At Vetlife we respect the privacy of visitors to our website (www.vetlife.org.uk). This policy is concerned with how we collect information, what we do with it and what controls you have.
Vetlife offers independent, confidential and free help for everyone in the veterinary community including veterinary nurses and students. Our charity provides a 24/7 phone and email helpline, professional mental health support, financial assistance, information and resources.
We take our duty to process your personal information very seriously. This policy explains how we collect, manage, use and protect your personal information.
We may change this document from time to time to reflect the latest view of what we do with your information. Please check back frequently; you will be able to see if changes have been made by the date it was last updated.
Refer to the sections below for more details on how and why we use your personal information:
- Who are we?
- What personal data we collect and how we use it
- Legitimate interests
- Sharing your information
- Retaining your information
- Your details on the web
- What are your rights?
- How to contact us
1. Who are we?
In this policy references to Vetlife or to ‘we’ or ‘us’ are referring to the Veterinary Benevolent Fund which is a registered company in England and Wales (company number 00153010). It is also a registered charity in England and Wales (charity number 224776).
2. What personal data we collect and how we use it:
What we need
Vetlife is what’s known as the ‘controller’ of the personal information you provide to us. We will usually collect basic personal information about you such as your name, postal address, telephone number and email address.
If you need our support, we may collect other information about you such as your date of birth, gender and other details. We will be very clear with you that we wish to collect such information, our reason for collecting such information, and we would only do so with your consent.
Why we need it
We collect your personal data in connection with specific activities, such as campaign updates, newsletter requests, requests for support, feedback, donations, competition entries, information you provide in public forums on our site and applications.
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 our site. However, if you choose to withhold requested information, we may not be able to provide you with certain services.
Sometimes, with your consent, we will process your personal information to provide you with news about our work or our activities that you have requested or are expecting.
On other occasions, we may process personal information when we need to do this to fulfil a contract (for example, if you have made a donation or become a member) or where we are required to do this by law or other regulations.
Vetlife also processes your data when it is in our legitimate interests to do this and when these interests do not override your rights. Those legitimate interests include providing you with information on our products, campaigns, services, newsletter requests, feedback, competitions and other activities. Please see the section on ‘Legitimate Interest’ for more information.
How we obtain your details
We will also hold information about you so that we can respect your preferences for being contacted by us.
We collect your personal information in a number of ways:
- When you provide it to us directly.
- When you provide permission to other organisations to share it with us (including Facebook or Twitter).
- When we collect it as you use our websites or apps.
- When you have given it to a third party and you have provided permission to pass your information on to us.
We combine the information from these sources with the information you provide to us directly.
If you are under 16 please ensure you obtain your parent/guardian’s consent before sending any personal information to any website or Vetlife.
As a parent or guardian we encourage you to be aware of the activities in which your children are participating, both offline and online. If your children voluntarily disclose information, this may encourage unsolicited messages. We suggest that you discourage your child from providing any information without your consent.
All the personal data we process is processed by our staff and volunteers (where required). However for the purposes of IT hosting and maintenance your information may be situated outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). This will be done in accordance with guidance issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
If you would like to change the way you hear from us or no longer wish to receive direct marketing communications from Vetlife then use the contact form on our ‘Contact Us’ page.
3. Legitimate interests
The new data protection requirements have a number of reasons by which we can use the personal information you provide to us. One of these is called ‘legitimate interests’.
This means that we have the potential to use your personal information if we have a genuine and legitimate reason and we are not harming any of your rights and interests.
So, what does this mean? When you provide your personal details to us we may use your information to provide you with details about how Vetlife supports the veterinary community. Before doing this, though, we will also carefully consider and balance any potential impact on you and your rights.
Some typical examples of when we might use the approach are for preventing fraud, direct marketing, maintaining the security of our system, data analytics, enhancing, modifying or improving our services, identifying usage trends and determining the effectiveness of our campaigns and fundraising.
a) How we may use your personal information
Direct Marketing: We may send postal marketing which further the aims and objectives of Vetlife. We will also make sure our postal marketing is relevant for you, tailored to your interests.
Your best interest: Processing your information to protect you against fraud when transacting on our website, and to ensure our websites and systems are secure.
Personalisation: Where the use of the information enables us to personalise, enhance or otherwise improve our services/communications for the benefit of the veterinary community.
Analytics: To use your personal information for the purposes of customer analysis, assessment, profiling and direct marketing, on a personalised or aggregated basis, to help us with our activities and to provide you with the most relevant information as long as this does not harm any of your rights and interests.
Research: To determine the effectiveness of promotional campaigns and advertising and to develop our products, services, systems and relationships with you.
Due Diligence: We need to undertake due diligence on potential customers and business partners to determine if those companies and individuals have been involved or convicted of offences such as fraud, bribery and corruption.
We will also hold information about you so that we can respect your preferences for being contacted by us.
b) Your interests
Before we use your personal information for our legitimate interests, we will always consider and balance any potential impact on you and your rights under data protection legislation and any other relevant law. Our legitimate business interests do not automatically override your interests – we will never use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law). Any information you have provided in confidence or as part of accessing our support services will not be used in any way other than to provide that support.
Remember, you can change the way you hear from us or withdraw your permission for us to process your personal details at any time by using our contact form on the ‘Contact Us’ page.
4. Sharing your information
We only disclose information to third parties or individuals when obliged to by law, for purposes of national security, taxation and criminal investigations and the following:
- If you have agreed that we may do so.
- When we use other companies to provide services on our behalf, e.g. providing support to the helpline, answering questions about our services, sending mail and emails, customer analysis, assessment, when using auditors/advisors or processing credit/debit card payments.
- If we merge with another organisation to form a new entity, information may be transferred to the new entity.
We may disclose aggregate statistics about our site visitors, supporters, customers and sales to describe our services and operations to prospective partners, advertisers and other reputable third parties and for other lawful purposes, but these statistics won’t include any personally identifying information.
If we run an event in partnership with other named organisations your details may need to be shared. We will be very clear what will happen to your data when you register.
And, we will never sell or rent your personal information to other organisations.
5. Retaining your information
We hold your information only as long as necessary for each purpose we use it, we will provide examples of some of our retentions in this paragraph to give you an idea of how long we retain your information.
If you decide not to support Vetlife any more or request that we have no further contact with you, we will keep some basic information in order to avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future and to ensure that we don’t accidentally duplicate information.
If you make a donation or purchase from us, we will keep the financial information for a period of seven years for accounting purposes.
This policy explains what cookies are, how Vetlife use them on our website and what you can do to manage how they are used.
a) Cookies and how they benefit you
Our cookies help us:
- Make our website work as you’d expect.
- Remember your settings during and between visits.
- Improve the speed/security of the site.
- Allow you to share pages with social networks like Facebook.
- Continuously improve our website for you.
- Make our marketing more efficient (ultimately helping us to offer the service we do at the price we do).
b) How long do cookies last?
When a web server sends a cookie, it asks your browser to keep that particular cookie until a certain date and time. These dates can be:
- Some date in the future – which might be a few minutes or a few hours from now (to track something like your form completions). The cookie might expire many years in the future, to keep track of your browser for a long time.
- When you close your browser – this is called a session cookie, the next time you start your browser these will have vanished.
- Some date in the past – this is how the server asks a browser to remove a previously-stored cookie.
c) Anonymous visitor statistics cookies
d) Google Analytics. Advertising or targeting cookies
These types of cookies are used to deliver adverts which will be more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement and to help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are normally placed by advertising networks with our permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Targeting or advertising cookies will often be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.
e) Social website cookies
So you can easily ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ our content on social network sites, we have sharing buttons on our site. The privacy implications on this will vary from social network to social network and will be dependent on the privacy settings you have chosen on these networks.
f) Turning cookies off
You can usually switch cookies off by adjusting your browser settings to stop it from accepting cookies. Doing so, however, will likely limit the functionality of our website and a large proportion of the world’s websites as cookies are a standard part of most modern websites.
7. What are your rights?
Under Data Protection legislation, you have a number of very important rights. You have a right to:
- Transparency over how we use your personal information (right to be informed).
- Request a copy of the information we hold about you, which will be provided to you within one month (right of access).
- Update or amend the information we hold about you if it is wrong (right of rectification).
- Ask us to stop using your information (right to restrict processing).
- Ask us to remove your personal information from our records (right to be ‘forgotten’).
- Object to the processing of your information for marketing purposes (right to object).
- Obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purposes (right to data portability).
- Not be subject to a decision when it is based on automated processing (automated decision making and profiling).
If you would like to know more about your rights under the data protection law see the Information Commissioners Office website.
Remember, you can change the way you hear from us or withdraw your permission for us to use your personal information at any time by using the form on our ‘Contact Us’ page.
8. How to contact us
If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact the Operations Manager who will investigate the matter. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law you can complain to the Fundraising Regulator or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
If you wish to talk to us about anything in the policy or the information we hold about you please contact us:
By telephone: 020 7908 6385
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post: Vetlife, 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ