A number of questions and issues with membership have arisen as a result of our new more active membership management processes. This page attempts to answer them. If you have any other questions, please email membership.
- Q: Why am I listed as an Associate? A: this happens when we don't have your liberal democrat membership number, or, in the future, the website link to the party membership database is telling us you are a non-member. If you have given different email addresses or postal addresses or name to us, the party or the website, this may cause an incorrect non-member status so we will be trying to make all three match.
- Q: How do I get my current GLD membership status? A: If you want an email giving your current status or a detailed rundown of the data we hold about you, just send us an email.
- Q:Can I change my payment method or amount? A: Certainly. While the best time to do this is on your renewal date, it can be done at any time. Email us to let us know, and just follow the instructions on the Join page, remembering to cancel your previous payment method.
- Q: Why have I been asked twice to update my details? A: We sent out an update form with Challenge to update our membership details and also to comply with a new law requiring explicit permission to store data (see below) and control contact permissions. However, many members had already been added to the website user list in an earlier attempt to synchronise the membership database with the list of interested people who had signed up on the website. As a result many people also received our xmas email which asked, as a courtesy, website users to update their details. This has caused some confusion for which we can only apologise.
- Q: Why is the Challenge opt out question so badly worded? A: Mea culpa. It is stored in the database as an opt-out, so I did it backwards without thinking. If you want to continue receiving Challenge, leave it as 'n'. If you want to be a member but not receive the printed version of Challenge (it is increasingly available online soon after publication), cross out the 'n' and write 'Opt out'. That will make it clear to us.
- Q: Why are communications permissions only for Optional communications? A: Simply, we can't run a membership organisation without communicating with our members, and we want to talk to you and have you talk to us! We are required to notify every member of AGMs and EGMs, and we need to tell you if your membership has been received or is up for renewal. We will use email for all this, but those few members who do not give us an email will need to be contacted by phone or post. This can get expensive, so we will be spending membership dues on admin instead of improving and promoting Libdem policies on the environment.
Data Use and Permission
A change in data protection law in the UK is coming into force in 2018. To comply with this we need to lay out how we plan to use your personal data, and obtain specific permission to do so from you. If you have not done so already, please return the membership details form sent with the Winter 2017 Challenge with any updates and changes, and most especially with the data permission question answered, to the Treasurer, using the envelope provided.
Unfortunately I forgot to change the text when we switched from putting the address on the back of the form to providing an envelope. As the address is my personal address I will not repeat it here, but if you did not get an envelope, or lost it, please email us a scanned image of the completed form or ask for the address.
GLD Data Rules
- We store data in a secure Google Sheet, accessible to a limited number of people. We take frequent backups, both cloud-based and to a personal computer. We do not produce paper copies. We retain original membership forms for up to 5 years. We archive details of former members who have cancelled, lapsed or deceased to prevent inappropriate communications.
- It is your right to have all details relating to you expunged from the database and any backups. To do this, or for any other membership enquiries, email us (as above) or write to the GLD contact address (Party HQ). Otherwise, we will retain contact information for at most 5 years after our last contact with you. However, we retain payment records dating back 10 years.
- We will use the data to inform you of our activities, send out Challenge and official notifications of the AGM or any EGM, and to advise you of your membership status. Most direct communications will be via email. We send Challenge by post. We derive suitable contact lists tailored to the specific purpose to give to the executive member or other third party agent delivering the communications. We require them to treat the data as confidential and use it only for the stated purpose, and to destroy it securely thereafter.
- We will never sell or pass on your data to third parties for their own purposes. As an Associated Organisation, we may be required to inform the UK Liberal Democratic Party of some details about our membership. We make use of the integration with our Prater Raines website and the party database to synchronise information, which means that some of your personal data is stored on their secure servers. We would urge you to register on the website using the email address you have given us to verify that this data is accurate, and keep your contact preferences up to date. Improving this integration may entail giving access to some of your data to Prater Raines.
- A number of third party services retain financial records relating to you - currently Lloyds Bank, Nat West Bank and Gocardless - as per their rules, and access to these is strictly controlled. Any copies taken for our operations and kept under the rules above.