Data Protection Policy
The British International Studies Association (BISA) is required to maintain certain personal data about individuals for the purposes of satisfying its operational and legal obligations. BISA recognises the importance of the correct and lawful treatment of personal data.
The types of personal data that BISA may require include information about: current, past and prospective employees; BISA members; suppliers and others with whom it communicates or conducted business with. This personal data, whether it is held on paper, on computer or other media, will be subject to the appropriate legal safeguards as specified in the Data Protection Act 1998.
BISA fully endorses and adheres to the eight principles of the Data Protection Act. These principles specify the legal conditions that must be satisfied in relation to obtaining, handling, processing, transportation, and storage of personal data. Employees and any others who obtain, handle, process, transport and store personal data for BISA must adhere to these principles.
The principles require that personal data shall:
1. Be processed fairly and lawfully and shall not be processed unless certain conditions are met;
2. Be obtained for a specified and lawful purpose and shall not be processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose;
3. Be adequate, relevant and not excessive for those purposes;
4. Be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
5. Not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose;
6. Be processed in accordance with the data subject's rights;
7. Be kept secure from unauthorised or unlawful processing and protected against accidental loss, destruction or damage by using the appropriate technical and organisational measures;
8. And not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.
Satisfaction of principles
In order to meet the requirements of the principles, BISA will:
- follow the conditions regarding the fair collection and use of personal data;
- meet its obligations to specify the purposes for which personal data is used;
- only collect and process appropriate personal data only where it is needed to fulfil operational or any legal requirements;
- ensure the quality of personal data used;
- apply strict checks to determine the length of time personal data is held;
- ensure that the rights of individuals about whom the personal data is held, can be fully exercised under the Act;
- take the appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal data;
- and ensure that personal data is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards.
BISA's Designated Data Controller
BISA's Information Compliance Manager is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Data Protection Act and implementation of this policy on behalf of the Trustees/Directors. The Information Compliance Manager may be contacted at
Information Compliance Manager, BISA Office
Any questions or concerns about the interpretation or operation of this policy should be taken up in the first instance with the Information Compliance Manager.
Status of the policy
This policy has been approved by the Trustees/Directors and any breach will be taken seriously and may result in formal action.
Any employee who considers that the policy has not been followed in respect of personal data about themselves should raise the matter with their Line Manager or the BISA Information Compliance Manager in the first instance.
All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by BISA are entitled to:
- Ask what information BISA holds about them and why.
- Ask how to gain access to it.
- Be informed how to keep it up to date.
- Be informed what the Society is doing to comply with its obligations under the 1998 Data Protection Act.
All employees and volunteers are responsible for:
- Checking that any personal data that they provide to BISA is accurate and up to date.
- Informing BISA of any changes to information which they have provided, e.g. changes of address.
- Checking any information that the Society may send out from time to time, giving details of information that is being kept and processed.
If, as part of their responsibilities, employees collect information about other people (e.g. about members or members personal circumstances), they must comply with this Policy.
The need to ensure that data is kept securely means that precautions must be taken against physical loss or damage, and that both access and disclosure must be restricted. All staff are responsible for ensuring that:
- Any personal data which they hold is kept securely
- Personal information is not disclosed either orally or in writing or otherwise to any unauthorised third party.
Rights to access information
Employees and other subjects of personal data held by BISA have the right to access any personal data that is being kept about them on computer and also have access to paper-based data held in certain manual filing systems. This right is subject to certain exemptions which are set out in the Data Protection Act. Any person who wishes to exercise this right should make the request in writing to BISA's Information Compliance Manager, using the standard form which is available from the Information Compliance Manager or via the BISA website.
BISA reserves the right to charge the maximum fee payable for each subject access request. If personal details are inaccurate, they can be amended upon request.
BISA aims to comply with requests for access to personal information as quickly as possible, but will ensure that it is provided within 40 days of receipt of a completed form and fee unless there is good reason for delay. In such cases, the reason for delay will be explained in writing to the individual making the request.
Publication of BISA information
Information that is already in the public domain is exempt from the 1998 Act. This would include, for example, information published on the BISA website or in any newsletters. Any individual who has good reason for wishing details in such publications to remain confidential should contact BISA's Information Compliance Manager.
The need to process data for normal purposes has been communicated to all data subjects. In some cases, if the data is sensitive, for example information about health, race or gender, express consent to process the data must be obtained. Processing may be necessary to operate Society policies, such as health and safety and equal opportunities.
Retention and Disposal of data
BISA will keep some forms of information for longer than others. All staff are responsible for ensuring that information is not kept for longer than necessary. All data will be disposed of appropriately and securely via Confidential shredding services or deletion from databases.
The purpose for holding personal data and a general description of the categories of people and organisations to whom we may disclose it are listed in the Data Protection register. This information may be inspected or obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office.
[This policy has been based on the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and with regard to other learned society policies in particular that of the Law Society.]
Data Protection Register
BISA does not share personal information other than for the purposes detailed below:
1) Name and Address information is provided to our journal publishers to enable them to mail the journal issues to current members.
2) Financial information which may include some personal information may be shared with HM Revenue & Customs HMRC as required to ensure compliance with legal obligations but only on formal request.