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Asthma UK privacy policy

Our approach to handling and using your data

Asthma UK is committed to protecting the privacy of your data, being open and transparent about how we use your data and giving you easy opportunity to tell us how you want your data to be used.

This privacy policy tells you what to expect when Asthma UK collects personal information. If you don’t want your data to be used in the ways described in this policy, write to us to let us know at the address below, or email us on info@asthma.org.uk or call us on 0300 222 5800.

The policy applies to information we collect about:

  1. visitors to our websites
  2. people signing up to receive newsletters and other communications from us
  3. people donating money to Asthma UK
  4. people joining Asthma UK as a member
  5. people posting messages on Asthma UK social media pages
  6. people who contact Asthma UK, including to make a complaint
  7. people who order Asthma UK resources
  8. people who contact our advice helpline on the phone, by email or by using WhatsApp
  9. people who complete Asthma UK surveys
  10. people who join specific programmes for support, sign up to events or join our volunteer groups (Research and Policy volunteers, Lay Advisory Panel, Healthcare Professionals Group)
  11. job applicants and our current and former employees
  12. people we conduct business with
  13. people who apply for research grant funding

This policy also explains:

14. how we use profiling in targeting communications
15. how long we keep data for
16. how we handle children’s data
17. other people we may collect data on who we believe may be interested in supporting our work
18. your rights, including how to find out what data we hold about you

We do not sell your data to third-parties. A list of  third-parties engaged by Asthma UK to process data, as described in this policy, is available here. Such processing activities are controlled by contracts with appropriate terms protecting personal data.

1. Visitors to our websites

When someone visits www.asthma.org.uk we use third-party services, Google Analytics, Google Optimize and Hotjar to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site, what page elements they click on, how long they stay on the site and what pages they visit. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of the people visiting our website.

We also track which pages users visit when they click on links in Asthma UK emails. We use this information to personalise our websites and emails with relevant content.  

We also use a ‘Facebook pixel’ on our website to track how Facebook users have interacted with our site. This is used to target relevant content or advertisements on Facebook or Instagram.

a)      Use of cookies by Asthma UK

Read more about how we use cookies.

b)     Site search

Our website search is powered by Episerver Find. Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help us improve our website and search functionality. No user-specific data is collected by either Asthma UK or any third party.

c)      Security and performance

Asthma UK uses third-party services to help maintain the security and performance of its website. To help us to deliver this service, we capture the IP addresses of visitors to the Asthma UK website.

2. People receiving newsletters and other communications from us

Asthma UK issues a range of materials for supporters and subscribers for distribution both electronically by email and in hard copy by post, and may also seek to promote its services by phone. We will only contact you with such material by each channel if you have asked us to do so, other than as described in clause 3 for certain postal communications sent without explicit consent and under ‘legitimate interest’ provisions. We might use personal information you have provided to us to select which communications you receive, or to tailor our communications to you. This may include:

  • Your contact details (e.g. formal titles or professional details you share with us – and from which we may derive gender; email address information; post code etc)
  • Details about the generous donations you may have made to us in the past (e.g. gift amount, type of gift, banking and transaction information etc)
  • Any connection to asthma you may have shared with us if you have given us permission to use in this way
  • Other preferences expressing interest in particular aspects of our work and activities

We will always use this information with care and consideration. If you’d like to change how we communicate with you, or would like us to remove your details, please call 0300 222 5800 or email info@asthma.org.uk.

a)      Communication by email

For people who have come to us through Asthma UK owned platforms, we only email newsletters and other general communications to those who have subscribed by a two stage ‘double opt-in’ process. If people sign up through our partner websites – for example through sponsorship websites – double opt-in is not possible. For these sign-ups, we only email people who have given an explicit statement of permission on our partner websites. The opportunity to unsubscribe is provided on every email we send.

We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help us monitor and improve our email communications; this may include tailoring emails to reflect what we identify to be of particular interest to an individual or what we know about their previous engagement with Asthma UK, including to help us to make appropriate requests for gifts to supporters who may be able and willing to give more than they already do. All our emails include a two click option to unsubscribe from future emails. We use a third-party email service provider, Dotmailer, to process our email distribution and this service is governed by a contract with appropriate terms to protect data.

We may ask you for your connection with asthma in order to better target our email communications, and this information may be classed as sensitive personal data in the Data Protection Act. Providing such information is always optional and is only used to target relevant health advice and other communications and to enable us to better understand the motives of people accessing our services.

We may use email addresses and first name / last name details to identify ‘lookalike’ audiences on social media channels to provide health information, services, or products that we feel may be of use or interest to those audiences. This involves uploading these supporter details to  third-party social media organisations, including Facebook and Twitter, from which they identify ‘lookalike’ cohorts. This upload is governed by terms and conditions restricting the processing and use of the data and can be viewed on Facebook Business and Twitter Business.

b)     Communication by post

We send magazines, publications, event information and invitations and fundraising materials by post to people who have asked to receive post from us and to people who have donated to Asthma UK in the preceding 3 years. All such communications include details on how to stop receiving these in future by phoning, emailing or writing to us. We may use data we hold on supporters (including post code, previous donating history, method of donating including type of bank account, involvement in Asthma UK activities) to tailor such communications to different audiences and, by doing so, we aim to best meet our supporters’ interests in asthma and Asthma UK as well as to help us to make appropriate requests for gifts to supporters who may be able and willing to give more than they already do. In doing this, we may also use data from external, publicly available sources such as Companies House, Charity Commission and other charity registers, Who’s Who and Debrett’s guides, Electoral Roll, reputable newspaper articles, publications, company websites and biographies on professional networking sites. If you would prefer us not to use your data in this way please let us know by emailing or calling us using the contact details noted below. We use third-party companies for these large-scale mailings who would be passed your contact details for this purpose only and these arrangements are governed by appropriate contracts which protect your personal data. Before such mailings, we carry out ‘mortality screening’ to avoid the distress caused to families of receiving mail intended for a deceased loved one. This is carried out by a third-party supplier and is subject to a contract with clauses protecting personal data.

c)      Communication by phone

We only phone people who have consented to hear from us by phone and this may be to give updates about or to ask for feedback on our services, in respect of an entry for an event, to thank our supporters or to ask a supporter if they are able to make a donation (or increase their donation) to further our cause. We use third-party companies for large scale phone calling programmes who would be passed your contact details for this purpose only and these arrangements are governed by appropriate contracts which protect your personal data. If you are kind enough to share your telephone number with us, and to give us permission to call you, this will overwrite any Telephone Preference Service registration you may hold. If you’d like to change how we communicate with you, or would like us to remove your details, please call 0300 222 5800 or email info@asthma.org.uk

3. People donating money to Asthma UK or expressing an intent to donate in the future

If you donate money to Asthma UK we will record your personal details which enable us to process your donation (for example if made by credit card or direct debit) and to claim Gift Aid where relevant. This may include some or all of your: name, address, telephone number, email, amount of donation, reason for donation, bank details, if you are a tax payer for Gift Aid purposes. We may contact you using these details in respect of your donation (for example to send an acknowledgement or receipt, to give notice of direct debit collection). We will use your postal address to send you hard copy general communications about asthma and Asthma UK for three years following a donation unless you tell us not to. All such communications will give details as to how to stop hearing from us. We do this under ‘legitimate interest’ provisions of the Data Protection Act and this is subject to a ‘balancing exercise’: we believe it is reasonable for you, as a financial supporter, to expect to hear about Asthma UK’s activities and such communications do not override your fundamental rights.

If you pledge to donate sometime in the future, we will record your personal details and use your postal address to send you general communications about asthma and Asthma UK until we receive the donation, at which point we will continue to communicate with you for three years following the donation unless you tell us not to.  If you pledge to include a gift (legacy) in your Will, we will record your personal details and send you general communications about asthma and Asthma UK until we receive notification of death.  All such communications will give details as to how to stop hearing from us. We do this under ‘legitimate interest’ provisions as described above.

4. People joining Asthma UK as a member

If you join Asthma UK as a member, we will use your data to contact you in respect of your membership including to send you notices of Annual and other General Meetings and in respect of membership subscriptions. We do this under ‘legitimate interest’ provisions of the Data Protection Act and this is subject to a ‘balancing exercise’: we believe it is reasonable for you, as a member of Asthma UK, to receive information about the running of the organisation and as set out in its Articles of Association. We will also send more general Asthma UK communications under ‘legitimate interest’ provisions as explained in clause 3 above unless you tell us not to.

5. People who post messages on Asthma UK social media pages

We use third party providers, such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck, to monitor and manage our social media interactions. These services are governed by the privacy policies of these platforms. For more information, view the Hootsuite privacy policy and the Twitter privacy policy

If you post on Asthma UK’s social media pages and community forum (housed on Health Unlocked), mention Asthma UK’s social media platforms or send us a private or direct message via social media we will assume you give permission for us to respond. Messages posted on our social media pages and community forum (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Health Unlocked) are available publicly and we can’t take responsibility for those messages which are subject to the privacy policies of the application provider and the specific privacy account setting of the user. We may use messages posted on Asthma UK social media pages and community forum to better understand our audiences, supporters and their concerns. As part of this, we may scrape, anonymise and aggregate information that users post on our social media pages and community forum pages. This information may then be published as a study or shared with partners.This will only be done in line with the privacy policies and terms and conditions of those platforms. If we seek to use attributable quotes from people using our social media channels, we will always seek their permission first. We will respond to publicly available social media posts relevant to asthma and associated issues where appropriate and within the permissions of those platforms. 

6. People who contact Asthma UK, including to make a complaint

a)      People who email us

Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with office policy. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used and emails will be processed through our prevailing email service. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law. Depending on the purpose and content of your email, it may be stored on our email servers or our supporter database.

If you email our helpline, we may record the details of your query anonymously to help us understand how the service is being used and to gain insights into the matters on which people seek advice. We cannot guarantee the security of emails and you are responsible for the content of emails you send us. We delete emails to the helpline once the query is closed.

b)     People who phone or write to us about general matters

We will use your data to handle your query or deal with the matter raised. We may store details of your contact with your data in case of related future queries, and in line with our data retention policies (see note 11 below). We will not use your details for more general communications unless you have given us specific permission to do so.

c)      People who submit a complaint

When we receive a complaint from a person we record the details of the complaint and the complainant. We will only use the personal information we collect to investigate and respond to the complaint and to monitor the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information about the number and nature of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint in respect of fundraising or general matters will be retained for two years from closure, and in respect of a call made to the advice helpline for six months from closure.

d)     People who contact a third-party partner of Asthma UK, including lottery and raffle processor

If you have a query or complaint about a service provided on Asthma UK’s behalf by a  third-party partner, you may be directed to that organisation for efficient resolution. Asthma UK’s relationship with those third-parties is subject to appropriate contracts which protect the use of your data in line with Asthma UK’s own polices as outlined here.

7. People who order Asthma UK resources

A range of advice and fundraising resources are available to order and are detailed on our website. If you order any of these resources we will collect information from you necessary for fulfilment of that order including mailing to you, emailing to you and phoning you. Fulfilment may be carried out on our behalf by third-parties to whom we would pass your details for that purpose only. Such arrangements are governed by appropriate contracts with clauses included to protect your data. We will not use your details for other purposes unless you have given separate permission for us to do so.

8. People who contact our advice helpline on the phone, by email or by using WhatsApp

a)      People who contact our advice helpline on the phone

When you call Asthma UK’s helpline we collect Calling Line Identification (CLI) information. We use this information to help improve its efficiency and effectiveness. We record high level details about the call to help us understand how the service is being used and to gain insights into the matters on which people seek advice. This information is stored anonymously and we do not ask for any of your personal details when you call. The sole exception to this process is in the case of a medical emergency where we lose contact with a caller who is having an asthma attack (or another correspondingly serious medical emergency) and are unable to re-establish the call, or where the caller is unable to speak to us due to an emergency condition. In these circumstances, we would seek to provide the caller’s telephone number to the police along with a description of any relevant symptoms.

b)     People who contact our advice helpline by email

If you contact our advice helpline by email we will respond to your query by email. We will only use your email address in respect of your query and not for other purposes. We may record the details of your query anonymously to help us understand how the service is being used and to gain insights into the matters on which people seek advice. We cannot guarantee the security of messages and you are responsible for the content of messages you send us.

c)      People who contact our advice helpline by using WhatsApp

We use a third-party provider, WhatsApp, for our messenger app service to handle advice queries in real time. WhatsApp are responsible for data entered in messages on the service, for more information view the WhatsApp privacy policy. We may record the details of your query anonymously to help us understand how the service is being used and to gain insights into the matters on which people seek advice. We cannot guarantee the security of messages and you are responsible for the content of messages you send us. We delete messages on the WhatsApp service at least weekly.

9. People who complete Asthma UK surveys

Our surveys generally collect anonymous responses and your personal details are not recorded. If we run a survey where we do ask for personal details, the purpose for doing so and how we use your data is made clear at the start of the survey.

10. People who join specific programmes for support or sign up to events, sign up to events or join our volunteer groups (Research and Policy volunteers, Lay Advisory Panel, Healthcare Professionals Group)

Sign up pages for specific programmes, events or groups state what information collected will be used for and this will be to enable delivery of that programme or event for that person. Opportunity to sign up to receive general communications from Asthma UK will require separate consents for each channel. Third-party event registration software is used, and their privacy policies can be accessed at Active Networks, and Eventbrite. We may also use third-party software for data capture on questionnaires and their privacy policies can be accessed at Typeform and Survey Monkey. We use third-party software for scheduling and sending text messages where these are part of a specific programme. We may change software suppliers from time to time for these purposes and these relationships are always governed by contracts with appropriate clauses to protect personal data.

11. Job applicants and our current and former employees

Information provided as part of an application for a job at Asthma UK will only be used to process the application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Taking up references will only be done with specific permission of the job applicant. We use third-party software and services to run our job application process and applicant data is held on that software. Asthma UK’s arrangement with this third-party is subject to contractual terms and specifically includes obligations for protecting personal data. Personal information about unsuccessful candidates is held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, after which it is deleted. We retain de-personalised statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data. More information on how we process recruitment data is provided on the Networx Recruitment website through which our recruitment activity is handled.

Once someone is employed by Asthma UK, we hold data relating to their employment. This information is kept secure, generally in soft copy only, and only used for purposes relevant to that person’s employment. Data is kept for the duration of a person’s employment, and when an individual leaves the employment of Asthma UK, we retain the employment related data in accordance with our data retention policies (generally informed by our legal obligations as an employer) before deleting it.

12. People we conduct business with

We work with a wide variety of people in order to deliver our objectives and hold data relating to these individuals, the organisations they work for and the connections they have, or may have, with Asthma UK. We term these ‘business to business’ relationships (B2B). We have similar legal and regulatory responsibilities in respect of this data to those of our supporter data but seek to meet these in a pragmatic way which enables mutually beneficial business relationships. These relationships include those with: researchers who we fund; researchers who support our research activities in other ways; healthcare professionals who support our work providing health advice; policy makers and influencers including MPs; freelancers and consultants; companies and organisations we have contractual relationships with; companies or organisations which have, or may have, shared interest in asthma related developments. As a charity that receives legacies (gifts in Wills) from supporters, we communicate with executors, solicitors and any other parties that are involved in the distribution of assets including other charity co-beneficiaries. Such correspondence includes thanking the donor’s family and friends and asking and answering questions relating to the distribution of their assets. We include details of easy, single step methods for opting out of future communications in our communications.

13. People who apply for research grant funding

Information provided as part of an application for research grant funding will only be used to process and assess the application. The application may be shared with third-party funders where a grant round is being jointly funded with Asthma UK and this will be made clear in the details of the particular grant round. The application may be shared with individuals making up the Research Review Panel who assess grant applications on behalf of Asthma UK and who are not employees of Asthma UK. We use  third-party software and services to run our research grant application and management process and applicant data is held on that software. Asthma UK’s arrangement with this  third-party is subject to contractual terms and specifically includes obligations for protecting personal data. Applications, including personal information, which are unsuccessful are held for 10 years after the grant round has been completed after which they are deleted. We may retain de-personalised statistical information about applications to help inform our research funding activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

Successful grant applications are held indefinitely following completion of the funded research activity. The grant award is subject to a contract, the terms of which cover use of data.

14. How we use profiling in targeting our communications

We may use personal data you provide in profiling our audiences in order to better target communications. This may include profiling using:

  • Your contact details (e.g. formal titles or professional details you share with us, email address information, post code etc)
  • Details about the generous donations you may have made to us in the past (e.g. gift amount, type of gift, banking and transaction information etc)
  • Any connection to asthma you may have shared with us if you have given us permission to use in this way
  • Other preferences expressing interest in particular aspects of our work and activities
  • Age and other demographic information where relevant for specific marketing campaigns

Tailoring communications may include varying content, subject matter and differentiated fundraising ‘asks’.

We may use email addresses and first name / last name details to identify ‘lookalike’ and ‘custom’ audiences on social media channels to provide adverts promoting health information, services, or products that we feel may be of use or interest to those audiences. This involves uploading these supporter details to third-party social media organisations, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, from which they identify new ‘lookalike’ audiences and existing, established audiences and serve appropriate messaging. This upload is governed by terms and conditions restricting the processing and use of the data and these can be viewed on Facebook Business and Twitter Business

If you do not want us to use your data for any of these purposes you can let us know by calling 0300 222 5800 or emailing info@asthma.org.uk.

15. How long we keep data for

We retain data on donors for either four or seven years after their last gift was received, generally depending on whether Gift Aid was applicable to the donation and in order to meet our obligations to our regulators. We retain data on people who have interacted with us but not made a donation for 3 years after their last interaction. We will generally continue to contact people who have either donated or who have given us permission to do so for three years after the donation or their last positive affirmation of consent and having provided guidance on how to stop hearing from Asthma UK in all communications. We retain data on people who have pledged to donate some time in the future, such as a legacy pledger, until either after the donation has been made (as explained above) or until the pledge is withdrawn.

Data on Trustees is retained for 20 years after retirement as a Trustee.

Data on former employees is generally kept for seven years after ceasing employment.

16. How we handle children’s data

We do not routinely ask for age related information from people sharing data with Asthma UK for the purposes described in this policy. If you are under 18, you need to have obtained permission from a parent or guardian before sharing your data with Asthma UK. We may ask for age-related information for specific activities which have age restrictions and these may not be available for under 18s to take part in. The purpose of asking for this data is made clear at the point the data is collected and parent or guardian consent obtained.

17. Other people we may collect data on who we believe may be interested in supporting our work

We may use publicly available information to find new potential supporters and invite them to be involved in supporting our cause through tailored communications which may be of interest to them, or to contact people who may be interested in working for Asthma UK in some capacity. External data sources include publicly available information such as Companies House, Charity Commission and other charity registers, Who’s Who and Debrett’s guides, Electoral Roll, reputable newspaper articles, publications, company websites and biographies on professional networking sites as well as geographic and demographic information based on postcode. If you would prefer us not to use your data in this way please let us know by emailing or calling us using the contact details noted below.

18. Your rights including how to find out what data we hold about you

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you and we want to make it as easy as we can for you access this. You can make a ‘subject access request’ to find out what personal information we hold about you. We would give you a description of the data held; tell you why we are holding it; tell you who it could be disclosed to and let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form. We will respond within one month as required by data protection legislation.

If you want to make a ‘subject access request’ please write to us at the address below or by emailing info@asthma.org.uk. You are also able to ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold or ask for the data to be deleted (assuming we have no other obligation to keep it; we would encourage you to let us use it for suppression purposes only).

If you have a complaint in respect of our handling of your data please contact us using the contact details below.

If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint was handled, you can refer your complaint to UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

Policy last updated: 12 April 2018

How to contact us

If you want to request information about our privacy policy you can email us on info@asthma.org.uk or write to:

Asthma UK
18 Mansell Street
London
E1 8AA