This policy was last updated on 10 November 2022.
CIVICUS is committed to ensuring the privacy of all our members and users of our services.
This policy represents our commitment as an organisation to your right to privacy, giving you a clear explanation about how we use your information and your rights over that information.
References to ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ are to CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation, a registered non-profit organisation in South Africa (number 029-864-NPO) and also with registrations in the United States of America, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. CIVICUS is the registered data controller to which the policy refers. Our full details can be found at the end of this policy.
This policy applies to all online systems offered by CIVICUS, through our organisational website www.civicus.org and other websites we operate (monitor.civicus.org and vukacoalition.org). This also applies to our other digital communications services that we may use to collect and retain data (for example newsletters, social media, surveys and online events). Many of these digital communication services are hosted by third parties (for example Facebook, Twitter, Google, Mailchimp) which have their own privacy policies and collect different levels of personal information. Where available, we use administrative controls to limit the amount of data these third parties can process; however, we cannot override their mandatory data collection practices (for more information see section labeled Third Party Websites).
What types of information do we collect and how?
The type and amount of information we receive and store depends on how you use our websites and other digital communications. You can access most of the pages on our websites and digital channels without telling us who you are and without revealing personal information.
In some circumstances your information may be shared with third parties, but only where you have specifically consented.
We collect personal information in the following ways:
- When you sign up to become a CIVICUS member
- When you sign up to online actions, for example sign a statement or a letter
- When you register for an event (both in person meetings and online webinars)
- When you participate in a research exercise
- When you apply for a job or an internship
- When you apply for a project grant
If you choose to provide it, we can collect the following types of personal information from you:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Job Title
- Social Media Account
- Credit card details either to become a Voting Member or to register for International Civil Society Week.
The data sources that we can use to collect personal information from you:
- Our website
- Our membership application
- Newsletter subscription applications
- Online account applications for project intranets
- Event registration applications
- Job applications
- Email correspondence
- Social media platforms
How do we use the information collected?
We use your personal information collected via our websites and other electronic communications for the following purposes:
- To update you on our campaigns and activities
- To administer your CIVICUS membership
- To follow up with you on your expression of interest to join CIVICUS as a member
- To administer your job or internship applications
- To improve our websites
- To create user accounts
- To fulfill any legal obligations (see below)
- To conduct trend analysis to ensure we are acting as a diverse and inclusive alliance
- To share your data with trusted third parties, such as Mailchimp (further details below)
Legal basis of processing
Data protection laws, including the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, South Africa's Protection of Personal Information Act and others in relevant jurisdictions (Switzerland -Federal Act on Data Protection; UK - GDPR), requires us to have a legal justification to process your personal information. We use the following depending on the type of data and the type of processing:
In almost all cases, the legal basis for processing of your personal information will fall into one of the following categories:
- Where you have “opted in” and provided consent to allow us to use your data in a certain way.
- Where it is in the legitimate course of our work to contact you in order to raise awareness about our objectives or contributing to our work. We do this in a way that ensures we are not intrusive or infringe on your rights and freedoms.
- Where it is necessary to fulfill a contractual obligation to collate the personal data you have submitted.
If a campaign includes an invitation to sign up to a digital campaign we may rely on your consent to send petitions. As such we may also rely on our legitimate interest to contact you about getting more involved in our work.
If you have “opted out” – that is you ask us to stop contacting you – we will do so unless we are legally obliged to communicate with you.
We take appropriate security measures to ensure that we keep your information secure, accurate and up to date. We also take care to ensure that we have secure systems for processing payments through our payment services provider.
Third Party Websites
On our website we sometimes have links to third party websites or applications. Other than our membership form, which is hosted by a third party, this policy does not apply to other websites and applications that we may link to or are integrated into our pages. Examples of third party applications on our site include the ability to 'like' and 'share' content via Twitter and Facebook. Likewise our websites use Google Analytics, which does produce and store data about your visit to our websites. These other sites have their own privacy policies which apply to them. You are able to limit the amount of data these third party services process, please see below section on 'cookies'.
Who has access to your data?
CIVICUS will not sell your data to any other organisation and will only share your details with trusted service providers such as Mailchimp in order to perform an organisational activity that you have consented to (in the case of Mailchimp, to send you our newsletters). For the personal details you submit to us via an online form, authorised staff will be able to view this information. We take precautions to keep your personal details secure. We conduct routine security checks of our systems which store personal information.
Payment processing and fraud
Where submitted, your card details may be disclosed to banks or relevant financial institutions to arrange payments. In the case of a suspected fraudulent transaction, your details may be further disclosed for the sole purpose of performing further checks (for example, disclosure to a credit checking agency).
We may also share your personal information with your permission, or if we are legally required to disclose your information in circumstances where this cannot be reasonably resisted (for example court orders from legal jurisdictions where we are registered -- Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States of America,).
Examples of Cookies we use:
- Session Cookies. We use Session Cookies to operate our Service.
- Preference Cookies. We use Preference Cookies to remember your preferences and various settings -- for instance to determine if you are presented with the English, Spanish or French version of civicus.org
If you are under 18 years of age and would like to get involved in CIVICUS’ work, please make sure that you have your parent/guardian’s permission before giving us personal information. We will need a copy of a signed request form from your parent/guardian.
Retention of Data
You can have your personal data erased from our servers, by emailing . The length of time we will retain data varies depending on how long we need to process it for, the reason it was collected and in line with any statutory requirements. After this time the data will either be deleted or we may retain a secure anonymised record for research and analytical purposes.
Access to and your rights over your personal information
The personal data we hold about you is yours. You have the following rights over your information:
- To be informed how your data is being processed
- To access your data
- To rectify any data that is inaccurate
- To instruct us to delete your data
- To restrict our processing of your data (which includes contacting you via email) at any time. All our email communications to you will contain an unsubscribe link.
- To object to your data being stored.
- To move your data
Recruitment Privacy Statement
CIVICUS is committed to the responsible handling of personal information collected as part of the recruitment process.
Information provided by you in connection with your application will only be used by CIVICUS internally in relation to recruitment and selection processes and will not be disclosed to a third party without your consent, except as required by law.
Questions and Complaints
If you wish to exercise any of these rights or have any questions about this policy or make a subject data request, we can be contacted in the following ways:
If you are dissatisfied with how we have handled your complaint and you are based in an EU country, you can lodge a complaint with your Data Protection Authority - see list of contact details:
Website directory: https://edps.europa.eu/node/75_en
If you are based in South Africa, you can lodge a compliant with the Information Regulator: https://www.justice.gov.za/inforeg/contact.html