

Any use of collected information will be in accordance with the data protection principles of good practice. This means that it will be:

  • processed fairly and lawfully
  • processed for limited purposes and in an appropriate way
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose
  • accurate
  • not kept longer than necessary for the purpose.
  • processed in line with data subjects' rights
  • secure
  • not transferred to people or organisations situated in countries without adequate protection

Who is collected information shared with?

VSO is an international charity and may need to share your information with our:

  • staff
  • partners
  • third-party service providers
  • both in the UK and those based overseas

How secure is the information collected?

The security of information collected by VSO is of upmost importance to VSO. We seek to use reasonable organisational, technical and administrative measures to protection personal information, sensitive information and any other information collected by us. Unfortunately, no data transmission or storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. If you have any reason to believe that any information we hold is no longer secure, please contact us immediately.

Opting out of communications

You have the opportunity to opt out of receiving communications from us at the point where we collect information from you and this is usually done by a tick box. If you currently receive communications and would like these to stop, please contact the Customer Care team.

How do I find out more?

If you wish to make a request for information that we hold about you, wish to make a complaint or have any other requests or queries, please contact the company secretary on the details below.

A fee is payable by you for the provision of information in relation to a subject access requests. We will keep a record of all data subject requests made by data subjects and any response issued. 

Contact us

You can contact us at any time by writing to:

Company Secretary, VSO, 100 London Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 6QJ.

Email: Company.Secretary@vso.org.uk

If you would like to stop receiving communications from us, please contact our customer care team on:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8780 7500

Email: response@vso.org.uk