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Page updated: 20 November 2023

This privacy notice applies to visitors to members.historic-scotland.gov.uk (our "website") or individuals who purchase memberships from us.

1. Who we are

We are Historic Environment Scotland (HES), an executive non-departmental public body, incorporated and established under the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014, being a registered charity (Scottish Charity number SC045925) and having its principal office at Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH.

We are a data controller for the purposes of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018).

2. How to contact us

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or our data protection policies generally, please contact us:

By Post: 
The Data Protection Officer
Historic Environment Scotland
Room G.50
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh, EH9 1SH

By email: dataprotection@hes.scot
By phone: 0131 668 8600 

3. Privacy notice

3.1 We are committed to protecting your personal data and your privacy. This privacy notice sets out the basis on which we collect any personal data from you, that you provide to us, we acquire from a third party or will be processed by us.

Please read the following carefully to understand our practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

3.2 Before we process your personal data, we are obliged to inform you who we are, why we need to process your personal data, what we will do with your personal data, and to whom we will pass your personal data.

3.3 It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.

3.4 This version of our privacy notice was last updated on 20 November 2023.

4. The data we collect about you

4.1 "Personal data", or "personal information", means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity of the individual has been removed (anonymous data).

4.2 We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows:

4.2.1 Identity Data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier.

4.2.2 Contact Data includes billing address, delivery address, email address and telephone numbers.

4.2.3 Financial Data includes bank account and payment card details.

4.2.4 Transaction Data includes details about payments to and from you and other details of products and services you have purchased from us.

4.2.5 Technical Data includes your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform, and other technology on the devices you use to access the website.

4.2.6 Profile Data includes your username and password, purchases or orders made by you, your interests, preferences, and feedback.

4.2.7 Usage Data includes information about how you use our Website.

4.2.8 Marketing and Communications Data includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences.

4.2.9 Images and Photographic data when we take photographs of events at the properties in our care or if you share your images of people with us on social media.  Explicit consent is required from parents or guardians where images of children are taken at events or where images of children at the properties in our care are shared with us on social media.

4.2.10 Image data if we capture your image on our CCTV systems.

4.3 When you e-mail us, we will collect your name, e-mail address and the contents of your message and any attachments.

4.4 If you send us a letter or other correspondence by post, we will collect any personal data contained in such correspondence. We may scan and electronically store any letters or other correspondence we receive by post.

4.5 We do not collect any Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.

5. If you fail to provide personal data 

Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with services relating to your membership). In this case, we may have to cancel the contract you have with us but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.

6. How is your personal data collected

6.1 We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:

6.1.1 Direct interactions. You may give us your personal data by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you: complete a membership application create an account on our Website; request marketing to be sent to you; enter a competition, promotion or survey; or give us some feedback.

6.1.2 Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with our Website, we may automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this personal data by using cookies, and other similar technologies.

6.1.3 Membership Cards. We use barcodes on our membership cards and in the member area of the HS App (if you choose to download it), which holds a digital membership card and when your membership card is scanned we will collect information on your visits to our properties (such as the date on which you visited and where you visited) and spend in our shops. We use this information to understand visiting trends with regard to our properties and to help tailor our communications to you to be more relevant.

6.1.4 Third parties or publicly available sources. We may receive personal data about you from various third parties and public sources as set out below: Identity and Contact Data from individuals who purchase membership as a gift for you; Contact, Financial and Transaction Data from providers of technical, payment and delivery services.

7. How we use your personal data

7.1 We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

7.1.1 Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you.

7.1.2 Where it is necessary: for us to carry out a specific task in the public interest which is laid down by law; or for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.

7.1.3 Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

7.2 Generally we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data. In some specific examples for example, in relation to sending direct marketing communications to you via email, text message or social media, we will look to gain your consent. We describe below how we use social media to keep you informed about our work and events at our sites.

8. Purposes for which we will use your personal data

8.1 We have set out below, in a table format, a description of all the ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so.

8.2 Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please contact us if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.

8.3 We also collect, use and share anonymised aggregated data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated anonymised data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your personal data to gain a better understanding of our customers' use of their membership. However, if we combine or connect anonymised aggregated data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice. Where we generate anonymised aggregated data in accordance with this clause 8.3, we do so on the basis of our legitimate interests to create statistical or demographic data relating to our services.


Type of data

Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest

To register you as a new customer

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

Performance of a contract with you

To process and deliver your order including:

(a) Manage payments, fees and charges

(b) Collect and recover money owed to us

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Financial

(d) Transaction

Performance of a contract with you

To manage our relationship with you which will include:

(a) Notifying you about changes to our terms or privacy policy

(b) Asking you to leave a review or take a survey

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Profile

(a) Performance of a contract with you

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

(c) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our records updated and to study how customers use our products/services)

To administer and protect our business and this Website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data)

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Technical

(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise)

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

To use data analytics to improve our Website, products/services, customer relationships and experiences

(a) Technical

(b) Usage

Necessary for our legitimate interests (to define types of customers for our products and services, to keep our Website updated and relevant and to develop our business)

Where you sign up for a newsletter

(a) Identity
(b) Contact
(c) Marketing
& Communications Data

On the basis of your consent (by signing up for a newsletter you are taking a positive action to opt-in to receiving marketing material from us)

Where you fill in forms on the website requesting that we contact you

(a) Identity
(b) Contact

(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to respond to customer enquiries)

(b) Necessary for us to carry out a specific task in the public interest which is laid out by law

Where you complete your name and membership number on the HS App to register as a member

(a) Identity

On the basis of your consent (by choosing to sign up to the member area of the HS App to enable a digital membership card)

9. Disclosures of your personal data 

9.1 We may have to share your personal data with-third party service providers (such as mailing houses for sending membership literature to you) to fulfil our contractual obligations with you.

9.2 We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

10. How long do we retain your data

10.1 We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

10.2 To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

11. Marketing

11.1 If you are not a member we will only use your personal data for direct marketing purposes where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes. We do not share your personal details with any third party for their marketing purposes. You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by contacting us at members@hes.scot.

11.2 Where you have purchased a membership from us, we may use your postcode and email address information to do demographic profiling and collect information from you when you use your membership card (please see 6.1.3 above). We collect this information to better understand our customer’s use of their membership and to provide marketing activities inline with our customer’s interests. When we process your personal data for the above purposes, we do so in order to exercise our legitimate interests in pursuing business aims and objectives. If you do not want to receive any marketing material from us if you are a member you can either update your marketing preferences on the Website or contact members@hes.scot.

11.3 If you receive marketing from us on social media platforms, you are able to withdraw your consent by adjusting your privacy settings on the social media platform itself. You may see our adverts if your settings allow for targeted advertising based on attributes of your social media profile, such as your location, age, and interests. For example, if you live near one of the historic properties we care for, you may see an advert (ad) for an event at that specific property. 

11.4. You may also see our online advertising as a result of your information being automatically profiled by the social media platform and your account being selected as part of the audience for the ad. You can prevent this type of targeting by adjusting your privacy settings within each social media platform or by adjusting your cookie settings in the browser. You can also interact with the ad itself and select the options that prevent further targeted advertising using your information in this way.

12. Cookies

You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies or to alert you when a website sets or accesses cookies. You can also accept all, reject all, or select specific cookies within our websites’ cookie banner. 

If you disable in a browser or refuse cookies within a cookie banner, please note that some parts of these websites may become inaccessible or not function properly.

For more information regarding the cookies we collect on the Membership website, please read our Cookie Policy.

13. Additional Information

13.1 Compliance with legal obligations, etc.

We may process (including disclose) your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligations binding on us; to protect the rights, property, or safety of our staff, our customers, or others; and to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights.

When we process your personal data for the above purposes, we do so on the basis that such processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject or necessary in order to protect the vital interests of a natural person, respectively or necessary in order to pursue our legitimate interests in exercising our legal rights.

13.2 Corporate governance

We may share your personal data with any member of our group, which means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and its subsidiaries, as defined in section 1159 of the UK Companies Act 2006.

When we process your personal data for the above purpose, we do so on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in pursuing business aims and objectives.

14. International Data transfers

We transfer some data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) to our system supplier, Blackbaud. Blackbaud is registered under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.

15. Data Security

15.1 We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

15.2 We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

16. Your rights

16.1 Your personal data is protected by legal rights, which include your rights:

16.1.1 Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

16.1.2 Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

16.1.3 Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

16.1.4 Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes.

16.1.5 Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data's accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

16.1.6 Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

16.1.7 Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

16.2 If you want to exercise any of these rights, please contact us using the details above.

16.3 You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

16.4 We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us using the details above. If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

16.5 You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office, which regulates the processing of personal data, about how we are processing your personal data.