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GDPR: The Way Forward

GDPR: The Way Forward

All clubs and societies are having to make changes to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations or "GDPR" as it is known. Ours is no exception.

From the Membership Secretary:-

As I reported to the AGM, the recent exercise in getting you to email your agreement to the Society holding your details was a short term measure to give us time to consider a long term solution.
One of the major requirements of the regulations is that the Society must be able to show that it has the consent of members to hold their personal information. Holding the consent in the form of emails has proved to be very messy and difficult to manage and would become more difficult as we implement the other requirements which we are obliged to do. I have decided that this prime requirement is best satisfied by holding your consent in paper form and to that end I have amended the Membership Form and I shall use it as confirmation of your consent.
The minimum personal information required by the Society is your name (after all we do like to know to whom we are talking) and a means of contacting you. The Society’s preferred method of communication is email. At present we only have one member who does not have email (see note at end).
Your telephone numbers are optional, although they are a useful backup to email.
In a similar vein your address is also optional. Knowing your address gives the Society an idea of just how far spread our membership is.
These details are held by me as Membership Secretary and are not disclosed to anyone.
The Society likes to publish names and photographs of the winners of the annual photographic competition, members who have been involved in external activities associated with the Society and the Who’s Who Gallery. These details are published in the Members Area of our website which is protected by password access. Under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulations 2016 the Society is required to gain your consent to publish these details. The new Membership Form has space for you to give your consent to having your name published and has space for your consent for your photograph. These two areas must be signed or deleted.
Your choice will remain in force until such time as you change your mind by sending an email to membership@maidenhead-astro.net
The Society holds two registers, the first being the Members List holding the information supplied by Members and the second, the Friends List, holding the email address and possibly the name of individuals who have attended one of our public events and have agreed to receive information about our Society. Both registers will be in electronic form (the email list and back-up) with the authority for the members being the Membership form and the authority for the friends being the signing-in list that visitors sign when attending one of our events. It is important that the signing-in sheet clearly states that by providing an email address the visitor is agreeing to receive information from the Society.
My reading of the regulations is that I may only hold personal details of current members and that I must remove all traces of ex-members (hence the move to paper records). My decision to remove a member from our register is based on a simple process. Subscriptions are due every September. Most members are paid-up by December. If a member has not paid their subscription by January I send out a ‘Missing You’ email. Following that if no response has been received then in May I remove the member’s details from the Full Members register, remove the member’s email address from the Members’ List and transfer it to the Friends’ List. At this stage the Membership Form with the member’s consent is also moved to the Friends’ File. This allows the Society to continue to send information on our activities. Upon re-joining the member will be required to complete a new Membership Form and the above changes will be reversed.
If a Friend withdraws their consent then their details will be removed from the electronic files and blanked out on the signing-in sheet.

Note. Log-in to the Members Area of this Web site requires you 'enter your email address'. Members who wish to access the Members pages but do not not have an email address - or who do not wish to share their email address with the Society - should contact the webmaster to arrange for password access instead