Section I Applying to join (initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining).
Section II Use of Freemasons’ data by Masonic entities.
Section III Use of Freemasons’ data by Masonic charities.
Section IV Use of criminal convictions data.
Section V Use of data for archive purposes in the public interest and for historical research.
Section VI Use of Freemasons’ data for the magazine Freemasonry Today.
Section VII Sharing your data with another recognised Grand Lodge.
Section VIII Sharing your data with another Masonic Order.
Section XI Use of your data if you choose to communicate with, volunteer for, serve on the committees of, visit or work for the United Grand Lodge of England or Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England at Freemasons’ Hall.
Section X contains some definitions for terms used in this notice.
If you have any questions about this notice then please contact email@example.com.
I. Applying to join (initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining)
As a candidate, you consent to the processing, retention and sharing of your personal data submitted on or with your application, including details of criminal convictions if applicable, for the purpose of assessing your membership application and any other membership applications you may make to Masonic entities. If you choose to answer the optional questions about your religion and ethnicity these will not be visible to those assessing your membership application(s) and will be used for the sole purpose of equalities monitoring.
The assessment of your application will include printing some of your personal details on the summons which is sent to all of the members of the Lodge or Chapter to which you are applying. Those details are your full name, age, profession or occupation (if any), place or places of abode, business address or addresses and names of your proposer and seconder. Your details will be checked against records of current members and of members who have resigned or been expelled for the purpose of verifying that you are eligible to make your application.
After submitting your application Masonic entities may use your data to send communications of interest to you, for example an invitation to a Masonic event in your Province, the First Rising email newsletter for members or an invitation to sign up for Freemasonry’s free learning website, Solomon.
If you apply from outside the UK then your data will be transferred to the UK and processed for the purpose of assessing your application. It may be transferred from the UK to Masonic entities local to you for the purpose of assessing your application.
The personal data in membership applications is processed on the basis of consent. You can cancel your application at any time prior to your initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining by notifying your proposer and seconder. If you provide your data but do not complete your application within two years, it will be deleted. If you complete an application but are not initiated within ten years, it will be deleted. If you wish to delete your application data sooner then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
II. Use of Freemasons’ data by Masonic entities
Masonic entities will never sell your data.
As a Freemason your data will be processed, retained and shared for any reasonable purposes required by the Book of Constitutions, the Royal Arch Regulations or the bodies they sanction from time to time. These purposes include, but are not limited to, the following purposes:
The legal basis on which your personal data will be used for these purposes is the legitimate interests of Masonic entities as not for profit membership organisations. Additional data is commonly held by Masonic entities on the basis of consent. Examples of this include your dietary preferences or any photographs or videos in which you feature. If you have provided your religion or ethnicity this data is also held on the basis of consent.
Sharing your data
Please note that data provided to any Masonic entity will be shared with any other Masonic entity for which it is relevant. For example, if you move house and provide your new address to your Lodge, that data may be shared with all other Masonic entities which communicate with you by post. Also data about you created by a Masonic entity will be shared with any other Masonic entity for which it is relevant. For example, if a Provincial Grand Master imposes a disciplinary sanction on you that will be reported to all of your Lodges and Chapters.
The proceedings of Freemasonry are not public but the quarterly meetings of Grand Lodge and of Supreme Grand Chapter are recorded in minute books which are made available to the public. If you choose to speak at these meetings then your name will be recorded in the minutes.
If you are a member of a Masonic entity based outside the UK then your data may be transmitted to, processed and stored in the jurisdiction of that Masonic entity. Your data will also be stored and processed in the UK for the purposes set out in this Section II.
The email newsletter First Rising is sent to members using Mailchimp. This means that unless you unsubscribe from the newsletter your email address will be sent to Mailchimp’s servers, based in the USA, for the purposes of sending the newsletter to you. More detail on how your email address is protected by Mailchimp can be found here: https://mailchimp.com/help/mailchimp-european-data-transfers/. You can unsubscribe at any time by using the link in the newsletter.
You may stop your data from being used for all purposes except 6. and 7. above by resigning from the United Grand Lodge of England and, if applicable, the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England using the processes prescribed by their respective constitutions. If you resign or are expelled, personal data relating to your membership will normally be retained and processed by the United Grand Lodge of England for 100 years for purpose 6. and indefinitely for purpose 7. Other Masonic entities may also keep historic records, for example once you cease to be a member of a Lodge your personal details will remain in Lodge minute books which cover the period in which you were a subscribing member.
Your data may also be used within one year of your resignation from a Lodge or Chapter to contact you for the purposes of understanding why you resigned and if applicable to assist you in finding an appropriate Lodge or Chapter to join.
If you resign while owing money to a Masonic entity then your data may be used to contact you to seek payment.
If you resign from all of your Lodges and Chapters but remain a Freemason then Masonic entities may contact you by post to make you aware of Masonic events happening in your area.
You may request access to the data held about you by each Masonic entity, and rectification of that data if applicable, or object to the processing of that data, by submitting a request to the relevant Masonic entity. Where data is held on the basis of your consent, you may also request that it be deleted.
The secretary of your Lodge and, if applicable, Scribe E. of your Chapter will provide on request details of your data controllers and their contact details. The United Grand Lodge of England and Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England are at Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ. Their data protection officer can be contacted at email@example.com. If you are resident in the EEA you may use the above details or alternatively you may contact the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter’s appointed EEA Representative, Michael Hadjiconstantas, at PO Box 70601, Limassol, 3800, Cyprus.
III. Use of Freemasons’ data by Masonic charities
Masonic charities need to keep their donor databases accurate and up to date. If you choose to donate to a Masonic charity, then Masonic entities may permit that Masonic charity to access your name and address data to verify your information. The legal basis for this processing is the legitimate interests of that charity.
Masonic charities provide, among other work, support to Freemasons, former Freemasons, their relatives and dependants. When a Masonic charity to which we have provided limited membership data access receives an application for relief which is dependent on your status as a Freemason or former Freemason, for fraud prevention purposes it may be granted read only access to your personal data held by relevant Masonic entities. The charity may only use this personal data to verify your status as a Freemason to the extent that it is relevant for an application for relief it has received.
IV. Criminal convictions
Criminal conviction data will only be used by your Lodge, the relevant Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Lodge and the United Grand Lodge of England to:
Freemasons are expected to conform to high standards. In relation to purpose 1. above, as a candidate you must disclose any criminal convictions, except that you may choose whether to disclose a conviction if it is spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The legal basis on which this data is processed is your consent. You can withdraw your consent and request erasure of your criminal conviction data at any time by notifying your proposer and seconder that you wish to cancel your application.
If convicted of an offence when a Freemason, you must report certain criminal convictions to your Lodge Master or the Grand Secretary in accordance with Rule 179A of the Book of Constitutions. The Master of your Lodge may also report such convictions to other Masonic entities in accordance with the Book of Constitutions and the disciplinary processes of Freemasonry. These reports are made for purpose 2. above and data in them can be retained for purpose 3. above. The legal basis on which this data is processed is the legitimate interests of the Masonic entities as membership organisations in upholding their values. The processing falls within the “processing by not-for-profit bodies” exemption to permit processing of criminal convictions data.
V. Archiving and historical research
Many Masonic records which may contain your data are archived for the public interest and kept for historical research. When they are no longer needed by the relevant Masonic Entity they are loaned or given to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, a fully accredited Museum and a charity registered in England with charity registration number 1058497. The records which are loaned are transferred permanently to the charity when the Masonic Entity considers appropriate.
The charity currently restricts access to the records for 70 years except where they might contain sensitive personal information in which case access is restricted for 100 years. These periods are subject to change to reflect best practice. After this time the records are made available to academic researchers and others in accordance with the charity’s work. More information about the charity’s work can be found at https://museumfreemasonry.org.uk.
VI. Freemasonry Today
Every subscribing member of a Lodge in London or a Province who has a UK address registered with United Grand Lodge of England is entitled to receive a copy of the quarterly magazine, Freemasonry Today. If you are entitled to receive a copy then your name and address will be shared quarterly with the printers and distributors of the magazine for the sole purpose of sending the magazine to you. The legal basis for this use of your data is the legitimate interests of United Grand Lodge of England as a membership organisation. If you would prefer not to receive the magazine in hard or digital copy then please use the “remove from mailing list” option at https://www.freemasonrytoday.com/contact-us. You may also use this link to notify of a change to your address or to re-subscribe for the magazine.
If you have a visual impairment and request an audio version of Freemasonry Today then with your consent United Grand Lodge of England will share your name and address with its chosen distributor from time to time of the audio versions. If you receive the audio version then United Grand Lodge of England will share your name, address and subscribing status with the distributor for the purpose of keeping the distributor’s records accurate and up to date.
VII. Other Recognised Grand Lodges
If you are a Freemason and you choose to apply to join other recognised Grand Lodges they may request that you consent to Masonic entities sharing the details of your Masonic career, including certificates of good standing, with them for the purposes of enabling them to assess your application. If you do not consent then we recommend that you make this clear on your application to that Grand Lodge.
If you are subject to a Masonic disciplinary sanction then your name, address and sanction may be shared with other recognised Grand Lodges or sent by other recognised Grand Lodges to Masonic entities. The legal basis on which this data is processed is the legitimate interests of the Masonic entities as membership organisations in upholding their common values in accordance with the Book of Constitutions.
VIII. Other Masonic Orders
If you are a Freemason and you choose to apply to join other Masonic Orders they may request that you consent to Masonic entities sharing the details of your Masonic career, including certificates of good standing, with them for the purposes of enabling them to assess your application. If you do not consent then we recommend that you make this clear on your application to that Masonic Order.
If you are subject to a Masonic disciplinary sanction then your name, address and sanction may be shared with other Masonic Orders or sent by other Masonic Orders to Masonic entities. The legal basis on which this data is processed is the legitimate interests of the Masonic entities as membership organisations in upholding their common values in accordance with the Book of Constitutions.
IX. Other uses
Communications – If you communicate with the United Grand Lodge of England or the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England they may monitor, record, store and use any telephone, email, webform or other communication with you in order to communicate with you in relation to your query, respond to the issues raised or deal with them in accordance with the Book of Constitutions or Royal Arch Regulations, check any information you have provided, maintain records of recent communications for legal reasons and improve the quality of the services they offer. The legal basis for this processing is the legitimate interests of each as a membership organisation.
Surveys – If you complete any of the surveys that the United Grand Lodge of England or the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England use to collect feedback then the data you submit may be used to contact you if there are specific concerns raised but otherwise will be used in aggregated, anonymised form. The legal basis for this processing is your consent.
Volunteering – If you volunteer for any committees or other roles at the United Grand Lodge of England or the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England then they will process your name, contact details and any other personal data relevant to the role for the purposes of enabling that role to be performed safely and efficiently including security passes and login details if applicable. The legal basis for this processing is your consent.
If you accept promotion to a Grand Rank or to Metropolitan, Provincial, District or Overseas Grand Rank then your name and office or rank will be printed in relevant yearbooks and elsewhere. The United Grand Lodge of England and Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England’s Year Book is on public sale in hard copy format and a version is made available online to Freemasons through the members’ secure website. Your contact details will also be printed in relevant year books and elsewhere to the extent necessary so that you can be contacted in order to discharge the functions of your office or in all other cases will be included only with your consent. The legal bases for this processing are the legitimate interests of the Masonic entity publishing the relevant year book or consent, as applicable.
Freemasons’ Hall – If you choose to visit Freemasons’ Hall at 60 Great Queen Street, London then your image will be recorded by a CCTV system operated by the United Grand Lodge of England. The purpose of the CCTV is to protect the health and safety of all building users, protect the premises, identify the owners of lost property and to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. The legal basis for this processing is the legitimate interests of the United Grand Lodge of England as owner and occupier of the premises.
If you choose to use the public wifi internet access at Freemasons’ Hall using a personal electronic device the United Grand Lodge of England will store and process details of that device for the purpose of providing the wifi to you. The United Grand Lodge of England may also store and process details of the websites that you visit using the wifi for its monitoring and administrative purposes and for crime prevention purposes.
Employees and contractors – The United Grand Lodge of England uses the data of employees for the purposes of performing their contracts of employment and for other purposes which are required by the law or which fall within its legitimate interests as an employer, including sharing that data where appropriate with pension providers and HMRC. Further detail is set out in the employee privacy notice available from HR and the data protection policy in the United Grand Lodge of England staff handbook.
The United Grand Lodge of England and the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England use the data of contractors for the purposes of performing their contracts and for any other purposes which are required by the law.
“Book of Constitutions” means the General Laws and Regulations for the Government of the Craft of the United Grand Lodge of England from time to time, a copy of which can be found at https://www.ugle.org.uk/about-us/book-of-constitutions.
“Masonic entities” means:
for Royal Arch Masons, and applicants to the Royal Arch, it will also include:
“Royal Arch Regulations” means the General Regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England from time to time, a copy of which can be found at https://www.ugle.org.uk/about-us/royal-arch/supreme-grand-chapter.
If you have any questions or complaints about how your data is processed please contact the relevant Masonic entity. If you have raised your concerns but not received a satisfactory response you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office or outside the UK to your local supervisory authority (if applicable). More information about UK complaints can be found at https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/.
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