The GDPR and How the Groningen Declaration Network Handles Your Data

Networks thrive through contacts

As any network organization, the  Groningen Declaration Network (GDN) requires a contacts database to stay in touch with you : after all, what is a Network if it has no participating nodes?  But – since our network consist of persons, the data that our contacts database holds are personal; moreover, since many of the persons in our network are either citizens of the European Union or maintain close dealings with citizens in the EU, the GDN has to comply with the rules of the recently enacted EU General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR; and this holds particularly true for the way we store, use and manage data in the GDN contacts database .

Now, given the GDN’s stance on privacy as being one of the essential building blocks  to make the GDN vision and goals happen, the GDN wholeheartedly embraces the GDPR. Therefore,  we want you to know what we do with your data and, of course, give you access to the data we keep on file about you and put you in control of your data.

What data we have about you, and what for?

Full name and e-mail address. These two are the main data we need to let you participate in the network.Their main use is to enable us to stay in contact with you. We need your name, so we can properly address you when we send personalized messages. And we need your e-mail address to send these messages. Without these two data sets, it is impossible for us to contact you.

The GDN currently uses its contacts database for three mailing purposes:

  • Newsletter. We use it for periodically sending information about developments in the community and for sending information about the Annual Meeting and for any other GDN activities.
  • Announcements. We also use the database incidentally for sporadic messages directly to the whole network, or to a subset of the network, like participants in the Annual Meeting
  • Signatories. Finally, we use the lists for sending messages to those that have signed the Groningen Declaration.

Institution and country. We also use the data in the contacts database to generate overviews of sectors and industries that are involved in the network, and to gauge our global footprint.

Additional information. As our contacts database holdings are partly based on business cards and introductory email messages received,  we occasionally may have stored other data, like:

  • Function and unit in the institution, for a more granular knowledge of your work and interest
  • Physical address, mainly for billing purposes if you choose to financially support the network
  • Phone number, for contacting you in emergencies when you participate in one of our meeting
  • a Cc: e-mail address, if you have someone who helps you deal with mail messages
  • Gender, as we strive for gender balance, it is important to know how balanced the network is
  • Image and résumé, if you have been a speaker or key note in one of the network’s annual meetings

In brief:

  • Name and e-mail address are absolutely required to be part of the network.
  • Institution and country are specially important for the network to be more useful to its participants.
  • Extra information is useful but not critical.

What do we do with your data?

  1. Store. Your information is stored in the Groningen Declaration server, located in the University of Málaga (Spain) data center.
  2. Send e-mail messages. We send messages mostly through the mailing lists mentioned above, or, sometimes, we send a personal message to just you.
  3. Transfers. We are a global community, so, providing your personal data to the GDN will, most probably in itself already, be an international transfer. Secondly, for those that participate in one of our activities, our local hosts for a particular event may need some basic information about you. In that case, you will be clearly informed about an intended transfer and be asked to give your consent for the transfer. Finally, if you choose to provide us with financial (or in kind)  support, we have to transfer your basic billing information to the payment processing service.
  4. Processing. Some data are processed to aggregate more general data according to country, organization, sectors & industries, or countries involved. This will provide the GDN and its participants insights in the traction made by the GDN, and in the composition of the community and of its global footprint. This aggregation process is taken care of on the GDN server.