Privacy Policy

Your continued use of the SchoolMates Service constitutes your acceptance of this SchoolMates Privacy Policy. At SchoolMates, a company registered in England and Wales (Company Number 09312284) and the operator of the SchoolMates website, we believe strongly in protecting the privacy of our Members' information. This is a legal document that sets out how SchoolMates handles data which relates to you in accordance with applicable data protection and privacy laws. You should read it in conjunction with the SchoolMates Terms and Conditions, of which this Privacy Policy forms part.

1. Emails from SchoolMates

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

Service Emails. The team at SchoolMates hate spam and will never ever send you unsolicited emails. But there are some emails that we will need to send you to provide you with a good SchoolMates service. These include notifications that you have a message from another member and when a new member joins your class year. 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:

  • Welcome emails - welcome e-mail containing a link to verify your e-mail.
  • Key service messages - if we need to notify you about changes to the service.
  • New message notification when members message you.
  • New message notification when members join your class year.
  • Service suspension notices - if you break the house rules.

Newsletters. When registering, you are given the option to receive our occasional newsletters. We use these to notify you about new features on the site, ask your opinion about the website. We only send a newsletter when there is something worthwhile to tell you about, so your inbox will never be overflowing with guff from us. Generally you'll get a newsletter about once every month. If you decide you no longer want to receive these newsletters - or if you aren't currently receiving it and want to - all you need to do is change your email preferences. You'll find this in the Dashboard area once you're logged in.

2. The information we gather and track

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. When you register for the SchoolMates Service, you provide your first name, birth last name and your email address. They are available to you, and capable of being changed, through the My Profile page.

Information you choose to share. If you create content on the website, which may include uploading personal information in the My Profile section or uploading photos and stories.

Information other members share about you. We may also receive information from other members, such as when they upload content relating to you or post comments in relation to your uploaded content.

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. 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 your 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 we may also receive additional information through metadata about where that photo was taken, such as the time, date and location.
  • We may also receive statistical information that does not personally identify you 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 or Twitter, when you log into the website using the Facebook or Twitter Platform. You can find out more about this under Sharing with other websites and applications below.

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.

Logging into the website using Twitter. You can log in to the website using the Twitter Platform. When you log in using Twitter, Twitter 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 Twitter through your use of this facility.

Our use of cookies.

Information gathered on registration. When you register for our service, you provide us with information such as your name and email address. We use cookies to store this login information. You can change these details through the My 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 your login information (mentioned above), 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.
  • 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, to determine how frequently particular pages 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 SchoolMates 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 will not work properly. You can find out more on how to disable/enable cookies via the following link www.allaboutcookies.org.

3. Sharing and use of information

We use the information we receive about you through your use of the website, and of 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;
  • Sending you emails and 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.

The over-riding principles we apply are these:

  • We will not supply your information to a third party for commercial exploitation - thus, you can rest assured that we will not sell the lists of our Members' email addresses to a third party;
  • The details you provide on Registration are only available to you, except that names and nicknames are searchable by other members, your email address is never revealed.
  • Emailing through the SchoolMates Service. We do not directly make your email address available to anyone on any screen of the SchoolMates Service. The only legitimate way of making contact with a Member on the SchoolMates Service is for a subscribed Member to enter a message that we will send on the Member's behalf. We will notify the addressee Member, using the email address he/she has provided to us, that SchoolMates is holding an email for him/her, and the Member can collect the email when logged in to the SchoolMates Service. Members may check and (if required) change the email address we hold for them at any time through "My Account". Members' personal notes must not include their email address. Sent and received email may appear in a Member's Message Inbox on the SchoolMates Service for an indefinite period - we do not delete it after any specific period. However, this does not mean that we will retain your email forever; there may come a time when we will need to delete some or all of it, for technical or other reasons. In this event, we will endeavour to give you advance warning that we are going to do so.
  • Changes in SchoolMates's business. If all of the assets which SchoolMates uses to operate its business (or substantially all of them) are acquired by a third party, we may transfer personal data we then hold to that party so that the acquirer can continue to provide the SchoolMates Service.
  • Place of processing. Your information held by us is held on and processed by computers situated in the United Kingdom.

4. Security

We have high quality security measures in place to protect your information, including your details in our customer database, and access to this database is restricted internally. The website is secured using an SSL Certificate so all web pages are served via https:// meaning the data us encrypted. We also encrypt your password within our database to maintain your security.

We also suggest to protect against unauthorised access to Your Details:

  • no-one else uses the SchoolMates Service on that Member's machine while it is "logged on" to the SchoolMates Service;
  • to log off or exit from the SchoolMates Service when not using it; and
  • to keep his/her password secret.

5. Removing your profile from the SchoolMates Service

You may remove your profile from the website by using the "Cancel My Account" option. Your account and any public content you have added to the website will be REMOVED from schoolmates.co.uk; your profile page will not be accessible, and other subscribed Members will not be able to contact or find you. 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.

6. Disclosure for legal reasons

We reserve the right to communicate any personal information we hold about you to third parties which seek the disclosure of it, and which make a legally-compliant request for its disclosure.

7. 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 will usually send you a service email describing the change and what it means for you.

8. Contacting SchoolMates

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of the SchoolMates Service, or your dealings with SchoolMates, you can contact us here. You can also use this address (3 Derby Road, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3EA) if you wish to request from SchoolMates a copy of the personal data we hold about you or a description of that data. Please note that by law we are entitled to charge you a small sum for providing this information.

9. Links to third party sites

Wehere SchoolMates Service contains links to other sites. SchoolMates is not responsible for the privacy practices, or the content, of those web sites.

10. Data Protection Information

You can obtain further information about data protection laws by visiting the UK Information Commissioner's website. You can search for our Data Protection Notification there, should you so wish (our registration number is ).

11. Updating your personal information

If the information we hold about you is no longer correct, please update your details in the My Account area 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 with the information.