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Data Protection Statement

Alumni data protection

The Development and Alumni Relations Team (DARO) endeavour to support and build mutually beneficial relationships with our global alumni community of over 80,000 alumni. We look to provide a wide range of services to both alumni and current students who have chosen to become part of the Aston university family. We take our duty to process your personal data very seriously. This policy explains how we collect, manage, use and protect the personal data you provide us with. If you would like more information or you would like to change the way we communicate with you please contact us here:

Email: alumniinfo@aston.ac.uk

Post: Development and Alumni Relations Office, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET

Phone:0121 204 4560      

Your personal data is protected by UK legislation, specifically the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) 2003.

What information does Aston collect about me?

Personal information is collected directly from you when you become an alumnus/a, for example when you return the information from a direct mail campaign, enquire about an event we are hosting, when you participate in an event, volunteer or make a donation to the University. The information we collect may be in person, over the phone, online or on paper.

The typical information we collect from you will include your name, both postal and email address, phone number, date of birth and bank details if you are choosing to support the University with a financial donation. Very occasionally we may need to collect information that the Data Protection Act considers to be of a ‘sensitive’. In such instances we would be very clear with you that we wish to collect this information, our reason for collecting such information, and we would only do so after receiving specific consent or permission from you.

As a University we are required to provide information to external contractors working on behalf of the Higher Education sector. For example the Educational Survey Agency (HESA), who may want to make contact with you from time to time. Any of the information that we provide to them will be treated confidentially and with sensitivity as part of the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education report (DLHE) or the Graduate Outcomes Survey.

We may also receive information about you from other sources, as explained below.

How is my information used?

We collect this information in order to process your requests and to also keep in touch with you about the work the DARO team at Aston are doing. Examples include:

  • To provide you with services, products or information you have requested like degree certificate information
  • To process donations other payments and verify financial transactions
  • To process Gift Aid donations
  • To send fundraising appeals, alumni publications and surveys, event notifications, programs that are to be hosted by an academic or other university departments
  • To provide you with information regarding alumni groups and chapters which may be of interest to you
  • To record any contact we have with you and to help us ensure that we are providing you with the most appropriate communications based on your selected preferences
  • To notify you of any changed to our policies
  • From time to time we may choose to use external data sources to increase or enhance the information we hold about you. Further details can be found in the following section ‘How do you work with third parties in processing my personal data?’

How do you work with third parties in processing my personal data?

We work with a number of third parties who collate data on our behalf as well as for their own use. The third party organisations that we currently receive data from are JustGiving, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), Hubbub, Blackbaud. These organisations will each have their own data protection and privacy policies which you should be aware of before signing up.

We may also use other companies to provide services and to process your personal data on our behalf, including delivering postal mail, delivering telephone calls to our supporters, processing credit card payments, and analysing supporter trends to help us offer the most relevant communications to your interests. We will only provide these companies with the information they need to deliver the specific service and we ensure that your data is treated with the same level of care as if we were handling it directly ourselves.

Your information may also be used to ensure that we comply with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of fundraising practice, which stipulates that we must take steps to assess and manage the risks to our work and reputation with regard to certain levels of donation. More information can be found at www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk

We may make use of profiling and screening methods to produce relevant communications and to provide our supporters with a better experience. Profiling can help us target our resources more effectively through gaining insight into the background of our alumni and supporters and helping us to build relationships with our supporters in line with their interests and capacity to support.

To do this we may use additional external sources of data to increase the information we hold about you. This may include obtaining details of changes of address, date of birth, telephone numbers and other contact details, and information related to your wealth. It may also include information from public registers and other publicly available sources such as Companies House, newspapers and magazines.

How Secure is the information I give you?

At Aston we take care of your data seriously and we make sure that we protect your personal information in a range of ways including secure serves and firewalls. We follow payment card industry (PCI) security compliance guidelines when processing credit card payments and any personal information transferred between locations will be both encrypted and password protected.

How long will you keep my information?

We will retain your information for as long as you have an active relationship with Aston. If you choose to end this relationship or request to receive no further contact, we will retain some basic information in order to avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future. We also hold this information to ensure that we don’t accidently duplicate the information.

How do I request a freedom of information report?

To make a freedom of information request, that will detail the information we hold about you, please send your request in writing to the Aston University Data Protection Officer at the following address: alumniinfo@aston.ac.uk

We aim to issue an initial response to all the queries we receive within five working days, and will offer a full response to all freedom of information requests within 28 working days.