The whole picture
When you visit a website, pretty much any website, information is passed back and forth between your computer and the website. It goes two ways, a bit like a conversation. If you went into a shop, or museum, or café, and weren’t allowed to converse with anyone, life would be a lot harder. It’s a bit like that with websites - if information weren’t shared, browsing the internet wouldn’t be as easy as it is.
More than just cookies
When you visit an online retailer and add something to your basket, you are sharing information. If you leave that website, and come back, the basket is still waiting for you, just the same as when you left it. On another website, you go to log in, and you don’t even have to type your username, or e-mail address; that’s because there’s something on the website that remembers. That something is called a cookie. Terrible name. Useless name. But that’s what they’re called.
The website, and the organisation behind it, now has information about you. You might not think it important at all, and you might think it very important indeed. You are trusting that website not to be careless with your information, to look after it responsibly, and not to use it or share it without your consent. That trust is underpinned by an agreement, and upheld by the law.
Some organisations stand to profit from sharing your information – your habits, your interests, your details – but they should only do so with your consent. That’s not to say all organisations abide by that, or that they make it easy for you to express exactly what you agree to, and what you don’t. We strive to be as transparent as possible.
Don’t blame it on the cookie
Cookies aren’t the problem. Cookies are like the waiter who remembers your favourite drink, and how you like it. The behaviour of organisations is the problem.
We can’t do much about other organisations – but we can tell you what we do:
We use the useful cookies to make interacting with our website easier for you.
We store any information on you carefully.
We store no more information on you than necessary, or than you agree to.
We never share anyone's information with a third party for profit.
The only personal information we collect on our website is what you submit via the Contact Form - your name, e-mail address and, optionally, your telephone number. This is for the sole purpose of being able to reply to you. It's not shared with any other party, and it's only kept for 1 year, then we delete that record, or sooner if you ask us to.
Other personal information we might collect is from people making donations to our charity. In that case, the information we might need is your name, e-mail address. address and for Gift Aid donations - confirmation that you are a UK taxpayer who pays at least as much in tax as the value of your donation. That information is kept for a period of 3 years (unless you ask us to delete it sooner) and is not shared with anyone except HMRC, if required.
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your information. We'll be happy to answer them.