Last Modified: 14 October 2014

The Site is operated by The Dating Lab Limited ("TDL" (also referred to as "we", "us", "our" and similar expressions)) in association with Times Newspapers Limited, publishers of The Times and The Sunday Times ("TNL"). Please see the site's Terms of use for our full corporate details.

TDL and TNL treat both your security and the security of your personal data very seriously. Our objective is to provide members with a safe, secure and private environment where they can find and correspond with other members of the Site. We've therefore put this Privacy Policy together so you know how we treat and protect your data. Please read it in conjunction with our Terms of use, as together they form the basis of our contract with, and commitment to you. If you do not accept its terms you should not use the Site or the Services.

Please note, we may change the Privacy Policy at any time by posting a revised version on the Site. Please check both the Terms and the Privacy Policy whenever you visit the Site. You agree to be bound by the revised Privacy Policy if you continue to use our Services following the date on which the revised Privacy Policy are published on the Site.

Word and expressions defined in the Terms have the same meanings in this Privacy Policy.

1. Information collected

When you register to use the Services and set up your profile you will be required to provide certain information, including personally identifiable information such as your name and email address ("personal data"). This information is stored on our systems, but no contact information is ever displayed in your public profile or included in any communication we may send to other Users.

If you choose to pay for the Services by card you will be required to provide additional information such as your address and card details. This information will be passed to our payment provider via a secure link, but at no point will your card details be known to or retained by us.

We may also collect Personal Data which you provide when communicating with us in some other way e.g. by email.

We may receive and store certain information automatically when you interact with us. Examples include internet protocol address used to connect your computer to the Internet and other connection information including the URL of any website from which you clicked through to the Site and activity on the Site (including the pages you visit and searches you make). Further information relating to our use of cookies can be found in section 6 below.

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2. Control and disclosure of your personal data

When you sign up for the Services you agree that TDL may disclose your data (including Personal Data) to TNL (and to other companies in the TNL Group) for use by them in the same way as TDL is allowed to use it under this Privacy Policy and/or in accordance with any additional consents you may actively give. As such you acknowledge that TNL will also be a data controller in relation to your personal data.

Except as otherwise stated in this Privacy Policy or as you separately and expressly agree (by ticking a box or by some other similar means of giving your consent), TDL and TNL will be the sole controllers of any Personal Data you provide to us while using the Services.

TDL and TNL are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 as data controllers and will comply with that Act in their dealings with your Personal Data.

Unless you give us your express consent to do so (by ticking a box or otherwise) neither we nor TNL or anyone else to whom we do pass your personal data with your agreement will:

  • disclose any of your information without your permission.
  • sell or rent or give your information to any third party (other than to our service providers or agents for processing or storage on our behalf as described in section 3 below).
  • disclose your information at all unless we are required to do so by law or regulation.

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3. How do we use personal and other data?

By providing us with your personal data and agreeing to the Terms and this Privacy Policy you are giving your consent:

  1. for us to process your personal data (including any sensitive personal data such as your sexual orientation) for the purposes of providing the Services and for any other purposes which you expressly agree to; and
  2. to the transfer and processing of your information in countries outside the European Economic Area which may not provide the same level of data protection as the UK. If we do make such a transfer or if your personal information will be processed outside the European Economic Area, we will put a contract in place to ensure your information is protected or where applicable covered by the US 'Safe Harbor Program'.

We may also use your information to help us to analyse use of the Site and the Services and to improve the Services and their content or to troubleshoot problems and implement the Terms.

Your personal data will only be processed by authorised staff members (or by such third parties as we may use from time to time to store and process data for us).

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4. Updating your information

You should keep the information about you on the Site up to date. You can update all of your personal information including username, email address, location, password and all profile details at any time by clicking here.

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5. Your password

It is vital that you keep your password safe to prevent unauthorised access to your personal information. If you believe that someone else may have access to your password please change it immediately. Please note that your password is stored securely in an encrypted format and is never visible to our staff.

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6. Cookies and IP Addresses

When you visit the Site, we may send you a cookie. A cookie is a small file that can be placed on your computer's hard disk for record keeping purposes and we may use them to do a number of things:

  • Cookies help us to recognise you when you next visit the Site and note any advertisements displayed to you. This allows us to tailor the advertisements we provide to your preferences. We may use the services of third party ad servers for this purpose.
  • Cookies may be used to compile anonymous statistics related to the take up or use of services, or to patterns of browsing. A third party collects such data on our behalf to measure web site performance. Information collected is aggregated for reporting purposes. No personally identifiable information is collected by this service. The use of this service assists us in measuring and improving the structure and ease of use of our web sites.
  • We may also track IP addresses. An IP Address is a number that can identify an Internet Service Provider, country location etc. It cannot provide personal information. We will not use the IP Address to build a profile on users, we only use the information for demographic, statistical and security purposes.

Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you. You are not obliged to accept cookies and may modify your browser so that it will not accept cookies. If you configure your browser to reject cookies, you may still use some, but not all, portions of the Site. For example, the login process and all member functionality requires your browser to accept cookies.

If you would like to disable "third party" cookies generated by advertisers, providers of targeted advertising or behavioural analysis services, you can turn them off by going to the third party's website and getting them to generate a one-time "no thanks" cookie that will stop any further cookies being written to your machine. Here is a link to the main site analytics platform that we use where you will find instructions on how to do this:

www.google.com/policies/privacy/ads/

You can also visit the trade body representing the advertising companies for more information on how to opt out of all such cookies:

www.youronlinechoices.com

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7. Deleting your information

You have the option to remove your profile at any time, which will withdraw it from public view in connection with the Services.

We will normally store your Personal Data for as long as you are a Member or Subscriber. When you cease to be a Member or Subscriber we may continue to hold Personal Data about you, including any correspondence or support enquiries you send to us, to enable us to respond to any queries or complaints you may have and thereafter we will keep such data as we have to in order to be able to comply with any applicable laws (for example we may have to keep information about payments made by you for up to seven (7) years to comply with HM Revenue and Customs' rules).

How do I delete my profile?

Go to the My Account page of your profile, click the 'Delete My Profile' button at the bottom of the page. NB: This process cannot be reversed and will completely delete all your details on the site. If you are a subscriber and have time left on your subscription, it will be deleted with your records and cannot be refunded or applied to other (future) profiles. If you are not sure about this, we recommend that you simply hide your profile.

Personal correspondence sent to other Users through the Site will typically be archived for up to 6 months (but will not be accessed other than in exceptional circumstances, for example if requested by the police as part of a criminal investigation). Support enquiries sent to us may also be stored on file.

Personal information from closed accounts is retained in order to comply with legal obligations, prevent fraud, collect any fees owed, resolve disputes and troubleshoot problems etc, but is always done within a legal framework.

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8. No Spam policy

We will not send you spam emails.

While you are a Member or Subscriber, you will receive essential service related emails from us and you may receive emails via the Site from other Users. Unless you expressly agree that we may do so, neither we nor TNL will ever supply, sell or rent your email address to any third party and you will not receive emails that relate to other services or offerings from us (or from TNL).

Our site includes various 'tell a friend' services. Your friends will never receive unsolicited email from us and, once your 'tell a friend' email is sent, they will not hear from us again unless they choose to become Members themselves. You may not use the 'tell a friend' services to send spam.

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9. Social Network sharing

Our members and site visitors have the option to share a profile they like with their friends on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. We will never disclose any personal details supplied by members that are not publicly displayed on the member's profile.

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10. Security

We endeavour to ensure the security of our systems at all times, but no system that is accessible via the Internet can be considered 100% secure. In the event a security breach, we would endeavour to react as fast as possible to resolve the problem. We cannot however accept responsibility for Member details that are lost or compromised in the event of a security breach.

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11. Signing up with Social Network Accounts

We provide a quick and easy method for members to join or log in with a social network accounts, e.g. Facebook. This is for the sole purpose of speeding up the join process and no references to or content about Encounters Dating will be posted to your social network account or timeline. Refer to the 'Social Network Sharing' section for occasions where you may give permission to post updates on your social network account or timeline.

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12. Changes to this policy

We may change Terms and the Privacy Policy at any time by posting a revised version on the Site. Please check the Terms and the Privacy Policy whenever you visit the Site. You will be bound by the revised Privacy Policy if you continue to use our Services following the date on which the revised Privacy Policy is published on the Site.

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