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If you visit our website or contact us, this privacy policy is for you. It’s about how we (RNID) protect your personal information and respect your privacy.

RNID is a registered charity (registered as The Royal National Institute for Deaf People) in England, Wales (number 207720) and Scotland (number SC038926). Contact information for our Data Protection Officer is set out in this policy below in section 11.

Personal information means any information which could be used to identify an individual. It can include your name, date of birth or email address.

We update this policy from time to time as we make improvements or when laws change. If we make significant changes to this policy or the ways we use personal information, we will notify you where reasonably possible for us to do so.

Further information is provided below on:

  1. Collecting your personal information
  2. Special category data
  3. Our purposes for processing your personal information
  4. Lawful bases
  5. Who we share your personal information with
  6. International data transfers
  7. Securing your personal information
  8. How long we keep your personal information
  9. Your rights
  10. Changing how we communicate with you
  11. Contacting our Data Protection Officer
  12. NHS national data opt-out compliance statement.

1. Collecting your personal information

When we collect personal information, we will always explain clearly what information we are collecting, why we are collecting it and how we’ll use it. There are a number of ways we could receive your personal information.


If you give us your information directly for any reason. For example, when you make a donation or contact us for support.


If you give your information to a third-party to pass onto us. For example, by using fundraising sites like JustGiving. We also work on marketing initiatives with third parties under which they may share your personal information with us where you have indicated that you are happy to be contacted by us.

Publicly available

Occasionally we obtain personal information from public sources to better understand our supporters. For example, we might collect information from Companies House or charity or corporate annual reviews.

We also collect certain technical information from you when you interact with our website. For example, the amount of time you spend on pages you visit. For more information about this, please see our Cookies Policy.

2. Special category data

Certain types of personal information are sensitive and need more protection. For example, information about your race or ethnic origins, political opinions, sex life or sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and health information. There are also special rules about the use of criminal information (information about criminal convictions or allegations about criminal convictions).

We may collect these types of information – particularly information about the health of our beneficiaries. We only collect these types of information where we have a valid reason for doing so (for example, where we require it in order to provide support to a beneficiary) and only if the law allows us to do so. For example, the law allows us to collect health information where we are doing so in order to provide support for individuals with a particular disability or medical condition, or where we have your explicit consent.

3. Our purposes for processing your personal information

We process your personal information for the following purposes:

  • To provide you with information about us (where you have requested it) and to communicate with you in general
  • To send you updates about RNID and our activities, services and products
  • To administer and promote lotteries
  • To invite you to and to run events, including focus groups
  • To support our beneficiaries, including assessing individual support needs, preparing and delivering support plans, liaising with carers and healthcare professionals and managing referrals, and to visit beneficiaries and their families at home
  • To collect your story about dealing with hearing loss and to use your story in our publications
  • Reporting to third parties, such as local authorities, where we are contracted to provide a service on their behalf
  • To analyse and demonstrate our impact
  • To recruit staff and volunteers
  • For staff training and monitoring purposes
  • To handle the administration of any donation or other payment you make to us
  • To promote our charitable aims (including the use of case studies for this purpose)
  • To process Gift Aid
  • To provide you with the products or services you have requested
  • To analyse, evaluate and improve our operations (including our overall strategy) and our website
  • To prepare our accounts and for audits
  • To satisfy legal obligations which are binding on us (for example, reporting to the Charity Commission)
  • To administer and process legacies (including establishing entitlement and processing legacy payments)
  • To establish, defend or enforce legal claims
  • To create an evidence base to support our work and to influence policy.

We will only use your personal information for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purposes. If we need to use your personal information for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

4. Lawful bases

Data protection law says that we must have a ‘lawful basis’ to process your personal information. There are 5 lawful bases that we can rely on depending on why we are processing your information.

If you’ve given your consent to the processing of your personal information for one or more specific purposes. Taking an action to agree you’re happy with us to process your information could include clicking a button or replying to an email. We might use this basis to contact you via email to market our services or to fundraise.

2. Legitimate interests

If we process your personal information for this reason, we believe we have a legitimate reason and that this reason is not overridden by your interests, rights and freedoms. For example, if you have placed an order for a product, we may send you a future edition of our product catalogue in the post. If we rely on our legitimate interest you have the right to object.

3. Contractual

If the processing of your personal information is necessary for entering into a contract or a contract we already have with you. This includes sending an order from our shop.

If the processing of your personal information is necessary for us to comply with a legal obligation.

5. Vital interests

If the processing of your personal information is necessary to protect your life.

For more information about lawful basis for processing, visit the ICO website.

Profiling and automated decision making

Profiling is a form of automated processing of personal information to build up a picture of a person. In particular, to analyse or predict aspects about that person’s economic situation or personal preferences. We may use the information we hold about you based on your interactions with us to help us build our relationship with you and personalise what we offer.

This includes building a profile, which may include information from public sources such as Companies House and can contain employment information, estimated capacity to give, information about assets and history of charitable giving. We will only ever access third party or public sources which we consider to be credible and accurate. You have the right to object to this.

We also screen our mailing lists against a register of deaths, and ‘gone away’ changes of address. This ensures that our lists do not contain information which is out of date because the supporter is deceased or has moved away.

We do not undertake automated decision making, which would involve making significant decisions affecting you solely by automated means.

5. Who we share your personal information with

Depending on why you provided us with your personal information and how we are using it, we may need to share your information with other organisations or individuals. This may include those that provide services on our behalf, such as printing of letters or delivery of products. We have systems and processes in place to ensure your personal information is stored securely and is used only for the purposes it was provided.

We may also share your personal information with third parties where necessary to protect or defend our legal rights or the rights of another party.

Public and governmental authorities

We may have to share your personal information with another organisation to comply with the law. For example, if you provide us with VAT exemption information, we may have to share your completed VAT exemption form with HMRC if requested.

Social media

At RNID, we use our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube to promote our work and communicate with you.

We do this through advertising on your social media or through posting messages and information on our own social media pages which you may choose to interact with. Where members of the public engage with our posts or publish content relevant to our work, we may like the posts, follow them, reply or write to them. We also conduct research on what people say on public social media platforms to better understand how people feel about our brand and to improve our work.

If you are a social media user, we will use social media tools as part of our relationship with you, for example you may be shown advertising relating to RNID’s work and our aims which we think you will be interested in seeing.

Where this is the case, your name and e-mail address will be uploaded in an encrypted format to a social media site like Facebook. Facebook will determine if you have a Facebook account and then place the marketing directly on your news feed. We may also use the same tool in a slightly different way to ensure you don’t receive unnecessary marketing communications. This information may also be used by social media sites on our behalf to identify other users with similar interests who may also be interested in our content. These tools are called Custom and Lookalike audiences. We also use fundraising tools from various platforms such as Facebook Fundraisers and Facebook Donate to collect donations.

We take your privacy and rights seriously but still deem your interest to us important. For this reason, we use our legitimate interest to use your information and communicate with you in this way. Therefore, we will not ask for your permission to market to you through social media, but you are always free to inform us that you do not want us to contact you in in this way.

You can also update your preferences within the social media site to stop receiving marketing. For further information on Facebook in particular, please see their terms of service, their data policy and information about custom audiences. If you do not want us to share your email address or telephone number with social media sites (even in encrypted form), then you can ask us not to by contacting our Data Protection Officer using the details below in section 11.

Third parties in corporate transactions

In connection with any proposed or actual reorganisation, merger, sale, joint venture, assignment, transfer or other disposition of all or part of our organisation, we may share you personal information as part of the transferring assets.

Professional advisors

We may share your personal information with our accountants, auditors, lawyers, insurers, bankers or other professional advisors.

6. International Data Transfers

We may need to transfer your personal information outside of the EU and the UK. For example, some of the systems we use to hold personal information are provided by an organisation that stores the data on systems held outside of the EU and the UK. This includes our eNewsletter and live chat providers.

Although these countries may not be subject to the same data protection laws as companies based in the UK, we make sure they provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with UK data protection law or that safeguards (such as standard contractual clauses) are put in place to protect your personal information. Should you have any questions about these safeguards, please contact us using the details below.

7. Securing your personal information

We will take steps to ensure that all personal information we hold about you is kept safe using a variety of security technologies and organisational procedures. These protect your personal information from unauthorised access, use or disclosure.

When we use external companies to collect, process or store data on our behalf, we carry out comprehensive checks and put in place contracts to control how they manage the data they have access to.

8. How long we keep your personal information

We will only keep your personal information for as long as it is required for the purpose we collected it. This includes if it’s needed for any legal, accounting or reporting purposes. For example:


If you submit an online enquiry form, we will store your personal information for up to 2 years after you submit it.


If you receive eNewsletters from us, we will store your personal information for up to 2 years after you last open an email from us.


If you make a donation to RNID, we will store your personal information for up to 10 years from your last donation. This will be longer for those who have committed to leaving us a gift in their Will to ensure we honour this commitment appropriately.


If you volunteer with us and stop volunteering, we will store your personal information for up to 6 years from when you stopped. If you apply to become a volunteer and are unsuccessful, we will store your personal information for up to 6 months from your application.

9. Your rights

You have the right to:

  • be kept informed about what we are doing with your personal information
  • request access to your personal information – this enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you unless we can rely on an exemption.

Depending on why we are processing your personal information, you may also have the following rights:

  • to object to the processing of your personal information, where we are relying on the legitimate interest lawful basis, using your personal information for direct marketing, or for research purposes
  • to request us to update or delete the personal information we hold about you
  • to withdraw consent for processing your personal information if that is the lawful basis that we are relying on
  • to ask us to restrict how we use your personal information for a period of time
  • to request us to send personal information that you have provided to us to you or to another organisation in a commonly used electronic format
  • to object to the use of automated decision-making and profiling.

Please note that these are legal rights which may not apply in all cases, and which may be subject to legal exceptions. We may also request that you provide us with information to confirm your identity, before we provide any personal information to you.

You have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner about how we use your personal information.

For further information on your rights, visit the ICO website.

10. Change how we communicate with you

If at any time you wish to stop or change how we communicate with you for direct marketing or fundraising purposes, or update the personal information we hold, please contact us.

You can also unsubscribe from our eNewsletters at any time. Simply click on the “unsubscribe” link in any of our email news updates.

We may continue to send you communications which are purely administrative.

If you are unhappy with how we handle your personal information or any requests you make, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the details below.

11. Contact our Data Protection Officer

Our Data Protection Officer is responsible for making sure we comply with our privacy policy and all applicable data protection laws.

Contact details

Data Protection Officer, RNID, Brightfield Business Hub, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6XU

12. NHS national data opt-out compliance statement

Read our NHS national data opt-out compliance statement

This policy came into effect 26 October 2020.

Page last updated: 31 March 2024

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