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Queen Mary Alumni

Data Protection Privacy Notice for Alumni and Supporters

About this notice

This privacy notice explains how Queen Mary University of London handles and uses the personal data we collect about alumni and past, current and potential supporters, whether donors, volunteers or participants in activities that we run. It is in addition to Queen Mary’s Data Protection Policy, and recognises the changes made to the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

All data is held securely and will be treated confidentially and with sensitivity to enable us to further the work of Queen Mary University of London and better provide services to our alumni and supporters. We aim to be always clear about how and why we collect your personal information, and not do anything that you would not reasonably expect.

Who we are

The Department of Development and Alumni Engagement (DDAE) supports Queen Mary University of London by engaging with alumni, students and supporters of the University. We help you keep in touch with Queen Mary and with fellow alumni; host academic, social and networking events; provide access to exclusive alumni services such as the Alumni Extra Card; and send news bulletins by mail and email. We also fundraise to support Queen Mary’s students, especially those experiencing hardship, as well as Queen Mary’s teaching, research and capital projects.

Our responsibilities and legal basis for processing your data

To carry out our work, it is necessary for us to process and store personal information relating to students, staff, alumni, supporters and friends of Queen Mary according to the principles of UK GDPR.

Queen Mary processes the information outlined in this Privacy Notice in pursuit of our legitimate interests in:

  • communicating with students, staff, alumni, and past, current and potential supporters
  • providing benefits and services to students, staff, alumni and supporters, including mentoring and careers support after graduation
  • furthering Queen Mary’s educational and charitable mission (which includes fundraising and securing the support of volunteers)
  • enabling Queen Mary to achieve its strategic and operational goals

We may pursue these legitimate interests by contacting you by telephone, email, post, text or social media. Information about how you can manage the ways that we contact you, including how to opt out from some or all contact from Queen Mary, is outlined in the ‘How we use your personal data’ section below.

Whilst Queen Mary relies on legitimate interest as the legal basis for processing where this is not overridden by the interests and rights or freedoms of the data subjects concerned, it recognises that legitimate interest is not the only lawful ground for processing data and that certain data-types cannot be included under this provision. As such, where appropriate, we will sometimes process your data under an alternative legal basis - e.g. because you have given us consent to do so in accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

The data we hold and how we collect it

DDAE maintains a record of all former students of Queen Mary University of London. Student records are transferred to the DDAE database upon graduation, as stated in the Privacy Notice for Students.

We gather personal data from you when you enquire about our activities; register for an event; make a donation; volunteer; subscribe to the Queen Mary Network online platform; engage with our social media channels; or otherwise provide us with information. In some circumstances, we may ask you if you are a UK taxpayer so that we can claim Gift Aid. Third parties, such as JustGiving or independent event organisers, may also share your personal data with us if you have given your permission, and you should consult their privacy policies to understand how and what may be shared.

If you interact with any other departments, divisions, schools or faculties within Queen Mary we may receive data from these areas providing you have given the appropriate consents. We always aim to keep your details up-to-date, and we will do this by communicating directly with you, as well as by using publicly available resources such as the Royal Mail’s National Change of Address database (NCOA).

The vast majority of the information we hold is obtained directly from you, in the ways outlined above. In addition, we may also obtain data from trusted public domain sources.

The personal data we hold about you may include:

  • name, title, gender and date of birth
  • contact details including postal address, email, phone number and links to social media accounts, together with your communication preferences
  • degree details and date of graduation, etc
  • membership of clubs, societies and other extra-curricular activities in which you participated as a student
  • occupation, professional activities and other life achievements
  • recreations and interests
  • family and spouse/partner details and your relationships with other alumni, supporters and friends
  • records of donations and Gift Aid status, where applicable (as required by HMRC)
  • records of communications sent to you by DDAE or received from you
  • volunteering by you on behalf of Queen Mary
  • financial information relating to you and your family, including data and estimations around your income, assets and potential capacity to make a gift
  • information about your philanthropic donations and volunteering with other organisations
  • media articles about you
  • information on your engagement with Queen Mary via meetings, events, groups or networks
  • personal data provided by you for a specific purpose (e.g. disability and dietary preferences for event management purposes)
  • information about your use of Queen Mary resources or facilities (e.g. the Library)

Queen Mary does not store any credit/debit card details and is PCI-DSS compliant. Bank details used for processing Direct Debits are held under the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme.

How we use your personal data 

Your data is used by Queen Mary University of London to communicate with you in a variety of ways, including: 

  • the promotion of the relationship between Queen Mary and its alumni for mutual benefit 
  • university-related fundraising initiatives involving alumni and other supporters
  • eliciting non-financial support (e.g. mentoring/careers support for students and assistance with student recruitment activities)
  • sending invitations to alumni events and other events of interest organised by Queen Mary
  • university mailings, both hard-copy and electronic (e.g. alumni magazines and e-newsletters) 
  • promoting the benefits and services available to alumni

Communications to you may be sent by post, telephone, email, text or via social media, depending on the contact details we hold and the preferences expressed by you about the types of communication you wish to receive.

Tools may be used to help us improve the effectiveness of Queen Mary’s communications with you, including tracking whether the emails we send are opened and which links are clicked within a message. We monitor website visits and use tools such as Google Analytics to improve our website and services.

If you prefer not to receive some types of communication, or any communication whatsoever, you can amend your preferences at any time by emailing or writing to:

Department of Development and Alumni Engagement
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS

We will not contact you for any purposes by post, email, text message, social media or telephone if you have told us you do not want to hear from us by any of those channels. If you are registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) but have provided us with a telephone number, we will assume that we have your consent to call you on this number until notified otherwise.

If you unsubscribe from any or all of the communication channels mentioned above, we will update our records to stop further communication as quickly as we can. Please be aware that it can sometimes take a short while for the change to be fully implemented. Furthermore, if your details are held on other Queen Mary systems (e.g. the Mile End Institute mailing list) you will need to unsubscribe from them separately.

Research, wealth screening, data analysis and data-matching

Queen Mary is an institution that has been and continues to be a grateful recipient of public and private philanthropy, enabling it to increase access to education, further research and improve facilities for students. Ethical and transparent fundraising is therefore essential to its mission.

In order to ensure that this is carried out as efficiently as possible, whilst respecting the rights and wishes of alumni, supporters and potential supporters, we may gather information about you from trusted publicly available sources to help us understand more about you as an individual and your ability to support the university in ways financial or otherwise.

We may perform wealth screening, a process which uses trusted third-party organisations, to help us identify a small percentage of alumni who may be interested in becoming more closely involved in the life and aims of Queen Mary, and may have capacity to influence or give support at a significant level. We may use information gathered from public sources or other departments, schools or faculties within Queen Mary, alongside the information you provide, to undertake analysis of who might support the University and better understand the preferences of our alumni with regard to events, communication and services. By so doing, we can more effectively focus the conversations we have with you, and ensure that we provide you with an experience as an alumnus/na, donor or potential donor that is appropriate.

From time to time, we may carry out research into individuals before we have provided our privacy notice to them on the basis of Article 14.5.b of GDPR, which states that the obligation to provide a privacy notice shall not apply where the action “is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of the objectives of that processing”. Such individuals will still be provided with the privacy notice at the point of first contact or as soon as it is reasonable to do so.

Publicly available sources are used to carry out due diligence on donors in accordance with Queen Mary’s Gift Acceptance Policy and adhere to money laundering regulations. We may also undertake data-matching, e.g. via the National Change of Address Register, to find new contact details for alumni with whom we have lost touch.

Queen Mary is a member of the Fundraising Regulator and committed to its Code of Practice.

Public domain sources

The publicly available sources we use to conduct research and due diligence include:

  • Companies House and other business-related resources
  • company websites and annual reports
  • Charity Commission, Guidestar, US Foundation Directory and other sources for non-profits
  • annual and donor reports of other organisations
  • rich lists
  • philanthropy press
  • Factiva (national and international press, and due diligence tools)
  • Lexis Nexis (national and international press, and due diligence tools)
  • general internet and press searches
  • Who’s Who and Debrett’s People of Today
  • The King’s Honours Lists
  • LinkedIn
  • National Change of Address Register

Who can view your personal data?

Your personal data is held on the DDAE database, access to which is controlled with tiered levels of security, and related systems including the Queen Mary Network. Data extracts may be requested by other individuals contracted to or employed by Queen Mary, e.g. staff working within a department or school, who have requested it for a specific purpose such as analysing alumni employment destinations, and who have signed a data-sharing agreement.

We may on rare occasions share contact details with affiliated bodies, principally the University of London and the Russell Group, enabling alumni to be invited to events in which they may be interested. This is decided on a case-by-case basis when it is impossible for Queen Mary to issue the invitations directly (e.g. in the case of embassy receptions with rigorous security protocols). Such transfers would be single-use only, with no data retained by the event organiser. If you would like to be excluded from this, please email

No personal data will be disclosed to external parties, other than those contracted by DDAE in order to assist with its routine activities as detailed above, or where we may be required to do so by law. An example of the latter is that Queen Mary has a legal obligation to supply some of the information we hold about you, as a graduate, to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education in the UK. New graduates will be contacted regarding this 15 months after the completion of studies. Another example is the processing of Gift Aid by HMRC when donors have completed a Gift Aid declaration.

Where data is shared with a third-party contractor (e.g. for the purposes of analysis, updating or cloud-storage), we ensure that we have a data processing and non-disclosure agreement in place. This means that any third party is only able to use information we provide for specified purposes and must keep it secure. We do not sell your personal data to other organisations, nor share it as part of any reciprocal arrangement.

International transfers

Personal data is held in the UK on secure servers by Queen Mary and Queen Mary approved contractors. Any transfers of your data overseas (outside of the European Economic Area), for example to an international branch of Queen Mary’s alumni network, are protected either by a European Commission 'adequacy decision' (declaring the recipient country as a 'safe' territory for personal data) or by standard contractual clauses adopted by the European Commission, which obligate the recipient to safeguard the data. Further information about the measures we use to protect data when being transferred internationally is available from our Data Protection Officer (whose contact details are set out below).

Global Queen Mary

Queen Mary is a global institution, with alumni of all nationalities and centres in countries including China, France, Greece, Malta and Singapore. Where a transfer of information covered by this privacy notice takes place between the University and territory outside the UK, we ensure that an adequate level of protection is in place in accordance with UK data protection law. Further information about the measures we use to protect data when being transferred internationally is available from our Data Protection Officer (whose contact details are set out below).

How long is your personal data kept

Queen Mary maintains a record of all former students and, as such, we hold education details in perpetuity. Other information will be reviewed according to Queen Mary’s records retention schedule and deleted if the criteria for retention are no longer met.

Your rights and further information

We try to ensure that the data we hold for you is up-to-date, reasonable and not excessive. You will always have the right to:

  • be informed as to how we use your data (via this privacy notice)
  • access or request a copy of the data we hold about you
  • update, amend or rectify the data we hold about you
  • change your communication preferences at any time to restrict how we process your data, or opt out of some or all communication from DDAE
  • object to or restrict the processing of your information for any of the purposes outlined in this privacy notice
  • ask us to remove your data from our records.

For further information, please see Queen Mary’s Data Protection Policy. If you have any queries about this privacy notice or how we process your personal data, please write to by email, or Data Protection Officer, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS by post. Please read other privacy notices relevant to services you may access at Queen Mary.

Future changes

Because of changes to legislation or institutional data-management practices, we may have cause on occasion to amend elements of the information processing described above. If this should happen, we will always alert you by publishing the latest version of this document on this web page and, where possible, emailing or postal mailing you.

Last updated on: 18 July 2023

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