Independent.co.uk is determined to protect your privacy. It is very important to us that you should be able to use and enjoy the Website without having to compromise your privacy unacceptably. This policy outlines how we may use the personal and behavioural information we hold about you and how you can access, change or delete your personal information.
Knowing something about our users is necessary to ensure that our service is continually improved. We need to build an accurate picture of the needs and wishes of our users, and to be able to communicate with you. That enables us to offer a service that is relevant and truly interactive, which is what our users expect. It also helps us to maintain the greatest possible free-to-user access to the Website.
Should I read any other information and terms?
What information will you collect about me?
We may ask you to provide personal information on a voluntary basis in order to get a clearer picture of our users.
It is then entirely up to you whether you are happy to give us this information. For example, in the course of certain activities such as registration, commenting on the Website, entering competitions, promotions and other offers or submitting content to the Website you will be asked to give some details about yourself (for example, email address, name, postcode or year of birth).
You may also choose to email us or make contact with us in other ways. Such contact gives us information about you. We endeavour to explain to you why we would like this information and what we do with it at each stage.
If you have any financial dealings, for instance if you make purchases with our trading partners on co-branded Websites, the information you submit will be disclosed to us and to relevant third parties, for example suppliers of goods and services and our web service providers.
Please do not submit your personal information to us if you do not want us to collect it.
Sometimes we obtain additional information about you from other reputable data sources. The data these companies might hold about you has been collected from publicly available records, such as the electoral roll, or via a range of sources with your permission (such as surveys or where you have agreed, via opt-in, for your information to be shared with third parties).
We may check our registered viewer database against the information they hold on their systems to see if there are any matched individuals. If there is a match, we can collect and store some of this additional information (which may include statements about your lifestyle and interests) in our database and use it to further enhance our understanding of the types of products and services you might be interested in.
We also collect information from social media activity such as when you ‘like’ the Website, share content or follow us on Twitter. When you sign in to the Website using social media you grant permission to the social network to share your user details. Depending on the network this will include basic account information such as name, email address, date of birth and any other details you choose to share according to your particular social media account settings.
How will this information be used?
We use the aggregate audience details (where no individual is identifiable) to help us improve our understanding of our users and what they want. We may use it to assist us in arranging more personalised advertising, commercial opportunities and competitions which help us keep the Website free for you to enjoy.
If advertisers want to reach people like you they might want to use the information we hold on you from other data sources. We never disclose your personal details but group you into anonymous audience segments with other users who have the same interests.
We also use this information to ensure we provide the best possible content, tailoring where we can to our users interests. It also helps us develop the Website and audit its use.
The information about you as an identifiable individual, including contact details, may be used in a number of ways, including:
* Verifying your identity (for example when you return to the Website)
* Personalising your visits to the Website and developing the design and style of the Website to improve the services provided to you
* Informing you about the latest changes to the Website, or products, services or promotional offers that you might find interesting
* Dealing with, and responding to you about, a comment you have submitted for or on our message boards, blogs and other such user generated content facilities
* Enabling you to share our content with others using social media or email
* Communicating (and personalising such communication) with you
* Informing you if you have been successful in any Website competitions or promotions
* Compiling customer reviews
* Conducting market research
* Sending a product to your home address
Will I receive spam?
We will not send you any unsolicited marketing. We will only send you emails or other marketing messages where you have signed up to receive these. Marketing emails you have signed up to will also tell you how you can unsubscribe should you decide that you no longer wish to receive them.
Please note that registered users may receive important information about Independent.co.uk (such as changes to the Independent.co.uk service or other administration matters). As a registered user, this is not spam.
How can I access and update my personal information?
You can update some of your personal information by signing in to your account page or through your social network provider.
How long do you keep my personal information for?
We will keep your information only for as long as it is relevant and useful for the purpose for which it was originally collected.
Please note that if your account appears to have not been used for 2 years, we may try and contact you to check whether it is still in use and/or we may delete it.
What security measures do you use?
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Who will you share my personal information with?
By using the Website, you agree that we may disclose your personal information to any company within the Independent.co.uk group of companies, which includes the companies which publish The Independent and the London Evening Standard newspapers and Websites, and broadcasts London Live and its Website.
Advertisers and advertising networks sometimes require data to select and serve relevant advertisements to you and others. However, we do not disclose information about identifiable individuals to advertisers, but we may provide them with aggregate information about our users (for example, we may inform them that 500 men aged under 30 have clicked on their advertisement on any given day). We may also use such aggregate information to help advertisers reach the kind of audience they want to target (for example, women in SW1).
Subject to obtaining your consent, we may also supply personal information about you to third parties.
We reserve the right to disclose your personal information to comply with applicable laws (such as the Data Protection Act 1998) and government or regulatory bodies' lawful requests for information.
Your personal details may be shared with third party organisations we have contracted to provide services to us which include processing data.
We may also have to release information (which could include the contents of email communications between any persons) because of a legal requirement on us or pursuant to a court order.
We may transfer, sell or assign any of the information described in this policy to third parties as a result of a sale, merger, consolidation, change of control, transfer of assets or reorganisation of our business.
Will my data be sent overseas?
As you will know, the internet does not recognise national boundaries. Services on the net are accessible globally so collection and transmission of personal data is not always confined to one country.
You should be aware that by using the Website and those of our partners or any Website we link through to, your personal data may be processed in or transferred to other countries, the USA for example, and you agree to your personal data being transferred or processed in this way.
What do I do if I am not happy for you to share information about me with others?
Message boards, blogs and other public forums
Email a friend and share this article facilities
When you use these facilities and provide us with personal data (for example, name and email address) of a third party, please ensure that you have their consent before giving us their details.
The Website may, from time to time, contain links to and from the Websites of advertisers and other third parties. If you follow a link to any of these Websites, please note that these Websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these Websites.