Privacy and Security 

The Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of any personal details that we hold for SOC members, as well as non-members. We will meet or exceed the requirements of all current UK and EU legislation on data protection and privacy of communications. 

Our website and app can be used without the need to disclose any personal information. Personal data, such as names, addresses and email details are only gathered in order to fulfil specific information requests (e.g. received via the Contact us facility), subscriptions to our products and services, purchases of goods, and event bookings. 

Use of Personal Data 

Personal data that we hold on members and non-members is used for: 

  • Administration and fulfilment of membership (including Gift membership)
  • Administration and fulfilment of event bookings
  • Fulfilment of purchases from our online shop
  • Electronic notification of Club news and events, and third party information (by consent)
  • In-house analysis 
Disclosure of Personal Data 

We may share personal details with HMRC solely for the purposes of recovering tax on Gift Aid. Members’ postal details are shared with our mailing house, Precision Marketing Group, for the delivery of the Club’s quarterly mailing. Read their privacy policy here. Bank details are only shared with the Bacs-approved and FCA-regulated bureau, Bottomline Technologies, that we contract to process Direct Debit payments. Read their privacy policy here. All credit and debit card e-commence transactions placed on the website are handled by Foxycart, who have stringent data security and privacy practices in place which can be reviewed here. We use Mailchimp (The Rocket Science Group, LLC) to manage sending marketing and core membership and administrative e-communications  to members and contacts. Read their privacy policy here. Otherwise, we will not share personal data with any other third party other than that required by law. 

Retention of Personal Data 

We will retain minimal personal details of cancelled and lapsed members for a period of 12 months in order to monitor free gift allowances (where these available to first-time joiners only) as well as for internal analysis. The cancellation of SOC membership does not automatically cancel the delivery of SOC promotional emails, where consent has been obtained by individuals for the Club to send these communications (see ‘Consent’ below). In this case, contact details will be retained until recipients unsubscribe from SOC mailing lists, which can be done easily at any point.

Personal Rights 

You have a right to know all the personal details that we might hold on you. You may obtain a printed copy of this information by writing to the SOC at the address below or by sending an email request to We will reply within a maximum of two weeks of receipt of the request. 


We require members and non-members to give specific consent to be contacted by email and SMS text messages for the delivery of what are deemed promotional communications (Club news and events notices and third party information). Members can visit for more information. Non-members can follow the links on the website (see under 'Support us') to sign up to receive Club and events notices, art communications and third party information. You can contact us to update your preferences at any time by emailing or call 01875 871330. 

Push notifications – SOC’s Where to Watch Birds Scotland App

On installing the SOC’s Where to Watch Birds Scotland app for the first time (referred to as ‘Where to Watch’), you can choose to consent to SOC sending you (via the app) generic, non-personalised, notifications. Notifications may include alerts (e.g. new sites being added to the app, seasonal birdwatching tips, events announcements and sightings information), sounds and icon badges.  You may switch off notifications for the app at any time in the Settings area of your device. 

Geographical Tracking - SOC’s Where to Watch Birds Scotland App

Certain services we provide through the App will make use of location data sent from your devices. SOC does not gather IP addresses, however this information may be collected by Google. You can switch off this functionality at any time by turning off the location services settings for the App on the device. If you use these services, you consent to our transmission, collection, retention, maintenance, processing and use of your location data and queries to provide and improve location-based products and services. 

Cookies and Tracking 

Parts of our website use cookies that help us monitor how the site is explored. Cookies are text files, not apps or programs and are completely anonymous. Your web browser will allow you to control how they are handled, and you may indicate that you do not wish them to be used. More information can be obtained at

The SOC's app Where to Watch Birds Scotland has Google Firebase (Google Analytics for app's) and Google Crashlytics installed. SOC collects anonymous non-personally identifiable information  including the type of devices users access the app from and in the case of Firebase, species and sites visited are also recorded. Google Crashlytics is used for error and crash reporting and as such, records for example, the type of device and line of code which caused the app to crash so that we can repair this. SOC does not collect IP addresses, however this information may be collected by Google. You can read Google Crashlytics privacy policy here and Google Firebase's privacy policy here.

Our website and app may contain links to third party websites that we think may be of interest. This information will be supplied in good faith but it is up to the user to check the security and privacy of these sites.