Data Protection Policy
The British Commission For Military History (BCMH) acknowledges its responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the DTA), as the BCMH is an unincorporated association that processes personal information, as defined in section 5, (3), (c) of the Act.
In relation to the BCMH’s specific responsibilities under the DTA, the BCMH will undertake to operate good data protection practice. References to Officers of the BCMH in this policy should be taken to include both the Officers as defined in the BCMH Constitution and members of the General Committee. The BCMH will comply with the Act’s eight principles of good practice as follows.
Fairly and lawfully processed – In relation to fairness, by virtue of applying to join the BCMH, members are aware of what data will be held on them by the BCMH. The BCMH will not allow data it holds to be used other than ‘legally’ as defined in the Act.
Processed for limited purposes – Personal data is only obtained by the BCMH for specified and legal purposes. This data is only processed in a way that is consistent with these specified purposes. No data is collected without there being a specific and valid reason for doing so.
Adequate, relevant and not excessive – the BCMH membership form complies with this, as the BCMH only collects limited data that is clearly needed for a membership organisation. Membership application forms should not be added to by anyone but the applicant and under no circumstances should personal remarks be made by a BCMH officer on an application form. In the case of applicants who are denied membership, their application forms will destroyed.
Accurate and up to date – the BCMH endeavours to keep all membership records up to date. Processed in line with an individual’s rights – the BCMH acknowledges that members have the right to know what data the organisation holds on them and that members also have the right to have inaccurate information corrected. A formal request for such information under the Data Protection Act 1998 must be made in writing to the Secretary-General. The BCMH will not use members’ personal data for direct marketing purposes without the express permission of members.
Processed Securely – to comply with this provision of the Act, membership data is only available to specific officers of the BCMH and only those who need to have access to this information. The officers that handle membership data within the BCMH are; the Honorary Treasurer, the Membership Secretary, the Secretary-General, the BCMH Editor, the Press Officer and the Webmaster. Access to the BCMH membership database is restricted by password. Officers working on the membership database will only do so on a secure computer. Any paper records will be held securely and not handled by anyone other than BCMH officers. Not kept for longer than is necessary – once a member resigns, the BCMH will not continue to keep their contact details, which will be permanently deleted from the membership database, although a record of the names of those who have resigned will be kept.
Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection – No membership details will be passed outside of the UK without the express permission of any member to which this information pertains.
This policy will be made known to members of the BCMH via the BCMH website. Should any member believe that this policy is being misapplied, they should report their concerns in writing to the President.
General Committee, British Commission for Military History, November 2014.