Data Protection Policy

About the Society

The Society for Nautical Research is committed to protecting all its members’ privacy and security. This Data Protection Policy explains how and why we use your personal data and is intended to help ensure that you remain informed and in control of your information.

The Society for Nautical Research was founded in 1910 to promote research into nautical antiquities, into matters relating to sea-faring and shipbuilding in all ages and among all nations, into the language and customs of the sea and into other subjects of nautical interest, to publish the useful results of such research and otherwise advance public education in such subjects. (Memorandum of Association, 1993)

The Society is a charitable company limited by guarantee (registration number 2848095) registered with the Charity Commission – number 1026357. The Council sets the policies of the Society and these are administered by the Chairman, the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer. The governing document of the charity is the ‘Memorandum and Articles of Association’. There are no restrictions imposed by the governing document except the objects of the charity as stated above.

The Society is funded by a combination of income secured through investments, publishing, fundraising and subscriptions. Predominantly a voluntary organization, the Society is governed by a revolving Council, which in turn elects the Honorary officers. The Council and the Honorary officers are the Society’s Trustees.

The Registered Office address of the Society for Nautical Research is Devonshire House, 60 Goswell Road, London EC1M 7AD.

Personal Data We Hold

The Society will only hold data about its Members for the purposes of achieving its legitimate charitable objectives. We collect data you provide to us, when you communicate with us, apply for Membership, Grants or Prizes, sign up to receive communications from us, make a donation, apply for employment, volunteer or enter into a contract with us. For Example we may hold:

  • Person details (name, gender, address, email or telephone);
  • Financial information (e.g. credit/debit card or direct debit details for membership fees, and whether any donations are gift aided);
  • Your response to a special Society event, such as a conference or presentation.
  • Details of the ways in which you wish to be contacted by us.

Your activities and involvement with the Society will result in personal data being generated. This could include:

  • Details of your areas of interest and/or expertise;
  • Your attendance at special events e.g. the AGM or Anderson Medal award ceremony;
  • Where you have asked us for information or written to us;
  • Your purchasing or subscription history
  • How you’ve helped us e.g. volunteering or donating money to us;
  • Where you have applied for Membership, employment, a prize or grant with us;
  • Participation in surveys.

The Society will store members’ data securely in electronic or manual form, held by officers, secretaries of the Society or similar third parties, and may use this information in the following ways:

  • To process annual subscription payments;
  • To distribute Society publications and news of events (in conjunction with the SNR website;
  • To send out governance information including minutes and agendas;
  • To update members’ information;
  • To facilitate the production of publications;
  • To help with fundraising;

Personal Data From Third Parties

On occasions we may collect personal data about people (e.g. if they are particularly well known or influential) from the media and other publically available sources. This may come from public databases (such as Companies House), news or other media. We do not normally collect or store special categories of personal data, such as medical or dietary requirements, but may do so if necessary, albeit on a temporary basis e.g. Victory dinner.


We use member’s personal data for administrative purposes including:

  • Receiving donations such as direct debits or gift-aid instructions;
  • Maintaining membership databases;
  • Processing membership subscriptions;
  • Managing our document and publications including our intellectual property rights;
  • Carrying out due diligence to meet our compliance duties e.g. accepting or giving financial support for acquisitions, grants, etc.;
  • Processing enquiries and requests for information;
  • Managing feedback, comments or complaints;
  • Helping members with their choices and preferences.

Internal Research And Profiling

Research and analysis of our membership is sometimes undertaken to determine the success of our publications, events and other activities we may provide.

Disclosing and sharing personal data

The Society will never sell data to any third parties but it does use third-party providers to deliver some of its services. The SNR currently shares data with the following in furtherance of the activities which have been specified above.

  • PayPal and Barclays Bank plc to process subscriptions and other purchases;
  • Taylor and Francis Group to distribute publications and newsletters;
  • The Burlington Group who manage our website and internal email accounts;

Information is transferred to data processors securely and we retain full responsibility for your personal data as the data controller. Those activities which are carried out under a contract are done so imposing strict requirements on our suppliers to keep your personal data confidential and secure. We may share your personal data where required to do so for crime prevention or for taxation purposes (for example with the police and HMRC) or where otherwise required to do so by any other regulators or by law (e.g. the Charity Commission or Companies House).


As a member of the Society you have provided us with your name and address in order that publications, such as The Mariner’s Mirror may be sent to you. You have a choice as to whether you want to receive or continue to receive these messages. You are also able to select how you may wish to receive them and to change your preferences at any time.

When you receive a communication from us, we may collect information about your response and this may affect how we communicate with you in future.

Data Security

We employ a variety of physical and technical measures to protect information we hold and to prevent unauthorised access to, or use or disclosure of your personal data. Electronic data and databases are stored on secure computer systems and we control who has access to information – using both physical and electronic means.

Payment Security

If you use a payment card to donate, to pay membership subscriptions or to purchase anything else from us on-line, we will pass your payment card details securely to our payment provider.

Storage of your personal data

The Society is wholly based in the UK and store data within the European Economic Area. If an organisation which provides data processing services to us under contract and is based outside the EEA, we will only allow them to do so if your data is adequately protected.

Retention of your personal data

We will only retain your personal data for as long as it is required for the purposes for which we collect it (e.g. we have a genuine and legitimate reason and we’re not harming any of your rights or interests). This will depend on our legal obligations and the nature and type of information and the reason for which we have collected it. For example, should you ask us not to send you communications emails, we will stop storing your email address for such purposes; however we need to keep a record of your preference. We will retain personal and financial data for a period of six years after the initial point of provision.

We will continually review what information we hold and will delete personal data which is no longer required.

Control of your personal data

The Society wants to ensure you remain in control of your personal data and that you understand your legal rights, which are:

  • The right to know whether we hold your personal data and, if we do so, to be sent a copy of the personal data that we hold about you ( a ‘subject access request’) within one month;
  • The right to have your personal data erased (though this will not apply where it is necessary for us to continue to use data for a lawful reason);
  • The right to have inaccurate personal data rectified;
  • The right to object to your personal data being used for selective communications or profiling; and (where technically feasible) the right to be given a copy of personal data that you have provided to us in a common electronic format for your re-use.

There are some exceptions to the rights above and, although we will always try to respond to any instructions you may give us about our handling of your personal information, there may be situations where we are unable to meet your requirements in full.


Should you have any concerns about how we have used (‘processed’) your personal data, in the first instance you can contact the Honorary Secretary direct – who will deal with the matter or pass it to the appropriate person.

If you are not happy with our response, or you believe that your data protection or privacy rights have been infringed, you can complain to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office which regulates and enforces data protection law in the UK. Details of how to do this can be found at

Links to other sites

Our website contains links to other external websites. The Society is not responsible for the content or functionality of any such websites.

If a third party website requests personal data from you (e.g. in connection with an order for goods or services), the information you provide will not be covered by this privacy policy. We suggest you read the privacy notice of any other website before providing and personal information.

Changes to this privacy policy

The Society may amend this privacy policy from time to time to ensure it remains up-to-date and continues to reflect how and why we use your personal data. The current version of our privacy policy will always be posted on our website.

Any questions you may have in relation to this privacy policy, or how we use your personal data, should be sent to the Honorary Secretary, Alistair Roach, email –

This Data Protection Policy was approved by the Council of the Society for Nautical Research in September 2018 and will be reviewed no later than 2021.