The Malacological Society of London (MSL) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of its members (henceforth ‘you’) and respecting international data protection laws.  The same applies to recipients of our research and travel awards, some of whom are not members of the MSL.  In line with new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which becomes law on 25th May 2018, this policy document explains how and why we use your personal data, to ensure you remain informed and in control of the personal information entrusted to us.

As a relatively small learned society, we hold only minimal information about our members and grant recipients.  Personal data (i.e. any information that identifies a specific individual, or which can be shown to relate to a specific individual) is collected by the MSL and processed by the Hon. Membership Secretary. These data are held on a database for the sole use of the MSL, as set out in the 1998 Data Protection Act. The only significant third-party with which we share this information is Oxford University Press, in order to facilitate access to printed or online content of our journal as part of our contractual obligations to members. Oxford University Press has its own privacy policy ( We will never sell any of the personal data provided to us, and will only share it with trusted organizations or individuals where necessary, provided privacy and security are guaranteed.

The lawful basis for MSL collecting and processing your data is as follows:

  • as a necessity for the performance of your contract of membership with the MSL, or
  • as a necessity for the provision of financial support to individuals, as set out in the MSL’s charitable objectives, or
  • as a necessity for compliance with a legal obligation to which the MSL is subject.

The MSL will therefore only use your information for the purpose or purposes for which it was collected.

Personal data provided by members or grant recipients: We collect limited personal details (name, email address, postal address, telephone number). We process cheques, bank transfers and make online payments to award recipients, but we do not collect or retain any financial data, only a record of transactions between members or grant recipients and the MSL.

Information created by your membership of MSL: The MSL collects data relating to members’ activities and involvement with the Society, such as records of attendance at meetings (sometimes including photographs). This information is largely used as content for our newsletter, The Malacologist.  Occasionally, the MSL may collect information about specific individuals (particularly well-known or influential malacologists), from public sources such as webpages, news or other media. This is done as part of the promotion of MSL events (mainly our regular meetings or symposia).

Sensitive personal data: The MSL does not collect or store sensitive personal data (such as information relating to health, religious beliefs or political affiliation) from its members.

The MSL primarily uses personal data for administrative purposes, in order to maintain a database of our members and fulfill our contractual obligations to them. We use the information to communicate with members, primarily through occasional emails to highlight significant meetings or important information of interest and to remind them about subscription renewals. We also use personal data, including banking details, to fulfil our obligations to recipients of our research and travel awards, enabling us to pay these grants to individual award holders.

The MSL is based in the UK and the personal data we hold is stored within the European Union. We will only keep records of your personal information for as long as is reasonably necessary for the purposes for which we have collected it, and in order to comply with any statutory or regulatory obligations in relation to retention of records.  Your personal data will be deleted if you decide to terminate your membership. Personal data provided by grant recipients is not retained by the MSL after the award has been paid to them.

The MSL will never sell the personal data provided by its members or grant recipients. Membership data are disclosed (where necessary) to the Society’s Hon. officers and to relevant members of staff at Oxford University Press for the sole purpose of administering membership subscriptions and fulfilling membership contracts. Personal data provided by grant recipients are handled by the Hon. Awards Officer and Hon. Treasurer and are not retained for any purpose other than providing the award.  The presence of members at Council Meetings or the Annual General Meeting will be recorded in the minutes, which form part of the historical record of the MSL.  The presence of members at lectures/symposia organized by the MSL may also be recorded in reports or mentioned in articles published about the event (online or in print). The MSL website includes hyperlinks to other websites. The MSL is not responsible for the content or functionality of any of those external websites and does not provide any personal data to them. If an external website requests personal information from you (e.g. as part of a transaction for goods or services), that information provided is not covered by the MSL’s Privacy Policy. The MSL therefore strongly recommends that you read the privacy policy of any third-party organization before providing any personal information.

We want to ensure you remain in control of your personal data. This is best achieved by ensuring that you understand your legal rights, which are as follows:

  • You have the right to request access to and obtain a copy of the personal information we hold.
  • You have the right to have your data deleted.
  • You have the right to have inaccurate data corrected.
  • You have the right to object to your data being used for purposes other than those for which it has been collected

You can contact us by email at  in relation to any of the rights described above, or if you have any questions regarding this privacy policy. You also have the right to lodge a complaint regarding our processing of your personal information with a data protection supervisory authority in a country where you live, work, or where you believe a breach may have occurred.  If you are dissatisfied with our response, or if you believe that your data protection or privacy rights have been infringed, you can complain to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which regulates and enforces data protection law in the UK. Details of how to do this can be found at

This Privacy Policy will be amended occasionally to ensure it reflects current legislation relating to personal data, and is permanently available via our website ( It was last updated on 23rd May 2018.