sparqs Privacy Policy

The sparqs site ("the website") is owned and operated by sparqs , an organisation based in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.  Please review these Terms and Conditions carefully before using the website. Your use of the website indicates your agreement to comply and be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland SCIO (we or sparqs) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

This policy sets out the basis on which any personal information we collect from you (or that you provide to us) via our website at www.sparqs.ac.uk and other online and traditional communication channels, will be used by sparqs. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal information and how we will treat it.

For the purpose of the Data Protection Legislation, the controller of your personal information is Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland SCIO, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Charity Number SC046172), having its registered office at 1 Papermill Wynd, Edinburgh, EH7 4QL.

Information we may collect from you

We may collect and use the following information about you:

  • Contact with us - Information that you provide when contacting us through our website (www.sparqs.ac.uk), by phone, email or in person.
  • Website - Details of your visits to our website including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data and other communication data, whether this is required for our own billing purposes or otherwise and the resources that you access.
  • Meetings and events - Information that you provide when registering, attending, presenting or contributing to sparqs events and meetings.
  • Information from other sources - Information that we collect from other legitimate sources e.g. role and contact details from institutional/agency websites.
  • Recruitment - Information supplied to us to process applications and monitor recruitment statistics, this may involve personal information relation to your health or criminal convictions which is known as "special categories of personal data".
  • Surveys - Feedback and evaluation data collected through survey monkey, paper form or otherwise is done so anonymously. Some specific comments may be used as testimonials and used in marketing materials, but these comments are always anonymously attributed.
  • Financial information - Information collected to enable reimbursement of expenses where agreed. Payments for events are done so via PayPal, a third party service provider and as such sparqs has no access to this information.

The information you give us may include your name, role, institution/agency, email address, details of your device, particulars of your social media account and your experiences of different facilities and services where you consider that improvements are required to facilitate communication and participation.

IP addresses

We may collect information about your computer, including, where available, your IP address, operating system, browser type and version, time zone setting and browser plug-in types and versions for system administration and to collate aggregate information. This is statistical data about our users' browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.

In the normal course of their business, internet service providers ("ISPs") are permitted to cache the website content as described in the European Commissions Regulations on Electronic Commerce (2002).

Cookies

Cookies are a piece of information that is stored on your computer's hard drive by your web browser. When you first visit our website you will be given the opportunity to allow or disallow cookies; cookies allow you to get the best interactivity from our website. On revisiting our website we may recognise the cookie, giving us information about your last visit. Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but usually you can alter the settings of your browser to prevent automatic acceptance.

If you wish to delete any cookie files, please refer to the instructions for your file management software to locate the file or directory that stores cookies.

When you visit the website, anonymous information about your visit will automatically be collected. We use this information only as anonymous aggregate data to determine the number of visitors to different sections of the website, to ensure the website is working properly, and to help us make the website more useful. We do not use it to track or record information about individuals. More information about cookies, including how to block them and/or delete them, can be found at AboutCookies.org.

Uses made of the information

We use information held about you in order to provide you with services and for our legitimate interests to pursue our charitable objectives regarding student support and engagement in the following ways.

  • To contact you regarding sparqs news, products and services which may be of interest to you.
  • To administer your attendance at an event to ensure that your requirements are accommodated so that you can fully participate in the event.
  • To provide you with products or services that you request from us.
  • To carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between you and us.
  • To improve our website and services.
  • To notify you about changes to our service.
  • To administer our website and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes.
  • To allow us to consider your comments, queries and suggestions and respond, if necessary.
  • As part of our efforts to keep our website safe and secure.

You have the right to object to us using your personal information for such purposes by contacting us on admin@sparqs.ac.uk  If we agree and comply with your objection, this may affect our ability to consider your comments, queries and suggestions in order to respond to you and improve our website / services.

We only use special categories of personal information for the purposes of complying with our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to provide you with reasonable adjustments and undertaken equalities monitoring and personal information relating to criminal offences for the purposes of exercising our rights as an employer.

Sharing your information

We may share your personal information with analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our website.

We may share your personal information with selected third parties:

  • Key partners, including Scottish Funding Council and National Union of Students.
  • Service providers who process personal information on our behalf in order to provide services to us. This includes IT systems providers and IT contractors.
  • Other voluntary sector and not for profit organisations with whom we partner to deliver services.
  • In the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case, we may disclose your personal information to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets.
  • If sparqs or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case, personal information held by it about its customers will be one of the transferred assets.
  • If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal information in order to comply with any legal obligation or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use and other agreements.
  • To protect the rights, property, or safety of sparqs, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Where we share your personal information with third parties we ensure that we have appropriate measures in place to safeguard your personal information and to ensure that it is solely used for legitimate purposes in line with this privacy notice.

Where we store your personal information

All information is stored on our secure servers based in the UK.

If we are required to transfer your personal information outwith the EU, we will ensure that the appropriate safeguards are put in place to protect your personal information.

We use MailChimp, a US-hosted third party provider, to send out some of our email communications who are certified as adhering to the EU-Privacy Shield. MailChimp’ s privacy policy can be accessed on their website. We also use Xero, a cloud-based finance / accounting software, which only stores names and addresses for payment purposes. Xero is based in New Zealand, which is a country deemed to have adequate data protection laws by the EU Commission.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will take all reasonable endeavours to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information transmitted to our website and any transmission is at your own risk.

Once we have received your information, please be assured that we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access to, destruction of or damage to such personal information.

How long we keep your personal information

Unless we explain otherwise to you, we’ll hold your personal information based on the following criteria:

  • For as long as we have reasonable business needs, such as managing our relationship with you and managing our operations.
  • As long as we provide goods and/or services to you.
  • Retention periods in line with legal and regulatory requirements or guidance.

Your rights

You can exercise any of the following rights by contacting nicola.mcintosh@sparqs.ac.uk

Your rights in relation to your personal information are:

  • You have a right to request access to the personal information that we hold about you by making a "subject access request".
  • If you believe that any of your personal information is inaccurate or incomplete, you have a right to request that we correct or complete your personal information.
  • You have a right to object to and/or request that we restrict the processing of your personal information for specific purposes.
  • If you wish us to delete your personal information, you may request that we do so.

You have the right to unsubscribe from sparqs news articles at any time. If you do so, we may still contact you about specific pieces of work relevant to your role.

Any requests received by sparqs will be considered under the Data Protection Legislation. If you remain dissatisfied, you have a right to raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office at www.ico.org.uk.

Our website contains links to other sites.  sparqs is not responsible for the privacy practices within any of these other sites. We encourage you to be aware of this when you leave our site and to read the privacy statements of other websites you visit which collect personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected on the sparqs website.

Third party personal information

Where you submit personal information regarding another person (for example, where you book courses on behalf of another person), you confirm that they have consented to you acting for them and to the processing of their personal information, and that you have informed them of our identity and the content of this privacy and cookie policy, including the purposes for which such personal information will be used by us.

This privacy and cookie policy will apply to any such third party personal information in the same manner that they apply to your own personal information.

Changes to our privacy and cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy and cookie policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy and cookie policy.

Contact

Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy and cookie policy are welcomed and should be addressed to nicola.mcintosh@sparqs.ac.uk or by telephone 0131 622 6599.

Complaints

If you have any complaints about the way we use your personal information please contact nicola.mcintosh@sparqs.ac.uk who will try to resolve the issue. If we cannot resolve your complaint, you have the right to complain to the data protection authority in your country (the Information Commissioner in the UK).

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