Privacy policy

The Microbiology Society is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

This policy (together with our website(s) terms of use and any other documents referred to on it) explains when and why we collect personal information about people who visit our website(s), how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.

We may change this policy from time to time so please check this page occasionally to ensure that you’re happy with any changes.

By using our website(s), you’re agreeing to be bound by this policy.

Any questions regarding this Policy and our privacy practices should be sent by email to info@microbiologysociety.org or by writing to the Microbiology Society, Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JU. Alternatively, you can telephone 020 7685 2400.

The rules on processing of personal data are set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).

1.1 Who are we?

The Microbiology Society is a membership charity for scientists interested in microbes, their effects and their practical uses. It is one of the largest microbiology societies in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools.

We are classed under the GDPR regulations as a data controller. That means we decide how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.

The Microbiology Society is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 264017), a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC039250) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England (no. 1039582). We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (no. Z5802841) in the UK.

1.2 How do we collect information from you?

We obtain information about you when you use our website(s), for example, when you use our online area MiSociety, register to join the Society, register for an event, purchase any of our services or if you register to receive one of our regular newsletters. 

We also receive and process personal information regarding membership applications and renewals. A member specific privacy policy is available in the governing document; its Articles of Association.

1.3 What type of information is collected from you?

The personal information we collect might include your title, first name, surname, gender, date of birth, address, email address, phone number, IP address, and information regarding what pages are accessed and when.

We may also collect information relating to your employment, including where you are currently employed, your job title, areas of interest/expertise and your job function if this is relevant to your interaction with us. In applications for some categories of membership we ask you to identify a referee and to provide contact information for them. This will be their name and address only.

If you make a purchase online, your card and other payment information is not held by us, it is collected by our third-party payment processors, who specialise in the secure online capture and processing of credit/debit card transactions, as explained below.

Our third-party payment processor are Sagepay, Go Cardless and World Pay

Bank details may be collected during grant applications or for expense reimbursements. This information will be held for as long as necessary to fulfil the stated purpose, and then permanently deleted.

1.4 How is your information used?

We may use your information to:

  • Process orders that you have submitted through our online area;
  • Process applications or renewal of membership of the Microbiology Society;
  • Process orders for Society or Society associated events;
  • To carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into by you and us;
  • Deal with entries into any competitions;
  • Seek your views or comments on the services we provide;
  • Notify you of changes to our services;
  • Post out copies of the Microbiology Society member magazine Microbiology Today each quarter to your registered address;
  • Send you communications which you have requested and that may be of interest to you. These may include newsletters, information about campaigns, appeals, and other Society activities;
  • Promote activities of our associated companies’ goods and services;
  • Process a grant application;
  • Process orders for a journal subscription;
  • Process a job application to join the Microbiology Society.

We review our retention periods for personal information on a regular basis. We are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory obligations.

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity, or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you may hold with us.

1.5 What is our legal basis for processing your personal data?

Our lawful basis for processing your general personal data under article 6 of GDPR is as follows: 

Consent of the data subject - We will directly ask for your consent to process data; 

  • When you sign up for our regular newsletter on our website(s).
  • When you register for membership of the Microbiology Society directly on our website(s) or through paper forms or over the phone.

Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject or to take steps to enter into a contract - We will collect and use your personal data in the following circumstances;

  • When you make a purchase on our website(s) so that we can process your payment, confirm transaction details (typically via email) and arrange delivery of the goods and services.
  • When you book tickets for events so that we can process your booking and any payments, arrange accommodation, and other activities.
  • When you apply for any Microbiology Society grant so we can process your application, and inform you of the outcome and make the relevant payment to you.

Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests of the data controller or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights or freedoms of the data subject;

  • We will use your personal data to process and facilitate your membership of the Microbiology Society received directly.  

1.6 Who has access to your information?

  • We will not sell or rent your information to third parties unless you have given your express consent for us to do so where required by law.
  • Third Party service providers working on our behalf: We may pass your information to our third-party service providers, agents, subcontractors and other associated organisations for the purposes of completing tasks and providing services to you on our behalf (for example to process website(s) payments, or to mail your copy of Microbiology Today each quarter). However, when we use third party service providers, we disclose only the personal information that is necessary to deliver the service and we have contracts that require them to keep your information secure and not to use it for their own direct marketing purposes.

Please be reassured that we will not release your information to third parties beyond the Microbiology Society and its member associations for them to use for their own direct marketing purposes, unless you have requested us to do so, or we are required to do so by law, for example, by a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime.

When you are using our secure online payment pages, your payment is processed by a third-party payment processor, who specialises in the secure online capture and processing of credit/debit card transactions. If you have any questions regarding secure transactions, please contact us.

We may transfer your personal information to a third party as part of a sale of some or all of our business and assets to any third party or as part of any business restructuring or reorganisation, or if we’re under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation or to enforce or apply our terms of use or to protect the rights, property or safety of our supporters and customers. However, we will take steps with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected.

1.7 Your choices

You have a choice about whether or not you wish to receive information from us. If you do not want to receive direct communications from us about the opportunities we provide for microbiologists and our exciting products and services, then you can select your choices by ticking the relevant boxes situated on the form on which we collect your information. This may be a web form or a paper version.

We will not contact you for marketing purposes by email or phone unless you have given your prior consent.

We will not contact you for marketing purposes by post if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted.

You can change your marketing preferences at any time by registering online here, or by contacting us by email: info@microbiologysociety.org. Alternatively, you can telephone us on 020 7685 2400.

1.8 How you can access and update your information

The accuracy of your information is important to us.

You can review and correct the information that we hold about you by logging in or registering for an online account here. Alternatively, if you change email address, or notice that any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, you can also email us at: info@microbiologysociety.org, or write to us at: Microbiology Society, Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JU, or telephone us on 020 7685 2400.

You have the right to ask for a copy of the information the Microbiology Society holds about you by writing or contacting us by any of the methods listed above.

The Microbiology Society has 30 calendar days in which to respond to your request.

There is no charge for such requests.

Security precautions in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of your information

When you give us personal information, we take steps to ensure that it’s treated securely. Any sensitive information (such as credit or debit card details) is encrypted and protected with the following software 128 Bit encryption on SSL. When you are on a secure page, a lock icon will appear on the bottom of web browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.

Non-sensitive details (your email address etc.) are transmitted normally over the Internet, and this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your information, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems. Where we have given (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our website(s), you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone.

1.9 Profiling

We may analyse your personal information to create a profile of your interests and preferences so that we can contact you with information relevant to you. We may make use of additional information about you when it is available from external sources to help us do this effectively. We may also use your personal information to detect and reduce fraud and credit risk.

1.10 Use of 'cookies'

Like many other websites, the Microbiology Society website(s) uses cookies. 'Cookies' are small pieces of information sent by an organisation to your computer and stored on your hard drive to allow that website to recognise you when you visit. They collect statistical data about your browsing actions and patterns and do not identify you as an individual. For example, we use cookies to store your country preference. This helps us to improve our website(s) and deliver a better, more personalised service.

It is possible to switch off cookies by setting your browser preferences. For more information on how to switch off cookies on your computer, visit our full cookies policy. Turning cookies off may result in a loss of functionality to some areas of our website(s).

1.11 Links to other websites

Our website(s) may contain links to other websites run by other organisations. This privacy policy applies only to our website(s)‚ so we encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit. We cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of other sites even if you access them using links from our website(s).

In addition, if you were linked to our website(s) from a third-party site, we cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of the owners and operators of that third-party site, and recommend that you check the policy of that third-party site.

1.12 16 or Under

We are concerned to protect the privacy of children aged 16 or under. We do not process any data for those aged under 16 without their parents/guardian’s explicit permission. If you are aged 16 or under‚ please get your parent/guardian's permission beforehand whenever you provide us with personal information.

1.13 Transferring your information outside of Europe

As part of the services offered to you through this website(s), the information which you provide to us may be transferred to countries outside the European Union (“EU”). By way of example, this may happen if any of our servers are from time to time located in a country outside of the EU. These countries may not have similar data protection laws to the UK. By submitting your personal data, you’re agreeing to this transfer, storing or processing. If we transfer your information outside of the EU in this way, we will take steps to ensure that appropriate security measures are taken with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this policy.

If you use our services while you are outside the EU, your information may be transferred outside the EU in order to provide you with those services.

1.14 How to make a complaint?

To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance contact the Microbiology Society Data Protection Officer via email at: info@microbiologysociety.org, or write to us at: Microbiology Society, Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JU, or telephone us on 020 7685 2400.

If this does not resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office on 03031231113 or via email: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

1.15 Further processing

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Privacy Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions.

1.16 Review of this Policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.

This policy was last updated in April 2018.