Kent Ornithological Society

Data Protection Policy 

1. What data does the Society keep and why?

1.1 Membership details

We keep details of members’ name, address, title and where supplied e-mail addresses and telephone number. We also keep details of the date members joined the society, their usual method of paying their annual subscription and  whether or not their subscription is up to date. 

We keep this information to allow us to send this information and publications to members, e.g. Newsletters, the Kent Bird Report and news of forthcoming events. Occasionally we will use this data to contact a member to clarify some aspect of a bird recorded or sighting. 

1.2 Bird records

Members and non-members can submit their sightings and bird records to KOS through a number of methods, including BirdTrack, via the Area Recorders or directly on to the Society’s Ornithological data base.  All records from whatever source, are entered onto the Society’s database and include the names of observers and therefore comes within the scope of this policy. The Society holds an archive of records from when it was formed in 1952.

It is important that we are able to identify the source of each record ( i.e. the name of the observer) in order to help assess, validate and authenticate records.  

2.  Responsibility for processing the Society’s data

The Membership Secretary is responsible for maintaining records relating to the Society’s members.

The Database Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the ornithological database and archive of records.

The Honorary Secretary is responsible for the overall data protection policy and compliance with the appropriate regulations. 

3. Key precautions to keep data protected. 

All membership records are kept on a dedicated computer that is only used for the Society’s business. Access to the database is password protected. The data is backed up onto a stand-alone external data storage facility.  The computer and external data storage are kept in a safe and secure location. The Honorary Secretary retains a back up copy of the membership database. 

Access to the Society’s ornithological database is held on a secure password-protected computer, which is backed up on the cloud. 

4. How does the Society ensures data is kept accurate and when data will be deleted?

4.1 Membership Details: The Membership Secretary will update the member’s details in the Society’s records once notified of any changes by the member. The Membership Secretary will confirm by e-mail (or in writing where appropriate) that changes have been made. 

Where a membership may have lapsed through non-payment of subscriptions, details will be erased after three years. Where a member resigns or where we are notified of the death of a member, the data will be deleted from the Society’s records. 

4.2 Bird Records: The Editorial and Records Sub-committee, assisted by the Area Recorders is responsible as far as is practicable for ensuring that information on the ornithological database is accurate. All ornithological records are maintained in perpetuity to assist in future research and monitoring of historic trends in bird populations 

5. How can individuals see the data we hold that relates to them? (Subject Access Requests)

The Membership Secretary will supply upon request from a member details of all information that we hold in respect of their membership. Where such a request is made the Membership Secretary will take steps to ensure that the request is from a valid member or will provide information to the postal address supplied by the member. 

6. When might we disclose data to others 

6.1 Membership details: The Society will not disclose data relating to its members unless this is to facilitate the distribution of publications of communications to members. To this end, the names and addresses of members will be provided to the printers of the Kent Bird Report to allow for its distribution. Membership data will not be supplied to any other third party without the explicit consent of the member. 

6.2 Bird Records: Data relating to bird records including the names of observers may be passed to the British Birds Rarities Committee or Rare Bird Breeding Panel where the record involves a species within the remit of that national committee. 

Data including the observers’ names, entered on the online data base via the KOS website can be viewed by anyone on the website. The names of observers of scarce or rare birds will be included in the Kent Bird Report unless the observer requests that their name is withheld.

7 . Who is responsible for reporting any breaches to the ICO and Charity Commission?

The Honorary Secretary and/or Honorary Treasurer will be responsible for reporting any suspected breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation to the regulatory bodies. 

Agreed by the Executive Committee

17th May 2018