Privacy policy

1. Introduction

The privacy and security of your personal information is extremely important to the Prehistoric Society. This privacy notice explains how and why we use your personal data, to make sure you stay informed and can be confident about giving us your information.

We keep this notice updated and published on our website to show you all the things we do with your personal data. This policy applies if you're a member of the Prehistoric Society, call or write to us.  
We never sell or rent your personal data and will only share it with organisations we work with when it's necessary and the privacy and security of your data is assured.  

2. Who are we?

In this notice, whenever you see the words 'we', 'us', 'our', or 'Society' it refers to The Prehistoric Society. The Society is a Registered Charity (No. 1000567) that promotes prehistoric research, facilitates access to the results of this research and recognises excellence through its Awards and Grants. It acts as an important advocate for prehistoric archaeology.
The Society is also a Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 2532446) which carries out a range of activities which generate income, including publication and events.
If you have any questions in relation to this privacy notice or how we use your personal data they should be sent to, The Prehistoric Society, University College London, Institute of Archaeology, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY.

3. What personal data do we collect?

Your personal data (any information which identifies you, or which can be identified as relating to you personally for example, name, address, phone number, email address) will be collected and used by us. We only collect personal data in connection with specific activities such as membership administration, booking tickets, and donations.
You can give us your personal data by filling in forms, or by corresponding with us (by phone, email or by joining as a member).
This personal data you give us may include name, title, address, date of birth, age, email address, telephone numbers.

3.1. What personal data might you need to provide?

This includes information you will need to give when interacting with us, for example joining, buying a ticket, or communicating with us. For example:

  • Personal details (name, date of birth, email, address, telephone, and so on) when you join as a member  
  • Financial information (bank details where we need to refund you, and whether donations are gift-aided)
  • Information related to your research if you apply for a Grant.

3.2. Automatically collected data

Using our website or social media channels may result in us automatically collecting the following information:

  • Technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and if you access our website via your mobile device we will collect your unique phone identifier
  • Information about your visit, including, but not limited to the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) and query string, clickstream to, through and from our website (including date and time), products you viewed or searched for, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as but not limited to,scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), methods used to browse away from the page, and any phone number used to call our customer service number
  • Information about your purchases including but not limited to membership application ID, purchase ID, and ticket booking ID.
  • The terms that you use to search our website

3.3. Personal data created by your involvement with us

Your activities and involvement with us will result in personal data being created. This could include details of your membership and activities which you have taken part in.  
If you decide to donate to us then we'll keep records of when and how much you give to us.

4. How we use your personal data

We'll only use your personal data on relevant lawful grounds as permitted by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (from 25 May 2018), UK Data Protection Act and Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulation. Personal data provided to us will be used for the purpose or purposes outlined in any fair processing notice in a transparent manner at the time of collection or registration where appropriate, in accordance with any preferences you express. If asked by the Police, or any other regulatory or government authority investigating suspected illegal activities, we may need to provide your personal data.

Your personal data may be collected and used to help us deliver our charitable activities, help us raise funds, or complete your order or request. Below are the main uses of your data which depend on the nature of our relationship with you and how you interact with our various services, websites and activities.

4.1. Marketing communications

We'll always act upon your choice of how you want to receive communications (for example, by email, post or phone). However, there are some communications that we need to send. These are essential to fulfil our promises to you as a member, donor or buyer of goods or services from the Society. Examples are:

  • Transaction messaging, such as membership confirmations and ticket booking confirmations;
  • Membership-related mailings such as renewal reminders, PAST, notification of events open to members, the Proceedings of The Prehistoric Society and notice of our Annual General Meeting.

4.2. Membership including newsletters

We use the personal data you provide as a Prehistoric Society member to service your membership. This includes sending renewal information to annual members by mail and email, sending PAST and the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, and information about our Annual General Meeting.

4.3. Fundraising, donations and legacy pledges

If you make a donation, we'll use any personal information you give us to record the nature and amount of your gift, claim gift aid where you've told us you're eligible and thank you for your gift. If you interact or have a conversation with us, we'll note anything relevant and store this securely on our systems.
If you've told us that you're planning to, or thinking about, leaving us a gift in your will, we'll use the information you give us to keep a record of this – including the purpose of your gift, if you let us know this.  
If we have a conversation or interaction with you (or with someone who contacts us in relation to your will, for example your solicitor), we'll note these interactions throughout your relationship with us, as this helps to ensure your gift is directed as you wanted.
Charity Commission rules require us to be assured of the provenance of funds and any conditions attached to them. We follow a due diligence process which involves researching the financial soundness, credibility, reputation and ethical principles of donors who've made, or are likely to make, a significant donation to the Society.
As part of this process we'll carry out research using publicly available information and professional resources. If this applies to you, we'll remind you about the process when you make your donation.

4.4. Major donors

If you're a current or prospective major donor, we'll give you a bespoke privacy notice with further details of how we look after your data.

4.5. Retail sales and events management

We process customer data in order to fulfil event bookings and ticket sales. Your data will be used to communicate with you throughout the process, including to confirm we've received your order and payment, to clarify where we might need more detail to fulfil an order or booking, or to resolve issues that might arise with your order or booking. We may also hold dietary requirements for special event catering.

4.6. Research and other Grants

If you apply for one of our grants we will collect information about your project and, should you be successful, financial information. Your data will be used in the consideration of the application, and in due course to make and manage payments to you.

5. Online data and e-commerce

5.1. Cookies

Cookies are small text files stored on your computer when you visit certain websites. We use first party cookies (cookies that we have set, that can only be read by our website) to personalise your online experience. We also use third party cookies (cookies that are set by an organisation other than the owner of the website) for the purposes of website measurement and targeted advertising. You can control the use of cookies via your browser.

5.2. Links to other websites

Our website may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks, advertisers and affiliates. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and privacy notices and that we don't accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites. This privacy notice applies solely to the personal data collected by the Prehistoric Society.

6. Keeping your information

We will only use and store your information for as long as it is required for the purposes it was collected for. How long it will be stored for depends on the information in question, what it is being used for and, sometimes, statutory legal requirements.

6.1. How we secure your data

Information system and data security is imperative to us to ensure that we are keeping our members safe. We operate a robust process for managing and protecting new and existing systems which ensures that they are up to date and secure against threats.  We will always keep your information physically secure to maintain your confidentiality.

6.2. Disclosing and sharing information

When we allow third parties acting on behalf of the Society to access to your information, we will always have complete control of what they see, how long they see it for and what they are allowed to do with it. We do not sell your personal information for other organisations to use. Personal data collected and processed by us may be shared with the following groups where necessary:

  • Society Officers (Membership Secretary/Administrator, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Secretary, and members of Council as appropriate) for membership issues and events
  • Cambridge University Press in order to provide you with copies of PAST and PPS
  • Third party cloud hosting and IT infrastructure provider who host the website and provide IT support in respect of the website

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use or cookie policy and other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of the Prehistoric Society and our members. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection.

6.3. Storage of information

The Society's operations are based in the UK and we store all our data within the European Union (EU).

6.4. Archiving

We will not keep personal data for any longer than is absolutely necessary and it will be disposed appropriately. Electronic records will be deleted in such a way that they cannot be retrieved. While the length of time we retain records will necessarily vary depending on specific purposes, the main parameters are as follows:

  • Financial data will be stored for 7 years for HMRC tax, VAT and Gift Aid inspection purposes
  • Membership data will be retained for no longer than 6 months after a subscription is resigned or 24 months after a subscription has lapsed
  • Donation data will be stored in perpetuity where the gift had specific instructions attached at the time of the gift

7. Updating your data and preferences

We want you to remain in control of your personal data. If, at any time, you want to update or amend your personal data or contact preferences please contact us in one of the following ways:

  • Email:  with your full name, full address and, if  applicable, your Prehistoric Society membership number
  • Write to: The Prehistoric Society, University College London, Institute of Archaeology, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY

Verification, updating or amendment of personal data will take place within 30 days of receipt of your request.

7.1. Your data protection rights (DPO)

Where the Society is using your personal data on the basis of consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Tell us using the contact details above.

7.2. Subject access rights

If you would like further information on your rights or wish to exercise them, please write to: The Prehistoric Society, University College London, Institute of Archaeology, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY
You will be asked to provide the following details:

  • The personal information you want to access;
  • Where it is likely to be held;
  • The date range of the information you wish to access

We will also need you to provide information that will help us confirm your identity. If we hold personal information about you, we will give you a copy of the information in an understandable format together with an explanation of why we hold and use it. Once we have all the information necessary to respond to your request we'll provide your information to you within one month.  This timeframe may be extended by up to two months if your request is particularly complex.

7.3. What to do if you're not happy

In the first instance, please talk to us directly using the contact information above so we can try to resolve any problem or query. You also have the right to contact the Information Commissions Office (ICO) if you have any questions about Data Protection. You can contact them using their help line 0303 123 113 or at

8. Changes to this Privacy Notice

We'll amend this privacy notice from time to time to ensure it remains up to date and reflects how and why we use your personal data and new legal requirements. Please visit our website to keep up to date with any changes. The current version will always be posted on our website.