Privacy Policy

Data Protection

Who we are

The website is owned and operated by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications exists to support the advancement of mathematical knowledge and its applications and to promote and enhance mathematical culture in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, for the public good. It is the professional and learned society for qualified and practising mathematicians, with a membership of around 5,000 comprising of mathematicians from all sectors, as well as those with an interest in mathematics. The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications is a registered charity, number 1017777.

What we collect

Data is classified as either personal or sensitive. Personal data concerns information relating to an individual who may be identified by the data in some way. This includes your title, first name, surname, gender, date of birth, your qualifications, home and work contact details (telephone, fax, street address, email address) and your mailing address. We may also collect information relating to your employment, including where you are currently employed, your job title, areas of interest/expertise and your job function if this is relevant to your membership. In applications for some categories of membership we ask you to identify a nominating person and/or referee and to provide contact information for them. Personal data also includes any alphanumeric code that may be used to identify an individual. The IMA collects the minimum of data commensurate with the service being offered. Sensitive data includes racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, genetic data, biometric and data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. The IMA does not collect or process sensitive data unless required to do so by law.

Lawful Basis

The IMA is required to demonstrate and document a lawful basis for processing data, that is a specified justification for holding or using personal data. In the large majority of cases, the lawful bases used are defined as ‘contract’ or ‘legitimate interest’ in the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. Contract is typically used when there is a written agreement between the individual and the IMA in which the IMA undertakes to provide goods and / or services, usually in return for a fee. Typically, ‘contract’ would hold for members, subscribers and conference delegates. ‘Legitimate interest’ is a more flexible arrangement and is used when the individual’s data, which has been freely given, is used in ways that they would reasonably expect and which have minimal privacy impact. While legitimate interest can include both the interest of the IMA or a third party, in practice it is used when mutual interest exists between the IMA and the individual. Examples include former conference delegates, volunteers and grant applicants. A lawful basis has been identified and documented for all groups of individuals whose data is processed by the IMA and details are available on request. In all cases, personal data are only ever processed in the interests of the charitable aims of the IMA.

When we collect your personal information

We respect the privacy of all those whose data we hold and process, and aim to act lawfully, fairly and transparently in accordance with the GDPR and the 7 principles of data protection. Generally, we collect personal information directly from you when you:

  • Deal with us in person, by telephone, letter, fax or email
  • Fill out and submit a membership application form
  • Submit any other information in connection with your application for membership or renewal of membership or the purchase of other services
  • Register for a publication subscription
  • Make an enquiry
  • Apply for a bursary or grant
  • Register to attend an event
  • Work as a volunteer
  • Apply for / accept a post with the IMA

Why we collect information

We collect personal data to administer our activities, events, publications, services or grants and bursaries, and to promote networking within the Institute. Data is also collected to permit the Institute to carry out its contractual and legal obligations and to pursue its charitable aims.

Maintaining the accuracy of data

The IMA has a responsibility to ensure personal data are accurate and current and will make every reasonable effort to ensure this. All individuals have a right of access to and correction of their data and we would welcome contact to maintain the accuracy of data held. In addition, Members can correct or update personal data using their online myIMA account .

Payment and bank details

Credit card details are not stored on our servers, but are securely stored on the WorldPay payment gateway employed by us for the processing of card payments. Any information provided by you in connection with a Direct Debit payment will be used by us to process the transaction. In addition, some financial details must be stored for specified periods when required by legislation or, on occasion and for short periods, to process particular transactions.

Use and disclosure

Our policy is not to disclose any personal information that we hold on you to any unrelated third party, except where you have given your express permission for us to do so. However, we may process personal data without your knowledge or permission where a legal obligation requires us to do so. We require all third parties with whom we share personal data to respect it and to process it in accordance with the GDPR. We (and committee members/representatives) may use your email address for the purpose of notifying you about services, events or activities of relevance to you, and to promote networking within the Institute for which we have legitimate interest. If you tell us that you do not wish us to use your personal information for a particular purpose, we will not do so. We also collect email addresses from people who subscribe to our email lists. If you do not want to receive email from us in the future please let us know by using the unsubscribe option on the email. Personal information collected on the IMA websites will be used only for the purpose stated (such as the processing of membership or grant applications) and such information will be held for as long as necessary to fulfil the stated purpose. This will vary according to this purpose and the lawful basis for processing. Personal data is normally held in a secure database where it is kept while it is still essential for the purpose for which it was collected. This will vary according to this purpose and the lawful basis for processing. Data relating to conference delegates, for example, is kept from application through the event and then for a subsequent period of six years to permit the IMA to inform delegates of future events. Personal data collected during the process of any form of membership application normally will be kept for the duration of the membership and for a period of six years following its termination, in a secure database, to facilitate re-joining if required. However, personal data will always be removed on request. We may, from time to time, email you with additional information considered to be relevant to your professional/scientific interests, but only to those who have given their agreement to receiving such communications.

Data Security

The database in which most personal data is held uses strict security procedures to prevent unauthorised access or use. Further procedures are in place to protect your personal data from accidental loss, compromise, or unauthorised access in the unlikely event that these occur. A data breach policy provides a sequence of actions which must be taken in the event of a suspected data breach including notification of individuals and the Information Commissioner’s Office, if required by the GDPR.

Information to improve our websites

We also collect information automatically about your visit to our websites. This information is used to help us follow browsing preferences on our site so that we can regularly improve our website and enable more advanced features of our website. The IMA uses Google Analytics to provide statistical data which offer useful information on the performance of the site. This third party holds very limited information but it may, in principle, identify a visitor to the site. This information is not used or stored by the IMA in the form it is held by Google. However, since the processed, anonymised data are used by the IMA to improve the website for the benefit of the visitor, the IMA has legitimate interest. Google has undertaken to hold these data for no more than six months. If you do not want to be tracked by Google analytics then please follow Google’s opt-out instructions.

Cookies on our sites

A cookie is a text-only string of information that a website transfers to the cookie folder of the browser on your computer’s hard disk so that the website can remember who you are. The law relating to cookies changed on 26 May 2011. The new rules require that cookies can only be placed on machines where the user has given their permission. The IMA websites use cookies for essential functions such as login and account management. Please note that you will not be able to login to the IMA websites without accepting the use of cookies. More information about cookies and how to opt out of using them is available at

Your Rights

The GDPR provide individuals with a number of rights concerning your personal data. These are the right to:

  • Be informed about the collection and use of personal data
  • Access personal data
  • Rectification or correction
  • Erasure or deletion
  • Restrict processing; in certain circumstances, data may be stored but not processed.
  • Data Portability of data i.e. to obtain and reuse personal data for your own purposes.
  • Object to processing in certain circumstances
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.
  • To withdraw consent when that is the lawful basis of processing

Should you require further information or wish to exercise these rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer: Data Protection Officer Institute of Mathematics and its Applications Catherine Richards House 16 Nelson Street Southend-on-Sea Essex SS1 1EF Tel: +44 (0)1702 354020 Fax: +44 (0)1702 354111