• Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Introduction and Contents

This is the privacy policy for Big Issue Group and our websites.  Big Issue Group consists of the following registered companies:  The Big Issue Company (company registration number 02612480), Big Issue Invest (company registration number 04764982) and Big Issue Changing Lives CIC, (company registration number 14786850). Some of our other sites and services have their own policies that will be relevant to you when you are using those sites and services.

This policy covers the following topics:

  • Information about your rights, the choices available to you and our obligations in the United kingdom
  • Transparency about how we collect and use your personal data, including when and how it is shared
  • Information on how we protect your personal data
  • Information on how we support your rights and respond to your questions


Introduction and Contents                                                                


About this privacy policy                                                                   

Who we are and how to contact us                                                  

The types of personal data The Big Issue collects about you      

Types of Personal data we collect                                                    

How we collect personal information                                              

How we use your personal data                                                       

Personal information we receive from other organisations          

How long we keep your personal data                                                 

How we may contact you                                                                   

Use of children’s personal data                                                            

Security of your personal data                                                             

Cookies and similar technologies                                                       

Your privacy and data protection rights with regard to the personal data that we hold about you                                                               

Contact us for information about how we use your personal data                                                                                                            

About this privacy policy

This policy explains how we collect, use, share, and transfer your personal data when you use and interact with our site and services. This includes subscriptions, contributions, donations, and enquiries.

Personal data is any information about you which you can be identified or identifiable. This can include information such as:

  • Your name, date of birth, email address, your postal address personal or company postal address, phone number, and financial details you use to purchase subscriptions
  • Information about your device  (such as the IP address, a unique set of numbers that identifies each computer communicating over the internet).
  • Information relating to how you use and interact with our site and services.
  • There may be links to sites and services that are not part of The Big Issue family of offerings, they will have their own privacy policies.  If you follow a link to these sites you should read the privacy policy on their site.

Who we are and how to contact us

The Big Issue 3rd Floor, 113-115 Fonthill Road, London N4 3HH is the data controller in respect of personal data.  We decide how and what we hold and use your personal data.  If you want to contact us you can find our contact details in the footer of this page


The types of personal data we collect about you

We collect personal data when you visit our websites, in order to subscribe for products or services, make a donation, contribute to The Big Issue, or if you interact with us. 

We only collect your personal data in line with applicable laws.  We collect your personal data in the following ways

  • Directly from you, when you sign up for our services and when you browse our sites
  • Personal data generated during an interaction for example when we collect your preferences or your IP address
  • Personal data we collect from third parties, eg data that helps us analyse

Types of Personal data we collect

We collect your personal data when you sign up for a product or service from The Big Issue listed below

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Other details such your financial and debit/credit card information and billing address when you sign up for a subscription and or donation

Personal information we generate about you

We may use cookies or similar technology to collect extra data including:

  • Your IP address (a numerical code that can be used to identify your device together with the country and region or city where you are based)
  • Your geolocation data – your IP address can be used to determine the geographical location of your device, its direction of travel, your GPS data and data connection with your local WiFi equipment
  • Information on how you interact with our services
  • Your browsing history of the content you have visited on our sites, including how you were referred to our sites via other websites
  • Details of your computer, mobile, TV, tablet or other devices, for example, the unique device ID, unique vendor or advertising ID and browsers used to access our content

We will not collect special category or sensitive personal data about your race, opinions, religion, health or sexual orientation- unless you have chosen to provide such personal data to us

Personal data when you post comments about The Big Issue on social media sites

If you mention The Big Issue in posts on social media sites, then we may collect your social media handles.  For example when you mention The Big Issue in a tweet, we may collect your Twitter handle.

How we collect personal information

We collect personal information when you:

  • Subscribe to any of our newsletters
  • Pay for subscription or purchase any product or service
  • Permit us to administer your donation or to allow us to support your fundraising activities, including processing gift aid
  • Furthering our charitable aims, including for fundraising activities
  • Apply for volunteering opportunities
  • Enter our competitions and surveys
  • Sign up for marketing communications
  • Request information in relation to products or services we have to offer
  • Use mobile devices to access our content
  • Access and interact with our sites
  • Set your preferences on what data is held on cookies and similar technologies
  • When you contact us via email, social media or similar technologies or when you mention us on social media

How we use your personal data

Personal data is collected through our sites only if we have valid and legal grounds to do so, as determined by legal grounds for the purpose of collecting your personal data.  The legal grounds include the following:

Consent: which includes consent you provide to receive marketing communications from us. You can withdraw your consent at any time. With respect to marketing emails you can withdraw your consent by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email.

Performance of a contract with you (to take steps prior to entering into a contract with you): for example where you have purchased a subscription from us and we need to use your contact details and payment data to process your request and deliver your subscription.

Compliance with law: In some cases we have a legal obligation to use or keep your data.

Our legitimate interest: where we want to understand our site users, promote services and operate our site and services.  Example of when we rely on on our legitimate interest to use your personal data include:

When we analyse what content has been viewed so that we can understand how they are used and improve our content

To carry out marketing analysis to better understand your interests and preferences

To show you personalised advertisements by identifying your interests and to create segments of particular types of audiences so that we may show you advertisements that may be more relevant to your interests. 

for administrative purposes related to when you use our services – such as our accounting and records – and to make you aware of any changes to our services

To collect and log IP addresses to improve the website and monitor website usage

To personalise our services by remembering your settings

When responding to your queries and resolve complaints

For security and fraud prevention

Where we rely on cookies to collect any personal data please see our cookie policy.

Personal information we receive from other organisations

Personal data shared by event partners

When you register or book a (The Big Issue) fundraising event organised by an event partner, your registration data may be shared with us by the event partner

When we share your personal information

Within The Big Issue Companies

We may share your data to understand how you interact across our group products or to tailor and offer relevant advertising to you.

With external organisations

We may share your personal data with organisations not directly linked to us when the following applies

Service providers – that provide service on our behalf.  We may do this to perform a contract we have entered into, where it is in our legitimate interests or with your consent.  Examples of when we may share your data with service providers include sharing with

  • Online payments processors who process credit and debit card transactions on our behalf
  • Fraud management providers that help us to identify and prevent online fraud
  • Internet and cloud hosting services providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Software service providers such as Salesforce that assist us with our customer relationship management
  • Error tracking software providers, to help us diagnose and fix errors and optimise the performance of our website and apps
  • Service providers that help us carry out analytics, facilitate audience creation and segmentation and to measure our audience engagement.
  • Service providers that help provide us with insights and analytics that help us to improve our products and services. For example, we use Google Analytics to understand how visitors engage with our sites or apps . If you don’t want Google Analytics to be used in your browser, you can install the ‘Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-On’, provided by Google
  • Data management companies, such as Typeform, that help us collect data via online forms and surveys

Advertising partners – We may also share your data collected through our websites and apps with our advertising partners, as set out in our cookie policy. These partners help us deliver relevant advertising across our websites and apps. For example, we use Google Ad Manager to assist us with the delivery of relevant ads.    If you would like more information about online behavioural targeting and how to opt out of it, please visit www.youronlinechoices.com or you can also visit http://www.networkadvertising.org/

Agencies and authorities if required by law – We may reveal your personal data to any law enforcement agency, court, regulator, government authority, or in connection with any legal action if we are required to do so to meet a legal or regulatory obligation, where the request is proportionate, or otherwise to protect our rights or the rights of anyone else (for example, in response to valid and properly served legal process such as a warrant). We will attempt to notify you prior to disclosing your data unless (i) prohibited by applicable law from doing so, or (ii) there are clear indications of unlawful conduct in connection with your use of The Big Issue services.

Event sponsors and partners – we may share your personal data with sponsors of The Big Issue events and partners who we hold events with for marketing purposes when you have given your permission for us to do so.

Social media organisations – We may share your personal data with other organisations when our web pages use social plug-ins from these organisations (such as the “Facebook Recommend” function, Twitter’s retweet function, Google+ function). These other organisations may receive and use personal data about your visit to our sites or apps. If you browse our site or view content on our apps, personal data they collect may be connected to your account on their site. For more information on how these organisations use personal data, please read their privacy policies.

Organisation/s that buy any of the The Big Issue companies – We may share your personal data to any other organisation that buys, or to which we transfer all, or substantially all, of our assets and business. If this sale or transfer takes place, we will use reasonable efforts to try to make sure that the organisation we transfer your personal data to uses it in line with our privacy policy.

Any organisations which access your data in the course of providing services on our behalf will be governed by strict contractual restrictions to make sure that they protect your data and keep to all data privacy laws that apply. We may also independently audit these service providers to make sure that they meet our standards.

International data transfers

Data we collect may be transferred to, stored and processed in any country or territory where one or more of our service providers are based or have facilities. While other countries or territories may not have the same standards of data protection as those in your home country, we will continue to protect personal data that we transfer in line with this privacy policy.
Whenever we transfer your personal data out of the European Economic Area (EEA), we ensure similar protection and put in place at least one of these safeguards:

  • We will only transfer your personal data to countries that have been found to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data
  • We may also use specific approved contracts that use Standard Contractual Clauses for the protection of personal data where appropriate, with our service providers that are based in countries outside the EEA, including those based in the US. These contracts give your personal data the same protection it has in the EEA

How long we keep your personal data

We keep your personal data for only as long as we need to. How long we need your personal data depends on what we are using it for, as set out in this privacy policy. For example, we may need to use it to answer your queries about a product or service and as a result may keep personal data while you are still using our product or services. We may also need to keep your personal data for accounting purposes, for example, where you have bought a subscription. If we no longer need your data, we will delete it or make it anonymous by removing all details that identify you. If we have asked for your permission to process your personal data and we have no other lawful grounds to continue with that processing, and you withdraw your permission, we will delete your personal data. However, when you unsubscribe from marketing communications, we will keep your email address to ensure that we do not send you any marketing in future.


How we may contact you

Service communications

From time to time we may send you service emails, for example, telling you your subscription is coming to an end or thanking you when you contribute or place an order with us.

Marketing communications and editorial newsletters

If we have your permission, we may send you materials we think may interest you, such as The Big Issue offers and updates. Depending on your marketing preferences, this may be by email, phone, SMS or post.

We offer a range of editorial newsletters. You can decide not to receive these emails at any time and will be able to “unsubscribe” directly by clicking a link in the email

Market research

Sometimes we may contact you for market research purposes, for example about a survey. You can opt out from being contacted by using our contact us page.

Responding to your queries or complaints

If you have raised a query or a complaint with us, we may contact you to answer your query or to resolve your complaint.

Use of children’s personal data

We do not aim any of our products or services directly at children under the age of 13 and we do not knowingly collect personal data about children under 13. Some of our services may have a higher age restriction and this will be shown at the point of registration.

Security of your personal data

We have implemented appropriate technical and organisational controls to protect your personal data against unauthorised processing and against accidental loss, damage or destruction. The internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data once with us, we cannot guarantee the security of any personal data sent to our site.

Cookies and similar technologies

When you visit our sites or when you use our apps, we may collect personal data from you automatically using cookies or similar technologies. A cookie is a small file that can be placed on your device that allows us to recognise and remember you.

This privacy policy includes our cookie policy, where you can find details of our key advertising partners.

Your privacy and data protection rights with regard to the personal data that we hold about you

You have a number of rights with regard to the personal data that we hold about you and you can contact us with regard to the following rights in relation to your personal data:

  • You have the right to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you
  • You have the right to correct the personal data we hold about you
  • Where applicable, you may also have a right to receive a machine-readable copy of your personal data
  • You also have the right to ask us to delete your personal data or restrict how it is used, consistent with the UK GDPR. There may be exceptions to the right to erasure for specific legal reasons which, if applicable, we will set out for you in response to your request
  • Where applicable, you have the right to object to processing of your personal data for certain purposes
  • Where you have provided us with consent to use your personal data, you can withdraw this at any time

If you do not want us to use your personal data for marketing analysis or you would like to exercise any of the other rights specified above, please email dataprotection@thebigissue.com or write to the Data Protection Manager at 3rd Floor, 113-115 Fonthill Road, London N4 3HH. We will deal with requests within one month.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity. If your request is complicated or if you have made a large number of requests, it may take us longer. We will let you know if we need longer than one month to respond. You will not have to pay a fee to obtain a copy of your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive.

Contact us for information about how we use your personal data

If you have any questions about how we use your personal data or if you have a concern about how your personal data is used, please contact the Data Protection Manager at The Big Issue, 3rd Floor, 113-115 Fonthill Road, London N4 3HH. Or, email dataprotection@thebigissue.com.

Complaints will be dealt with by the Data Protection Team, and will be responded to within 30 days.

If you are not satisfied with the way your concern has been handled, you can refer your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you have a question about anything else, please see our Contact us page.

Changes to this privacy policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy we will post the changes here. If required by law, we will get your permission or give you the opportunity to opt out of any new uses of your data.

Changes to this privacy policy to date

The most recent changes to this privacy policy were made on:

  • 13 April 2023
  • 20 April 2023

A list of all previous changes are available upon request.

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