Friends Reunited Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy applies to Friends Reunited Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (Company Number 03932836) and the operator of the www.friendsreunited.co.uk website. This Privacy Policy explains how we use information that we receive about you when you use the website and how we make sure it is stored and managed, safely and legally.

We are registered as a data controller with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Our registration number is Z5218910. You can check our registration online if you want to.

This Privacy Policy is part of the Terms and Conditions of using this website, so please read it carefully. We take your privacy extremely seriously, and will store all your personal information securely in line with good professional practice and applicable data protection laws.

The laws you’re protected by.

As we are a UK company, you are protected by UK and European data protection laws. You can find out more about data protection in general on the UK Information Commissioner's Office website .

Information we receive about you.

We always aim to gather only the information that we need in order to provide you with the service you have subscribed to.

Registration and other information. At registration, you provide us with information about yourself such as your name, email address, year of birth and gender. We also receive information from you when you pay for a product, get in contact with us, and sometimes if you reply to a survey.

Information you choose to share. If you create content on the website, which may include uploading personal information in the ‘About me’ section or uploading photos and comments, we also receive that information. This may include personal information about you and other people (for example, names and birthdays of people in your family).

Information other members share about you. We may also receive information from other members, such as when they upload content relating to you, tag photos of you, or post comments in relation to your memories or Friends Reunited groups.

Photo tagging. Photo tagging is creating a link from a photo or other information identifying you back to your profile. If a contact tags you in an uploaded photo, for example, that tag will link back to your profile. Your contact will be able to view any photos and Friend Groups which you have permitted them to access through your settings, and other information on your page. You, or the member who created the tag, can remove a tag about you. You always have the option of blocking a contact. More information about blocking contacts can be found on the website.

Other information we receive about you.

  • Whenever you visit the website, we receive information about what you do during your visit, such as when you perform searches, send messages, click advertisements, keep photos, or purchase products. We receive this information through cookies. You can find out more about our use of cookies below.
  • We also receive some information about the computer or other device you use to access our service, such as your IP address, the browser you use, your location, how big your screen is, or the pages you visit.
  • When you upload a photo or video, we may also receive additional information through metadata about where that photo or video was taken, such as the time, date and location.
  • We may also receive statistical, anonymised information from our advertising partners who work with us to deliver more relevant, higher quality advertising to you on the website and to understand online activity.
  • We may also receive information from other websites, such as Facebook, when you log into the website using Facebook Platform. You can find out more about this under Sharing with other websites and applications below.

What we use this information for.

We use the information we receive about you through your use of the website, and the services we provide to you on the website, for the purposes set out below (which are discussed in further detail throughout this Privacy Policy):

  • managing the website (including your account);
  • providing advanced website features to you;
  • suggesting and providing relevant content to you on the website;
  • understanding your needs to help us improve the website;
  • improving search results;
  • understanding website usage to help us improve our marketing or the way we do business; and
  • sending you emails or other communications (more details below).

You give us permission to use your information for the above purposes in relation to our current service, and also in relation to any new products and features which we may provide to you in the future as part of our service.

We won’t sell your information to third parties.

If we run a promotion or competition where your information will be shared with a third party for marketing purposes, we will make that very clear and will ask your permission first.

Emails and communications.

You are probably most interested in how we will use your email address to communicate with you, so here's our email promise:

Service emails. We will never ever send you unsolicited emails without your permission, but there are some emails that we will send you to provide you with a good service. These include notifications that you have a message from a contact, reminders about your membership and guides on how to use the website. A full list of the types of emails you will receive to help you use the service most effectively (which we call ‘service emails’) are shown below:

  • Validation email – emails to verify your email address when you first register and aim to prevent fraudulent or automated registration;
  • Welcome emails – emails which explain how to use the website when you first join;
  • Key service messages – emails to notify you about changes to the service;
  • New message notification and reminders – emails to let you know when you receive messages from contacts;
  • Emails from members inviting you to view their content;
  • Notes/profile/comments/photo and video approval notification;
  • Verification email – emails to verify your email address is still valid after a long absence from the site; and
  • Service suspension notices – if you break the house rules.

Memory alerts/ Nostalgia newsletters. As well as service emails, you may also receive memory alerts and our occasional newsletters (if you have opted to receive them). These emails help you to make the most of the website and let you know when there is new fun and interesting stuff to do. Here is a bit more information about them...

Friend Group alerts: They are an essential part of our service because they tell you about recent activity relating to your Friend Groups. The good thing about these alerts is that they let you know when you should pop back to the website. Without them you would never know there was new stuff to read.

Friends Reunited newletters: When registering, we give you the option of receiving our occasional newsletters. We use these to notify you about new features on the website, ask your opinion, and tell you about services you might not be using yet. If you sign up to receive our newsletters, we may also email you information and news about our sister websites, Genes Reunited and Friends Reunited Dating. Newsletters may also contain advertising from companies we think you might like or be interested in.

If at any time you decide you don't want to receive the memory alerts or nostalgia newsletters – or if you aren’t currently receiving them and want to – all you need to do is change your settings in your email preferences. You'll find these options in the Edit Your Account page. There are also instructions on every email we send, and you can usually unsubscribe directly from the email.

Offers, competitions and services from third party companies. You may also opt in to receive occasional information, offers and services from third party companies that we think you might like or be interested in. If you decide you no longer want to receive these communications – or if you aren't currently receiving them and want to – all you need to do is change your email preferences. You'll find this in the Edit Your Account area once you're logged in. There are also instructions on every email we send, and you can usually unsubscribe directly from the email without visiting the website.

Our use of cookies.

Information gathered on registration. When you register for our service, you provide your name, year of birth, gender and email address. You can change these details through the Edit Your Account page. Please update your details with relevant changes as soon as possible to ensure we have the correct information for you on your account.

Cookies. We use small text files known as "cookies" to enhance your experience of our service as follows:

  • To hold an encryted login code, so that you do not need to log in each time you visit the website, and your homepage is personalised. This option can be turned off by logging out, and unticking the “Keep me signed in” option when you next sign in;
  • To facilitate optimal use of our service by means of a temporary “session” cookie which helps you to navigate through the website and enhances your user experience. These cookies disappear when your browser session ends, or when you click the “Signout” link on the website homepage; and
  • To help us recognise you as a unique visitor by means of a “persistent” cookie when you return to our website and to allow us to tailor content or advertisements to match your preferred interests or to avoid showing you the same adverts and messages repeatedly.

Analytical cookies. We also use analytical cookies and similar analytical tools to compile anonymous, aggregated statistics that allow us to understand how users use our service and to help us improve the structure of our website. This is not personal data, and we cannot identify you in this way. These cookies allow us to understand who has seen which pages and advertisements on the website, to determine how frequently particular pages and advertisements are visited, to determine the most popular areas of the website, and generally to monitor usage of the website. We will also use aggregate non-personal data to track the success of any advertising campaigns on our website, to improve the effectiveness and suitability of advertising in communications sent by us and other companies in the Friends Reunited group and/or to provide to third parties anonymised, demographic data provided by you to target advertising more appropriately. We do not provide our advertising partners with information that identifies you as an individual.

Third party cookies. Some of the web analytics companies and advertisers used on the website may also place tracking cookies on your web browsers and/or computer. These cookies and embedded code are used for tracking the success of advertising campaigns. These cookies are normally permanent. Advertisers on our website and newsletters may also use cookies and similar analytical tools (both on our website and elsewhere) to monitor the success of the advertising, to control the frequency and repetition of advertisements and to ensure that advertising is relevant to individual users. This helps us to keep the website free of charge.

Further information. Please contact our customer support service to request further details about individual cookies used on our website by us and by third parties.

Disabling cookies. Most internet browsers are automatically set up to accept cookies, but you can set your browser to refuse a cookie by changing your browser security settings, or you can ask your browser to show you where a cookie has been set up. You may also be asked to consent to the use of certain cookies upon entering or registering on our website. Certain features on our website are only activated by the presence of a cookie so, if you do not accept certain cookies, our website might not work properly, and particular features of this website may not be available to you. You can find out more on how to disable/enable cookies via the following link http://www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies/.

Privacy settings.

We understand that privacy is important to you, so we provide a number of ways for you to change your privacy settings in relation to your photos.

Information that always remains public:

  • Profile Page. Your profile page, including your user name can be viewed by any other member. Only ‘public’ Friend Groups that you have created or joined, however, will be displayed on your profile. Any Friend Groups you have chosen to join ‘private’ will not be displayed on your profile.

Information that always remains private:

  • News stream. On news page, your mFriend Group news shows your recent activity on your account. Your news is personal to you, and is not viewable by other members of our service.
  • Keepsafe. Only you can directly view your Keepsafe. Only you can see any photos or video you have kept. Any Friend Groups that you have created and that you have chosen to make public, however, will be viewable by everyone, meaning all members and non-members.
  • Private groups. Only you and any members you specifically invite are able to search, view and interact with your private photos and Friend Groups. For more about privacy settings in relation to Friend Groups, please see below.

Sending messages. Some information that you choose to upload onto our service, such as when you post comments relating to a public friend group, will always be publicly available, although it will appear as an anonymous message to non-members. You can find out more about sending private messages to other members on our website.

Friend Groups. You can control who can view and interact with your Friend Groups through three different privacy settings. When you create a friend group, you are given the option of keeping the setting as ‘public’ or changing it to either ‘shared’ or ‘private’. Here is a bit more information on each type of setting:

  • Public Friend Groups are searchable and viewable by all members and non-members where you invite them to view your photos or comments. Members may choose to join these Friend Groups and their contents on their own Keepsafe, and are also able to interact with this content. Non-members are able to view the content but cannot interact with it. You can make a public or shared Friend Group, which you own or manage, private by:
    • clicking on its name where it appears in the left column of your page;
    • clicking the 'Edit this Friend Group' link which appears towards the top of the Friend Group's individual page; and
    • making this change via the 'Choose which type of Friend Group to make?' section.
  • Shared Friend Groups are searchable and viewable on the website by all members. Any member is able to join these Friend Groups and their contents in their own Keepsafe, but only people you invite to join the friend group will be able to add new content to the Friend Group.
  • Private Friend Groups are not searchable. Only members whom you invite to these friend group will be able to view and join the Friend Groups and their contents in their own Keepsafe. Only the people you invite are able to add new content to the Friend Group.

Sharing with other websites and applications.

Logging into the website using Facebook. You can log in to the website using the Facebook Platform. When you log in using Facebook, Facebook shares selective information with us, such as your gender, date of birth, name and location, but we do not share information we hold about you with Facebook through your use of this facility.

Sharing links to photos and Friend Groups. By using the ‘Share’ links on the website, you can share your content and Friend Groups with non-members using Facebook, Twitter and email. The content will remain at all times on the website and only the link and other limited information will appear on Facebook and Twitter, or in the email. There are restrictions on the sharing of content that we provide to you on the website. You can find out more about these restrictions in our Terms and Conditions.

We use high quality security technology and processes.

We aim to keep your details safe when you sign in or pay by using encryption. You can find out more about encryption via this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption We always use up-to-date technology security standards and make every effort to keep our systems as secure as they can reasonably be. Please be aware that, although our systems are as secure as they reasonably can be, your information might be intercepted on its way to us via the internet, although it is extremely uncommon for this to happen. Keep your sign in details private at all times and do not share them with anybody.

Where your information is stored.

The vast majority of your information is stored securely on our servers in Scotland, UK. Some of our third party partners use servers in the United States. When we process data in the United States, we only use providers certified under the EU-approved Safe Harbor scheme

We don’t store your payment card information.

When we take a payment from you, we use a secure third party service to process the payment and do not keep a record of your credit or debit card details in our systems. This means that, even if someone broke into our systems, your payment details would not be available for them to steal.

When we might disclose your information.

We may share data supplied by you (or collected about you) with other companies in the corporate group of which we form a part (meaning Friends Reunited Limited, Brightsolid Online Innovation Limited, and any of their subsidiaries from time to time), but only for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy.

The only circumstances in which we will share any of the information we receive about you to a third party are if we:

  • have informed you first, for example by setting it out in this Privacy Policy;
  • have received your permission first;
  • have removed any personally identifiable information before sharing it; or
  • are required or otherwise permitted to do so by law or where we are using a third party supplier to provide part of our  service to you – such as delivering a product to your home.  If that happens we will ensure our supplier does not use the information for anything else.

Using third parties to process your information.

The only circumstances in which we will provide any of your personal data to a third party are those contained in this Privacy Policy or if we are required to under law. We occasionally use third party companies to manage information that you provide us with: for example, when you complete a survey or pay for a product. When we do, we keep the amount of personal information they hold to an absolute minimum, have contracts in place to stop them using your information except on our behalf and obviously use reasonable efforts to make sure they are as careful with your information as we are.

Removing your profile from Friends Reunited.

You may remove your profile from the website at any time by clicking the “Account” link located towards the top right of the website, and clicking “Remove my account from Friends Reunited”. Any public content you have added to the website will remain; however, your profile page will not be accessible, and other members will not be able to contact you. Any content that you chose to share publicly, understandably, may be copied or stored by other members even after your profile has been removed. When your profile has been removed, we will archive and store your information for a reasonable time period for legal and administrative reasons and for the purposes of re-activating your account with us, if you wish to do so.

Updating your personal information.

If the information we hold about you is no longer correct, please update your details in the “Account” section of the website or, alternatively, let us know and we will update our records. In certain situations, we may choose not to amend your personal information. In this event, we will include an appropriate statement or note about it adjacent to or with the information.

Seeing what information we hold on you.

If you want to know what personal information we hold on you, get in contact, and we’ll be happy to supply you with it. There is a £10 administration charge to cover the cost of pulling it together.

If we change hands.

If our business transfers to anyone else, you agree that we can pass your information to that person, so they can continue to provide you with the service.

Contact us.

We hope that’s clear. If it isn’t or you have another question that isn’t covered, please contact us.

Changes to this Privacy Policy.

We might make changes to this Privacy Policy from time to time. Check back here to stay up to date. If we make a major change to it, we’ll usually send you a service email describing the change and what it means for you.