Privacy policy

At RNIB we're committed to protecting your privacy: we protect any personal information you give us while you use our services and websites. 

We may undertake additional processing which is subject to separate Privacy Policies and we will draw them to your attention where this is the case.

Our Privacy Policy

This policy describes how and why RNIB uses your personal and sensitive information, how we protect your privacy, rights and choices regarding this information. We promise to respect any of your personal information which is under our control and to keep it safe. We aim to be clear when we collect your information and about what we will do with it.

Our use of personal and sensitive data allows us to best support blind and partially sighted people to face the future with confidence, while ensuring engagement with RNIB is fair, in line with our core values and lawful.

This policy was last reviewed on 4 October 2021.

Who we are

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is a leading sight loss charity. In this Privacy Policy, "Royal National Institute of Blind People", "we" or "our" means Royal National Institute of Blind People. A registered charity in England and Wales (no. 226227), Scotland (no. SC039316) and the Isle of Man (no. 1226). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company incorporated by Royal Charter. Registered in England and Wales (no. RC000500). Registered office 105 Judd Street, London WC1H 9NE.

Controller Details

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
105 Judd Street
London
WC1H 9NE

Helpline Number: 0303 123 9999


Quick links


What personal information we collect 

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified:

  • Your name 

  • Your contact details, including postal address, telephone number, email address

  • Your date of birth

  • Your age, gender and/or your preferred salutation

  • Information about your health, where this is relevant to our support, including your eye condition and/or other diagnosed health conditions

  • Your GP or eye hospital address and the name of your consultant to provide support or advice

  • Your education, where this is relevant to our support

  • Employment history where this is relevant to our support, such as where we provide training or assistance with your employment or education to you or your organisation

  • Your living arrangements, if relevant to our support, such as assisting with processing benefits claims or providing advice

  • Whether you are a caregiver if relevant to our support

  • Power of attorney where applicable

  • Financial information you provide where you make a payment, such as bank details or credit/debit card details

  • Information as to whether you’re a taxpayer to enable us to claim Gift aid

  • Your affiliation with other charities

  • Information about your computer/mobile device and your visits to and use of this website: please see our Cookie information

  • If you volunteer for us or apply for a job with us, information necessary for us to process these applications and assess your suitability (which may include things like employment status, previous experience depending on the context, as well as any unspent criminal convictions or pending court cases you may have). If you are an employee, or a potential or past employee, please contact us for a copy of our Employee Privacy Policy or Volunteer Privacy Policy. 

  • Any other personal information you provide us.

Certain types of personal information are in a special category under data protection laws, as they are more sensitive. Examples of this type of sensitive data would be information about health or ethnicity. 

We only collect this type of information when there is a clear reason for us to do so. For example, we may ask for health information, if this is to assist you with the service we provide you or to make sure we meet your specific needs.

Wherever it is practical for us to do so, we will make clear why we are collecting this type of information and how it will be used.

We may ask you about criminal history/convictions, religious/philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation/gender identity, race or ethnicity, or health information when you contact us for assistance with social security, community care law or your rights under the Equality Act relating to goods, services and employment. We may also ask for this information to make sure that our own service delivery complies with the Equality Act.

In order to ensure we are accountable in terms of regulatory compliance and risks, we may collect criminal information and/or generate criminal information by investigating allegations of fraud, theft, bribery or money laundry. Information we may collect or process includes:

  • Allegations

  • Investigations

  • Personal data of victims and witnesses of crime

  • Personal data of the accused individual

  • You agreed to be a trustee and we need to complete funding applications

  • You agreed to assist us with our campaigns by providing us stories on your sight journey

  • You have expressed interest in the opportunities we find for blind and partially sighted people to sit on boards or panels in order to represent the blind and partially sighted community

  • You agree to participate in our radio show.

Health information may be collected when:

  • You have agreed to participate in the testing phase of our projects, in order to ensure our internal and external customers provide accessible websites, systems and products

  • To assist you with your specific need which may include keeping you in employment, counselling, support, joining a befriending group, providing you with the right skillset to use your technology, attending an event and providing you services commissioned by the NHS, such as low vision and eye clinic support services

  • You participate in our surveys, in order to ensure we are delivering the best service possible

  • You attend our events, to ensure we meet your dietary and accessibility requirements.

How we collect information about you 

Information you provide to us directly when you contact us about:

  • Advice, support and products to live an independent life, which may include referrals to other areas within RNIB, as well as providing support to your family so that they can better assist you

  • Courses we offer to professionals supporting people with sight loss 

  • Developing the right knowledge and skills to make the most of technology

  • Support for accessing educational materials 

  • Online or face-to-face courses and events 

  • Campaigning for change with government and commercial sector organisations 

  • Transcription services 

  • RNIB’s library services 

  • Participating in our development, testing and quality improvements projects for our external and internal customers to bring accessible products and innovations to market

  • Eye Clinic Liaison Officer services based within hospital teams across the UK

  • Low-vision service based in central London 

  • Emotional support and counselling for people affected by sight loss

  • Receiving advice on social security, community care law and the Equality Act relating to goods, services and employment

  • Employment advice

  • Assistance with grant requests or receiving grants from us

  • Account management for trade and business customers 

  • Buying a product from the RNIB Shop

  • Accessing our website to buy goods and/or services, search for information, signing up to one of our fundraising activities, completing an online survey, completing an online form, making a complaint online, asking us to contact you or just clicking on our website

  • Making use of any of our services that has a cost implication

  • Providing us with goods and/or services

  • Participating in our surveys or make recommendations on how we can improve our service

  • Entering into a contract with us as an individual or a third party supplier

  • Making donations to us or agreeing to us contacting you about fundraising 

  • Contacting us about helping write your will

  • Providing us with your stories to create awareness in society

  • Agreeing to attend or participate in our fundraising events

  • Updating/uploading information on The Online Book of Remembrance

  • A complaint or incident 

  • Whistleblowing or making us aware of compliance and/or risk issues such as fraud, theft, bribery or money laundry

  • Assisting in an investigation involving fraud, theft, bribery or money laundry

  • Applying to work or volunteer for us

  • Exercising your data protection rights.

Information you provide to us indirectly

Your information may be shared with us by third parties in the following circumstances:

  • When a third party enters into a contract with us to provide you with accessible documents on their behalf 

  • Department for Work and Pensions, National Health Services, Social services, local voluntary societies for sight loss or other sight loss charities when they have agreed with you that the RNIB would be in the best position to assist you

  • When you have given permission to other sight loss charities to share your data with us to join our campaign work

  • When you make donations to us via third parties

  • You make use of any of our services that have a cost implication via a third party

  • Provide us with goods and services via a third party

  • Are employed, volunteer or work with us via a third party

  • Your information is publicly available  

  • We are notified of a legacy bequeathed to us

  • When we complete research and prospecting in order to bring more donors into our pipeline

  • You agree to participate in our surveys and testing which is being hosted on a third party system or conducted on our behalf by a third party

  • When you use any of the Will service providers (National Free Wills Network or GoodWill Partnership) we recommend to you.

How we use your information 

Supporting you

The information we collect from you will be used:

  • To support you in living a full and independent life and we also provide support for your family to enable them to assist you better. This ranges from several services such as low vision, ECLOs and eye health clinic which assist directly with eye health. Emotional support and counselling to assist with coming to terms with sight loss, provision of accessible media, training and products, assistance with social security, community care law and the Equality Act relating to goods, services and employment, assistance with grants and application for grants, assistance with technology, as well as keeping you in employment. 

  • When you contact us about needing help with your campaigns, implementing change to policies or legal advice/services we use the information you provide us to provide you information on the lawmakers to contact, how to contact them or draft your content and where necessary, required or requested provide legal advice.

  • When you contact us about support with writing your Will, we will if you agree, share your information with either the National Free Wills Network or the Good Will Partnership depending on your requirements.

  • When you contact us about goods and/or services that require ongoing support, we may retain your information in relation to supplying that support.  

  • To carry out quantitative and qualitative-led analysis and research to advocate for policy, political, legal, social and organisational change, including engaging lawmakers and decision makers. 

  • To contact you about the positions we occasionally get for blind and partially sighted people to be represented in panels and boards of third party organisations to ensure that demography is represented.

  • When you contact us about exercising your rights under the Data Protection Law and General Data Protection Regulation.

Supporting us

Campaigning

  • By lending your voice to our advocacy and campaign work by either joining our campaign, by adding your name to/signing a petition, completing one of our templates to send a letter to a decision/policy maker in order to effect change or sharing your stories with us in order to give a human aspect to our campaigns.

Fundraising

In order to raise funds to support blind and partially sighted people by:

  • Processing funds and gifts received through fundraising, donations, Wills and gambling services, claim Gift Aid from HMRC, apply for bids

  • Providing audit reports to the required governing body to ensure compliance

  • Raising awareness in terms of using your lived experience in campaigns to apply/solicit for funds and grants from the public and funders

  • Planning fundraising events to ensure dietary and accessibility requirements are met

  • Thanking you for your support, which includes thanking you directly via emails and phone calls or recognising the huge contribution that legators make through The Online Book of Remembrance

  • Conducting analysis for profiling and segmentation on the information we collect from you, as well as information made publicly available in order to connect with individuals and organisations in order to discuss opportunities for funding.

RNIB Connect radio station 

For us to provide suitable content we conduct research on individuals who we think will make suitable guests as well as those that contribute to the radio show, using information publicly available and provided to us in interviews.

Managing our service

The information you provide us may be used in the following ways:

  • To ensure the information we have on you is up to date and accurate, as well as create a record of your interaction with us

  • In order for us to be able to ensure high standards of service, we conduct routine reviews of case files, customer records, processes and productivity. This means that your record may be reviewed by internal staff or auditors, for example from the NHS, to check that the support you received, the way it was recorded and our processes meet our quality requirements. The information reviewed will be kept strictly confidential.

  • Review by internal and external auditors, to check that our processes and conduct meet regulatory standards. This means that your record may be reviewed by internal staff or auditors from The Charity Commission, to check that our processes as a charity meet the requirements by law. The information reviewed will be kept strictly confidential.

  • To manage our accounts, statements, invoices, purchase orders, bank records, assets and other financial records. To manage processes to make and receive payments.

  • Horizon scanning to keep abreast of organisational strategy, maintaining knowledge of external economic changes and maintain knowledge of organisational changes

  • Process information on our website and online forms; monitor website use to identify visitor location, guard against disruptive use, monitor website traffic, personalise information which is presented to you and/or to provide you with targeted advertisements

  • Provide legal advice on incidents disputes and complaints as well as ensure contracts are legally binding and compliant.

Measuring our impact and performance 

Measuring our impact and performance allows us to determine whether our services are reaching different sections of our communities equally and ensure that support is available to everyone who needs it and that the right resources are in place to provide this. When we use information for measuring the impact of our services, assessing the equality and diversity of our clients or monitoring how our services are performing, we will always remove the data that identifies you (such as names, addresses, date of birth) and only work with this information as statistics.

Ensuring RNIB is accountable in terms of regulatory compliance, management of risk and assurance over risk

Your information may be used in relation to:

  • Maintaining an oversite of potential cases of fraud, theft, bribery, whistleblowing and money laundry, allowing us to ensure all cases are appropriately investigated with necessary action taken and appropriate documentation retained

  • Maintaining an oversight of business continuity management, allowing us to ensure arrangements are in place to respond to critical incidents and enable business continuity

  • Managing and responding to any request to exercise your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation, or otherwise complying with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Data accuracy

We use third-party technical providers to verify that email addresses, phone numbers and postcodes you have provided to us are valid when they are entered into our database.

Lawful Basis for Processing 

Data protection laws mean that each use we make of personal information must have a "lawful basis". The relevant lawful basis is set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679) and in current UK data protection legislation.

Contractual Obligation

In certain circumstances you may enter into an expressed or implied contract with Royal National Institute of Blind People, and we process your information on this basis. For example, when you contact us to assist you with any of the services/support we offer to meet your specific needs. You may also enter into a contract when you agree to participate in testing products and services in order to make them accessible.

Consent

As a client of RNIB we may need your consent to send you newsletters or participate in surveys.

Public Task

We may process your information under public task as we intercede on the behalf of blind and partially sighted people to ensure that public services are accessible. 

Legal obligation

We may need to collect and process your personal data when the law or our statutory obligations requires. These reasons include retention and provision of information regarding crimes/criminal activities, financial reporting and taxation as well as compliance with GDPR.

Legitimate interests

We have a basis to use your personal information if it is reasonably necessary for us (or others) to do so and in our/their legitimate interests (provided that, what the information is used for, is fair and does not unduly impact your rights).

We consider our legitimate interests to include all day-to-day activities RNIB carry out with personal information. Some examples not mentioned under the other basis above where we are relying on legitimate interests are:

  • Managing our services

  • Measuring our performance.

We only rely on legitimate interests when we have considered the potential impact on you (positive and negative), how intrusive it is from a privacy perspective and your rights under data protection laws do not override our (or others’) interests in us using your information in this way.

How we keep your information safe

We ensure that there are appropriate technical and organisational controls in place to protect your personal details. For example, all our staff receive training on data privacy and how to keep your data secure, and our network is protected and routinely monitored.

Unfortunately, no data transmission over the internet is 100 per cent secure. As a result, while we try to protect your personal information, RNIB cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us and you do so at your own risk. 

How long we keep your information 

Royal National Institute of Blind People has specific criteria to determine how long we will retain your information based on: 

  • The purposes for which we process your personal data and how long we need to keep the data to achieve these purposes

  • How long personal data is likely to remain accurate and up to date

  • For how long the personal data might be relevant to possible future legal claims

  • Any applicable legal, accounting, reporting or regulatory requirements which specify how long certain records must be kept.

Sharing your information with other organisations 

We will not share your data with any third parties for direct marketing.

Where we are under a legal or regulatory duty to do so, or where we consider it necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of Royal National Institute of Blind People, its personnel, visitors and users, we may disclose your details to:

  • The police

  • Regulatory bodies including but not limited to HMRC, the Financial Conduct Authorities, the Information Commissioner’s Office, or the Charity Commission

  • Any organisation where we have a requirement to share data for the purpose of safeguarding. Please see our Safeguarding Privacy Policy.

With your knowledge and consent, we may engage with other organisations on your behalf. These organisations could include Department for Work and Pensions, Job Centre Plus, Local Authorities, other charities or other organisations offering a service delivered in partnership with RNIB.

RNIB uses third party suppliers under contract as part of our legitimate interests. In order to carry out the contracted services, these suppliers may collect or store personal data as set out in the relevant contracts. These could include:

  • Training providers

  • IT providers

  • Banks

  • Funders.

Other specific uses of your data

Social media 

RNIB uses social media to promote our work. We have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. We collect donations through Facebook Fundraisers and Facebook Donate. Where members of the public engage with our posts or publish content relevant to our work, we may like the posts, follow them, reply or write to them. We conduct research on what people say on public social media platforms to better understand how people feel about our sector and to improve our work. 

If you are a social media user, we will user social media tools as part of our relationship with you. These tools include Facebook Custom and Lookalike audiences. Through using these tools, we will provide some of your data to the social media platform to allow them to identify your social media profile. You will then be shown advertising relating to RNIB which we think you will be interested in seeing. The social media platform will also use your profile to identify those with similar characteristics to you who we think may also be interested in finding out more about the work we do. These individuals will then be shown advertising about RNIB.  

Your rights 

Right to be Informed – this means you have a right to be informed about the way we collect and use your data.

Right to Access – also sometimes called a Subject Access Request – this means you have a right to request a copy of the data we hold on you. However, this is subject to certain exemptions.

Right to Rectification – this means that you can request that we correct your personal data if it is inaccurate.

Right to Restrict Processing – this means that you can request that processing of your data is limited and your data is stored separately.

Right to Data Portability – this means that under certain circumstances you can request that the data we hold on you be sent to you.

Right to Object – this means you have the right to object to processes being carried out under legitimate interest. 

Right to Withdraw consent – this means in certain instances you have the right to withdraw consent where consent has been used as a lawful basis to process your data.

Right to be Forgotten – this means you have the right to have some or all of your data deleted. This applies in certain cases and is subject to certain exemptions.

How we use cookies 

When you use our website, we add cookies to your device via your browser to give you the best experience of our website.

Cookies are small data files that are sent from a website to your computer or mobile phone. They are stored on the hard drive of your device. Some are stored just for the duration of your visit to the website, others are stored for much longer periods.

You can manage what cookies we place by using the ‘Manage Cookies’ function on our websites.
Learn more about cookies on aboutcookies.org.uk

For a full list of cookies used and simple explanation of purpose please visit what cookies we use.

Contacting us 

Please keep your information up to date by letting us know of any changes:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0303 123 9999

Address: Royal National Institute of Blind People, 105 Judd Street, London WC1H 9NE

If you decide you no longer want to hear about our news, products, services, campaigning, volunteering or fundraising activities, you can ask us to stop contacting you by emailing [email protected], calling 0303 123 9999 or writing to us at Royal National Institute of Blind People, 105 Judd Street, London WC1H 9NE. Or you can use our Contact us form.

You can also unsubscribe from RNIB enewsletters at any time. Just click on the Unsubscribe link in any of the email newsletters you receive. It appears on every enewsletter we send out and is located right at the bottom. If you are receiving care or support services from us or you use our online shop, we may still need to get in touch for administrative reasons about the services or products we provide to you.

Data Protection Officer details 

The Data Protection Officer 
RNIB
105 Judd Street  
London 
WC1H 9RN 

Email: [email protected]  

Complaints 

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we are using your personal information we’d like to hear about it. We appreciate the opportunity this feedback gives us to learn and improve. You can find out more and read our Customer Charter, or alternatively, you can contact the Data Protection Officer at [email protected]

You also have the right to lodge a complaint about any use of your information with the Information Commissioners Office, the UK data protection regulator.

Changes to Policy 

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes to how we use your personal information we will make this clear on the RNIB website or by contacting you directly.