With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), never have so many Privacy Policies actually been read!
As a celebration of these generally dull documents, we thought we would like to try and make ours a bit more interesting to help everyone understand what we as Beagles do to ensure your data is as safe as it can be.
We hope you take the time to read it as it honestly does affect us all.
With the GDPR introduction, we now have to make sure that our Policy is ‘concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible.’ You’ll be pleased to hear this Policy is honestly about as short as we can make it.
We recommend that individuals using the public forum don’t use their real name, but choose a username that won’t identify them. The forum is a public place that anyone can use so if you don’t want your laundry out there for all to see and for your own protection do make sure you block out any identifying names, addresses, Court numbers, debt figures, names of other parties or any other things that may give you or your opponent away.
We collect and store the information we need to operate our websites; to help us, help you, help yourself.
ABOUT US – THE BORING BIT (Tl;dr – go look it up on the internet)
The site is owned and operated by LegalBeagles Group Ltd (‘us’ or ‘we’). Most of us are involved on the LegalBeagles forum and spend a lot of time trying to point people in the right direction for their issues.
Our company is registered in England and Wales under registered number 09220332. Our registered office address is Cornelius House, 178 – 180 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2DJ. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. We have a Data Protection Officer, Louise McKay, who is equally as busy, but should you need to, she can be contacted by email at email@example.com .
WHAT INFO DO WE COLLECT AND WHY?
We collect the minimum amount of information about you we can and we won’t keep it if you no longer want to be a member, although we’ll be sad to see you go.
When you register with us you provide your name, your email address, your IP address, create a password (this is encrypted so we can’t see it) and a username, for your membership. We don’t ask for your address, date of birth or other more sensitive personal information.
All this information is required to register as a member or subscribe as a law firm. If you are not happy to provide this information, you will not be able to sign up with us, which would be a shame.
If there is the ability to upgrade your membership on our websites or subscribe as a law firm to our comparison site JustBeagle, we will also collect billing information including name, contact email address and credit card details. We do not process, store or transmit your card details but use a third-party PCI compliant payment processor (the Payment Card Security Standard). The authorised third party payment companies we use are Stripe who have confirmed they are GDPR compliant and Paypal who haven’t, but it is unlikely they will not deal with this bearing in mind they could lose all EU customers! These companies handle all credit card information on our behalf.
We use Google analytics to help us see what pages you seem to like on our sites so we can decide what areas we may be able to develop to help you. Google analytics aren’t collecting any personal data when they create the analytics for us except IP addresses.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE INFORMATION?
Any information that you give us will only be used to enable you to use the website and to fulfil your requests. Your username and email address will be stored, together with a record of any contact you have with us on our secure UK based servers.
We do share personal data with authorised third parties, such as our secure cloud hosting company, or our IT support, who have been checked to ensure they will also protect your data as well as we do and that they are also GDPR compliant.
There may be a situation where we are legally obliged to provide personal information to a Regulatory Authority, or if we were ordered to by the Courts, but that is the only time we would disclose any information without your written authority to do so.
Using those pesky analytics also allows us to see what our members and users are finding interesting and enables us to tailor our sites just for you. They don’t collect any of your personal information though, so don’t panic.
Most importantly, holding your personal information allows us to contact you. This is really useful if you have posted on the forum and want to know when someone has also posted on the thread, or even just to keep in touch about things we are doing. Don’t worry we won’t be e-mailing you all the time about other things we’re doing, unless you ask us to.
You can always change your mind about receiving any marketing e-mails from us by going to your settings page on the website or contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Or, if you prefer, you can always write us a letter. Our address is in the ABOUT US section above.
A BIT MORE ABOUT MARKETING
WE WON’T EVER SELL YOUR INFORMATION!
If you opt in to receive any marketing or e-mails from us, other than notifications telling you there has been a new post on a forum thread you have posted on, we will send you information about things we’re getting up to in the LegalBeagles Group Ltd.
We sometimes use Mailchimp if we are sending e-mails to large numbers of people. Mailchimp only uses the information that we share with them, so your e-mail address, which is stored securely on their servers.
You can always unsubscribe from any Mailchimp e-mails by clicking the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the e-mail. Mailchimp will automatically manage the unsubscribe list, if you no longer want to hear from us. Mailchimp tracks things in our e-mails whether they have been opened or if you click through to another link in the e-mail. This lets us see how many e-mails are opened and what links seem to be of interest to you.
Those little cookies get everywhere and will always be around to help us understand, measure and improve the performance of our websites. The ones we use are anonymous so no personal information will be collected by the cookies we use other than possibly an IP address.
Sometimes you may see one of our ads on someone else’s website. Cookies may let us know if an ad has been clicked that took you to one of our sites. You can prevent some cookies from tracking you but you’ll have to do this through your own browser security settings and updating your device settings.
Don’t forget you can always change your mind about receiving marketing information from us by going to your settings page and ticking or unticking the marketing box, or by contacting us directly by e-mail or snail mail. The contact e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and our postal address is in the ABOUT YOU section above.
Sharing your information
For our Company to operate effectively we do sometimes have to use third parties to help us. This could be something like Mailchimp, card payment processors or an IT specialist.
We will only ever pass personal data to them, if they can show they take data security as seriously as we do. We check contracts to make sure they meet the requirements of GDPR and PECR and that they will only use the information we provide, for the purpose we asked and not to do what they want with it! We can carry out checks that they are only doing what they say.
The only other time we would share your personal information is if we are legally obliged to.
Storing your information
We hold your personal data on our computers and servers. We will only keep your information for as long as we need to whether that is while you are a member or subscriber to any of our websites, to comply with the law or to make sure we don’t contact you when you have asked us not to.
We take security very seriously and try to ensure your data is as safe as it can be. You also have a part to play, make sure you protect your account passwords and keep your contact details up to date. Remember our forums are public. If you don’t want people to know it’s you with a spot on your bottom, don’t post a photo with your name and identifying tattoos on our forum sites. We joke but seriously, do make sure you block out identifying information on any posts you make and create a username that people won’t know you from.
If your contact information changes you need to update it in your settings page on the site. As we have only limited personal data on all you lovely people, if we don’t have your correct e-mail address we have no way of contacting you. If you update your information we will update it with any authorised third parties we deal with.
We use a hosting service, which is a secure cloud hosting service with servers located in the UK and Microsoft Azure cloud services, both of which have the highest levels of security and they have the certificates to prove it!
All our computers are locked and need our fingerprints, or a ridiculously long password to open them, so unless someone chops our fingers off, we have done everything we can to keep the information safe on our computers.
If any of our authorised third parties that we deal with have servers based outside the EU, we make sure they have certified compliance with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework at the very least. Except for Paypal, we will only deal with third parties in the US who have also confirmed they comply with GDPR or who do not receive any personal information from us.
Our hardworking staff are nagged incessantly about security and we have policies in place, that they have to follow, to keep your data as safe and secure as possible. We try really hard through our staff and our internal policies to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of any personal data under our control.
We work hard to make sure your information is safe and secure but the internet is not infallible and mistakes can happen. If a security breach did occur and your data was affected we will notify you as soon as possible. Certain types of breaches also have to be reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Once we have investigated how and why the breach happened we will review our own procedures.
If we discover there is something we could have done to prevent the breach we will review our policies to try and ensure it doesn’t happen again. We will also beat our staff and ration the biscuits (not really but our staff will be informed of any changes in policy)! Once the matter has been investigated we will also let you know the outcome.
YOUR RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN AND OTHER RIGHTS YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD
We only keep your information for as long as it is needed. If your contact information changes you need to update it in your settings page on the site. As we have only limited personal data on all you lovely people, if we don’t have your correct e-mail address we have no way of contacting you even when you want us to.
If you want us to forget you completely then you need to write to us – a signed letter attached to an e-mail is fine if you prefer speed over snail mail. We will then delete any personal data we hold on you.
If you have posted on any of our forum sites we will remove any identifying details from any posts that you have made and amend the username to Guest. By using the forum, you have agreed to us doing this. Threads would be very confusing if random posts were removed and we are here to guide people with their legal issues and hopefully help others in similar situations.
Asking us to delete your personal info is fine but be aware if you have used Paypal or Stripe you will need to contact them directly to have your data removed. We also can’t delete any confirmation of payment details we have received from Paypal or Stripe as we need this for the tax man!
You also have the right to access a copy of the information we hold about you (known as a subject access request). Hopefully you’ve gathered the information we hold is minimal, but if you want a copy of the information, or have any other questions or requests then you need to contact our Data Protection Officer Louise McKay by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter at our office address in the ABOUT YOU section.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
If you have managed to get this far you have done really well. Maybe your interest has been peaked in all the excitement and you can’t get enough of Data Protection laws. You can overload on more information about your rights at the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk
REALLY THE LAST THING, WE PROMISE
If you have a genuine concern or complaint regarding our use of your data, we hope you will contact our Data Protection officer Louise McKay at email@example.com or you can go to the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk or write to them at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or phone on 0303 123 1113.
Last Modified 09/04/2019