Privacy Policy – January 2018 


Your privacy is critically important to us. At the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), we have a few  fundamental principles: 

  • We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal  information that we collect about you through the operation of our services. We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it. We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information. 

Below is the IOA’s privacy policy, which incorporates and clarifies these principles. Who We Are and What This Policy Covers 

The IOA is a professional body for scientists and engineers working in all fields of acoustics, noise  and vibration. We are a charitable company whose aim is to promote and advance the art, science  and technology of acoustics in all their aspects. We do this through: 

  • Providing membership and professional recognition for those working in acoustics, noise  and vibration. 
  • Organizing meetings, events and conferences on acoustics, noise and vibration open to both  members and the public. 
  • Delivering professional training courses in acoustics, noise and vibration. Promoting of a wider understanding of acoustics, noise and vibration to other professionals,  the public and students. 
  • Providing advice and guidance on acoustics, noise and vibration to policy makers and  Government. 

This Privacy Policy applies to information that we collect about you when you use: 

  • Our website. 
  • Our mobile applications. 
  • Our Learning Platform. 
  • Or enrol on one of our courses, events, or become a member of the IOA (at any grade).  

Throughout this Privacy Policy we’ll refer to our website, mobile applications and other products and  services collectively as “Services.” 

Below we explain how we collect, use, and share information about you, along with the choices that  you have with respect to that information. 

Please note that this Privacy Policy does not apply to any of our products or services (current or  future) that have a separate privacy policy. 

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us at

Information We Collect 

We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so for example, to provide our  Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better. 

We collect information in three ways: if and when you provide information to us, automatically  through operating our services, and from outside sources. Let’s go over the information that we  collect. 

Information You Provide to Us  

It’s probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us. The amount and type of  information depends on the context and how we use the information. Here are some examples: 

  • Professional Membership Information: we ask for information that enables us to contact  you, to assess your professional education and experience for a membership grade. We ask  you for your fields of interest, whether you are a registered engineer or not and, if so, details  of your registration. We also ask you who your employer is. We use this information to  manage our services to you and to inform you of specific events and CPD that may link with  your stated fields of interest. If you chose to receive a hard copy of the Bulletin your postal details are given to our mail distributor in order to send you your copy. This data is not used  by the distributor for any other purpose nor given to a third party. Apart from the data given  to our postal distributor an individual’s data is not passed on to a third party. 
  • Annual Members Snapshot: Every December we take a snapshot of our membership and  make this available to all members. The snapshot lists member’s grade and name. You have  the option within your online membership record to link yourself to an employer. If you  choose to do this then your employer will also be listed against your name.  
  • Equality and Diversity Data: We collect Equality and Diversity data on members and  customers using our courses and events. The IOA is striving to be an equal opportunity  provider of services to members and our service users. We use this data at a macro level to  monitor the diversity of our membership and the participation rates in our events. For  students on our courses we also monitor retention and achievement rates by the various  diversity categories. We do this to ensure that we are not being unconsciously prejudiced in  how we deliver our services. We do not pass an individual’s data onto a third party. Under  the sensitive diversity categories you have the option of ‘prefer not to say’. 
  • Register of Members: On our website we have a Membership Check for the public. Some  members find it professionally beneficial for the public to be able to check that they are a  current member of the IOA. The public can check using your name whether you are a  current member of the institute and if you chose to list it, your employer. You have to opt in  to this service in your membership record to be included in this checking service. 
  • Student Membership: Student membership is free and available to anyone over 18. We ask  for your date of birth to confirm your age. We use your email, course details and year of  graduation to send you information on events you may be interested in and we use your  

graduation date to inform you of courses and events that may help you continue your  professional development. We use any diversity information you give us to help us monitor  the diversity of those entering the profession to enable us to be an equal opportunity service  provider. We do not pass on your details to any third parties. 

  • Transaction and Billing Information: If you buy something from us–a membership  subscription, a ticket for an event or a course, for example–you will provide additional  personal and payment information that is required to process the transaction and your  payment, such as your name, credit/debit card information, and contact information. If you 

pay online through our website payments are taken through our credit/debit card payment  provider, currently Sagepay (Jan 2018). In this case we do not have access to your bank  account or card details. Occasionally someone may pay for a service over the phone or by  card at an event. We keep a hard copy of your card details only long enough to ensure the  payment has been taken (normally a few minutes), then the details are destroyed, we DO  NOT store your card details either in the office or on our IT system.  

  • Travel and Expenses Claims: Volunteers are entitled to claim travel and expenses when  working for the IOA. Claims are paid via bank transfer and we ask for your bank account  number and sort code to facilitate this. We do not store these details on our IT system but  they are stored on our account with Lloyds Bank who are fully General Data Protection  Regulation compliant. When a claim is processed we check the bank details on your claim  against the details stored with the bank to ensure we are transferring the funds to the right  account. Once confirmed, the details on your claim are blacked out so only the last 4 digits  are visible. The claim is then scanned and the original destroyed. It is impossible to read the  blacked out digits on the scan. The last 4 digits are then only used for the bank  reconciliation at the end of the month. We do not store your bank account details on our IT  system or in the office.  
  • CPD Record: you have the ability to log your CPD on your membership record. We may  access this as part of a check by our CPD Committee to confirm your commitment to  undertake CPD as part of your membership. We do not pass this information onto a third  party or your employer without your express permission. 

Information We Collect Automatically  

We also collect some information automatically:  

  • Log Information: Like most online service providers, we collect information that web  browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, IP  address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of  access, operating system, and mobile network information. We collect log information when  you use our online Services. 
  • Usage Information: We collect information about your usage of our Services. For example,  we collect information about the actions that site administrators and users perform on a  site–in other words, who did what, when and to what thing on a site (e.g when you last  logged onto your membership account, what changes you made) We also collect  information about what happens when you use our Services (e.g., page views, support  document searches, button clicks) along with information about your device (e.g., mobile  screen size, name of cellular network, and mobile device manufacturer). We use this  information to, for example, provide our Services to you, as well as get insights on how  people use our Services, so we can make our Services better.  
  • Location Information: We may determine the approximate location of your device from  your IP address. We collect and use this information to, for example, calculate how many  people visit our Services from certain geographic regions. We may also collect information  about your precise location via our mobile apps (when, for example, you post information to  our learning platform with location information) if you allow us to do so through your mobile  device operating system’s permissions. 
  • Stored Information: We may access information stored on your mobile device via a mobile  app (possible future development). We may access this stored information through your  device operating system’s permissions. For example, if you give us permission to access the  photographs on your mobile device’s camera roll, our Services may access the photos stored 

on your device when you upload a really amazing photograph from an IOA event or some  course work. 

Information from Cookies & Other Technologies: A cookie is a string of information that a website  stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the  visitor returns. Pixel tags (also called web beacons) are small blocks of code placed on websites and  e-mails. The IOA uses cookies, and other technologies like pixel tags, to help us identify and track  

visitors, usage, and access preferences for our Services, as well as track and understand e-mail  campaign effectiveness and to deliver targeted ads. You can disable any cookies already stored on  your computer, but these may stop our website or learning platform or apps from functioning  properly. 

The following is strictly necessary in the operation of our IT systems. 

The systems will: 

o Remember what is in your shopping basket 

o Remember where you are in the order process 

o Remember that you are logged in and that your session is secure. You need to be  logged in to complete an order. 

The following are not strictly necessary, but are required to provide you with the best user  experience and also to tell us which pages you find most interesting (anonymously). 

Functional Cookies 

The systems will: 

o Offer Live Chat Support; if available. 

o Track the pages you visit via Google Analytics. 

Targeting Cookies 

The systems will: 

o Allow you to share pages with social networks such as Facebook; if available. o Allow you to share pages via Add This ; if available. 

This website will not 

o Share any personal information with third parties. 

Information We Could Collect from Other Sources 

We may also get information about you from other sources. For example, if you connect your  website or account to a social media service (like Twitter), we could receive information from that  service (such as your username, basic profile information, and friends list) via the authorization  procedures used by that service. The information we receive depends on which services you  authorize and any options that are available.

We could also get information from third party services about individuals who are not yet our users  (…but we hope will be!), which we may use, for example, for marketing and advertising purposes. 

How We Use Information 

We use information about you as mentioned above and as follows: 

  • To provide our Services–for example, to set up and maintain your account, or charge you for  any of our paid Services. 
  • To further develop our Services–for example by adding new features that we think will  benefit our members/service users. 
  • To monitor and analyze trends and better understand how users interact with our Services,  which helps us improve our Services and make them easier to use. 
  • To monitor and protect the security of our Services, detect and prevent fraudulent  transactions and other illegal activities, fight spam, and protect the rights and property of  the IOA and others. 
  • To communicate with you about offers and promotions offered by IOA and others we think  will be of interest to you, solicit your feedback, or keep you up to date on the IOA and our  events and courses. 
  • To personalize your experience using our Services and provide content and CPD  recommendations. 

Sharing Information 

How We Share Information 

We do not sell our users’ private personal information. 

We share information about you in the limited circumstances spelled out below and with  appropriate safeguards on your privacy: 

  • Subsidiaries, Employees, and Independent Contractors: We may disclose information about  you to our subsidiaries, our employees, and individuals who are our independent  contractors that need to know the information in order to help us provide our Services or to  process the information on our behalf. We require our subsidiaries, employees, and  independent contractors to follow this Privacy Policy for personal information that we share  with them. 
  • Third Party Vendors: We may share information about you with third party vendors who  need to know information about you in order to provide their services to us. This group  includes vendors that help us provide our Services to you (like payment providers that  process your credit and debit card information) and those that help us understand and  enhance our Services (like analytics providers). We require vendors to agree to privacy  commitments in order to share information with them.  
  • As Required by Law: We may disclose information about you in response to a court order, or  other governmental request.  
  • To Protect Rights and Property: We may disclose information about you when we believe in  good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of the  IOA, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if we have a good faith belief that  there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, we may disclose information  related to the emergency without delay.
  • Business Transfers: In connection with the unlikely events of any merger, sale of company  assets, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by another organisation, or in the  that the IOA goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would likely be one  of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. If any of these events were to  happen, this Privacy Policy would continue to apply to your information and the party  receiving your information may continue to use your information, but only consistent with  this Privacy Policy. 
  • With Your Consent: We may share and disclose information with your consent or at your  direction. For example, we may share your information with third parties with which you  authorize us to do so.  
  • Aggregated and De-Identified Information: We may share information that has been  aggregated or reasonably de-identified, so that the information could not reasonably be  used to identify you. For instance, we may publish aggregate diversity statistics about the  use of our Services.  
  • Published Support Requests: And if you send us a request (for example, via a support email  or one of our feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish that request in order to  help us clarify or respond to your request or to help us support other users. 


While no online service is 100% secure, we work very hard to protect information about you against  unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so. 


You have several choices available when it comes to information about you: 

  • Limit the Information that You Provide: If you have an account with us, you can choose not  to provide the optional account information and transaction and billing information. Please  keep in mind that if you do not provide this information, certain features of our Services may  not be accessible.  
  • Limit Access to Information on Your Mobile Device: Your mobile device operating system  should provide you with the ability to discontinue our ability to collect stored information or  location information via mobile apps.  
  • Set Your Browser to Reject Cookies: You can usually choose to set your browser to remove  or reject browser cookies before using IOA online services, with the drawback that certain  features of our online services may not function properly without the aid of cookies.  

Other Things You Should Know (Keep Reading!) 

Transferring Information 

The IOA has a world wide reach but or information is only stored in the UK with a backup in the  Netherlands both of which are covered by the General Data Protection Regulations which come into  force in May 2018.  

Analytics Services Provided by Others 

You will access our online services through a third party provider, such as Google. These providers  use technologies that allow these third parties to recognize your device and to compile information  about you or others who use your device. This information allows us and other companies to, among 

other things, analyze and track usage, determine the popularity of certain content, and deliver  advertisements that may be more targeted to your interests. Please note this Privacy Policy only  covers the collection of information by IOA and does not cover the collection of information by any  third party advertisers or analytics providers. 

Third Party Software 

If you’d like to use third party software like plugins with our Services, please keep in mind that when  you interact with them you may provide information about yourself to those third parties. We don’t  own or control these third parties and they have their own rules about collection, use and sharing of  information. You should review their rules and policies when installing and using third party  


Privacy Policy Changes 

Although most changes are likely to be minor, the IOA may change its Privacy Policy from time to  time. The Institute encourages visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to its Privacy  Policy. If we make changes, we will notify you by revising the change log below, and, in some cases,  we may provide additional notice (such as adding a statement to our homepage or sending you a  notification through e-mail). Your continued use of the Services after any change in this Privacy  Policy will constitute your consent to such change. 

Change log 

  • I January 2018: Privacy Policy Version 1 

Institute of Acoustics, Silbury Court, 406 Silbury Boulevard,

Milton Keynes, MK9 2AF, UK

Tel +44 (0) 300 999 9675