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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3695
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am a member of the Council of an Engineering Institution

Resolved Question:

I am a member of the Council of an Engineering Institution with members both in the UK and abroad. We are endeavouring to keep our members more in touch with each other. Does the Data Protection Act allow us to issue 'Membership Lists' to our members (not outsiders) Along with addresses or maybe just contact numbers etc.?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Data Protection covers "personal data" which is anything that can be used to identify someone personal.
In distributing this information to your members you would in the very least require their consent. You would have to give them an opportunity to opt out because at the point you collated this data, you did so without having made this intended purpose clear.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

AJ,

Thank you for your reply, but that does not fully answer my question. Which is (after getting everyone's permission), does the Data Protection Act allow us to issue 'Membership Lists' to our members (not outsiders) Along with addresses or maybe just contact numbers etc.?

Regards,

Stan Archer.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
No, the Data Protection Act will not allow you to do this - you would not be able to do this without consent form the members and having made them aware that is your intended use of the personal data.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

AJ,

In my reply I have said "(after getting their permission)" you answered "NO" and then went on to say "I would need to get their consent". Isn't permission the same as consent?

So I would still like to know:

After getting their permission/consent, Does the Data Protection Act allow us to issue 'Membership Lists' to our members (not outsiders) Along with addresses or maybe just contact numbers etc.?

Regards,

SA

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Assuming you have consent you would potentially be able to distribute the information without breaching the Data Protection Act. When I say potentially the issue you have is you need to carefully define what you intend to use the data for (which you seem to have a clear definition of) - Data Protection in the UK revolves around doing what is "reasonable" - as long as you have acted reasonably in your use of the data, obtained consent and not acted outside the bounds of that consent you probably wont in breach. The issue is what counts as reasonable varies from case to case.
What you then need to consider is if you should register as a Data Controller - take this self assessment to find out - https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/register/self-assessment/
If you do need to register you will still need the consent of your members - if you do not need to register then consent alone should be sufficient again as long as you are always acting reasonably when disclosing the information. In this case reasonably would be to only disclose the data in line with the consent you have obtained.
Kind regards
AJ
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