Privacy Policy and Cookies

This Privacy Notice explains what the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) does with your personal information. This includes what you tell us about yourself, what we learn by having you as a visitor, customer, member, employee, contractor or supplier of services, and the choices you make about the marketing you ask us to send to you. It also explains how BSSS does this, how the law protects you and outlines your privacy rights. We update this notice regularly in accordance with changes in privacy law and when our activities or practices change (updated October 2020).

1. Who We Are

The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is a limited company, registered in England and Wales No. 7110309 and registered charity (No. 1134456).

BSSS is an established international membership organisation and charity committed to the study of soil in its widest aspects. The society brings together those working within academia, practitioners implementing soil science in industry and all those working with or with an interest in soils. Research on soils and enhanced understanding and engagement with soils is essential for agricultural, landscaping, construction, remediation, conservation and archaeological projects as well as driving future policy direction.


2. Questions, Concerns and Rights

Questions about how we collect, store and use personal data or concerns about how it is managed should be
directed to the BSSS Office.

Contact us to:
• Update or rectify inaccurate/incomplete personal data
• Change your marketing and contact preferences
• Object to us using your personal data
There may be legal or other official reasons why we need to keep or use your data.
• You would like us to transfer a copy of your data to another company.

If you require a copy of your personal data please contact the Data Protection Co-ordinator:
• phone: +44 (0)1234 752917
• email:
• letter: Data Protection, British Society of Soil Science, Building 42a, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL

If we are still not able to resolve the matter you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office: they will direct you to us in the first instance.


3. Types of Personal Information & Where We Collect It From

Contact Where you live and how to contact you
  • Membership Application
  • Your membership profile
  • Phone, email or letter correspondence
  • Event ticket purchase and /or abstract submission
  • Grant application
  • Registering to receive marketing
  • Social media posts
Transactional Details about payments to your account
  • Membership Application
  • Your membership profile
  • Membership renewal
  • Event ticket purchase
  • Grant application
  • Purchase of ad-hoc products and services
Communications What we learn about you from letters, emails, conversations between us and social media posts
  • Membership Application
  • Your membership profile
  • Phone, email or letter correspondence
  • Event ticket purchase and / or abstract submission
  • Registering to receive marketing
  • Purchase of ad-hoc products and services
  • Social media posts
Contractual Details about products or services we provide to you or are provided to us
  • Membership Application
  • Membership renewals
  • Event ticket purchase and / or abstract submission
Usage data Data about how you use our services
  • Your membership profile
Socio-demographic Details about your work or profession, nationality & education
  • Membership Application
  • Your membership profile
Categorical Gender & Ethnicity
  • Membership Application
  • Your membership profile
Documentary Data Details about you that are stored in documents in different formats, or copies of them, e.g. CV or degree certificate
  • Membership Application
  • Your membership profile
Consents Your marketing preferences
  • Membership Application
  • Your membership profile


4. Why We Collect Personal Data

We are permitted only to use personal information if we have an acceptable reason to do so. This includes sharing it outside BSSS. The law says we must have one or more of these reasons:

Contractual When you become a member If you fail to provide certain information when requested, we may not be able to offer you a membership contract, perform the contract or comply with legal obligations resulting in the cancellation of contract
Legal Duty Meeting our obligations under Health & Safety and other legislation  
Legitimate Interest When we have business reason to use your information. Membership renewals, important society updates to policies etc
Consent We only market to you if you have consented, except on few occasions where we rely on legitimate interests You can withdraw your consent and update your marketing preferences at any time without there being an impact on the contract you have with us

Collection and Use of Personal Data

We only use your data for the purposes for which it was collected, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason which is compatible with the original purpose. Your personal data may be used without your knowledge or consent, where this is allowable by law.

In line with the BSSS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, we collect personal information related to gender, ethnicity and nationality. This information allows the BSSS Council to assess the strategies it needs to implement to support members from all backgrounds.


For future research purposes which are in the public interest we store a limited amount of personal details permanently but please bear in mind that these records remain confidential for a period of 100 years.


5. Sharing Your Personal Data

Within BSSS We share your information with our employees where this is necessary, such as for internal administration. Your information will only be shared with such employees as reasonably necessary for these purposes.
With third parties

We have a number of trusted partners with whom we share your data to deliver our services.

For example:

  • Webhosting, membership software and marketing
  • Transaction details with companies who provide our payment services
  • Bank account details with our direct debit collector
  • Event management – hotel bookings, conference bookings, dietary needs
  • IT Department for the purpose operating our business, support services and site security
Where we contract a company to undertake a task for us, they are referred to as a third party. We have a contract with them that includes how your personal data will be handled and treated in accordance with the law.

We will share your personal information with third parties where we have a statutory obligation.

For example:

  • HM Revenue & Customs, regulators and other authorities
  • Direct Debit scheme
Membership renewals, important society updates to policies etc
At your request To companies with whom you have asked us to share your data This may include banks, prospective employers, other society members
Exceptional Circumstances

Where we believe that the disclosure is:

  • Required by law or in order to comply with judicial proceedings, court orders or legal or regulatory proceedings and fraud prevention
  • Necessary to protect the safety of our employees, yourself, property or the public
  • Necessary for the prevention or detection of crime, including fraud protection and credit risk reduction
We may disclose personal data to authorities where it is needed in relation to legal claims, to protect interests, where you are not capable of giving your consent or where you have already made the information public. On these occasions, we would ensure we are proportionate in the amount of data disclosed


6. Website and Cookies

All membership applications, membership renewals and event applications are processed through a third-party system, Wild Apricot. In order for members and visitors to access their profiles on the BSSS website, all users agree automatically to the Wild Apricot terms of use. Online payment is taken by PayPal, via a secure connection, who operate as the Data Controller within this process and are PCI compliant. BSSS do not take or record payment details via our website and your payment data will therefore be subject to PayPal’s Privacy Policy.


Cookies are small pieces of text information sent to your browser when visiting a website. We use cookies to store information about your visit and enhance the functionality of your visit. No personal information or information that could be used to identify individuals is held in these cookies.

Social Cookies

Our website is integrated with the following social platforms which independently may set cookies on your computer:
• Facebook
• Twitter
• LinkedIn
• YouTube

Please note that we do not have any control over how the information in these cookies is used nor do we have access to it. Please refer to the cookie policies of the relevant provider for more information.


7. Data Security

Special Category Data Handling

Certain data requires special handling because if disclosed accidently, it could have a harmful effect on you. This includes sensitive data such as race and ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, genetic data, biometric data, health or sexual orientation. As such, we will only use this data with your consent unless it is in your vital interest (threat to your life), it is in our legitimate interests, where there is a legal obligation or a contractual commitment.

Security of All Data

We use Internet standard encryption technology (“SSL” or “Secure Socket Layer” technology) to encode personal data that you send to us when placing an application through the website. To check that you are in a secure area of the Website before sending personal data to us, please check that your browser displays an image of a closed padlock or an unbroken key.

However, please note that whilst we take appropriate technical and organisational measures to safeguard the personal data that you provide to us, no transmission over the Internet can ever be guaranteed secure. Consequently, please note that we cannot guarantee the security of any personal data that you transfer over the Internet to us.

We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that all personal information is treated securely and in accordance with this notice. All information you provide to us is stored securely, including in a physically secure environment, on our secure servers. Access to your personal information will be restricted to such staff and other individuals as are necessary for the purposes for which the information was collected. All data is stored in the UK but should any data be transferred outside the EEA appropriate protections are in place.