Rural Ministries and data protection

There is an obligation on all organisations to manage personal data carefully and comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This page provides more information about the Act and how Rural Ministries looks after the personal data of our supporters and contacts.

Data protection is a big and complex issue but the Act places some key obligations on organisations. The following are our key responses to these requirements.

Ensuring we have permission to store data

Although Rural Ministries tries to ensure that we have permission to hold our supporters’ data we are aware that we cannot evidence this for some of the older data we hold. Consequently we are in the process of contacting all our supporters to ensure that they know what data we hold and ask their permission to continue to hold it. As Rural Ministries is a Christian organisation the information we hold on our supporters infers their religious beliefs. Consequently, the data we hold is classified under the DPA as ‘sensitive’ and as such we therefore need to have explicit permission, rather than implied permission, to hold this data. If we have not heard from individuals that we have contacted we shall contact them a second time and if no response is received we will be obliged to delete their data.

Protecting data

Rural Ministries stores our supporters’ data securely. All data is held on the computers owned by Rural Ministries and is not held on staff’s personal computers. All our computers are password protected and the database itself is password protected.

Data is backed up to Dropbox, a cloud data storage provider. Dropbox has a very secure data policy and fully complies with the requirements of international agreements including the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Program ("Privacy Shield") framework and  the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor ("Safe Harbor") framework. For more information on this please see information provided on the Dropbox website. Where we change provider we shall ensure that equivalent data security is in place.

Only keeping information as long as necessary

We will only store data that we need to communicate with you, for example to send you VIBE magazine, or are legally obliged to keep for a set number of years, such as Gift Aid declarations. If we have no need to keep your details then we will delete them as part of a periodic review.

Sharing data

Rural Ministries only use our supporters’ data as part of our work and to communicate with you and our partner organisations. This includes providing our mailing house with names and addresses, and providing HMRC with the information necessary to make Gift Aid reclaims.

Data Protection Registration

Rural Ministries is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office.

Further information

If you would like to know more about this issue then please contact us