Data Protection Notice
Section I sets out how your data will be used if you apply for initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining a Lodge or Chapter.
Section II sets out how your data will be used if you are a Freemason.
Section III sets out how your data may be used by Masonic charities if you are a Freemason.
Section IV provides more detail about how data about any criminal convictions will be used if applicable.
Section V provides more detail about how your data will be stored for archive purposes in the public interest and for historical research.
Section VI provides more detail about how your data may be used to send the magazine Freemasonry Today to you if you are a Freemason.
Section VII sets out how your data may be used if you choose to communicate with, volunteer for, serve on the committees of, visit or work for the United Grand Lodge of England or Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England at Freemasons’ Hall.
Section VIII sets out how your data may be shared if you apply to join, or are a member of, another recognised Grand Lodge
Section XI sets out how your data may be shared if you apply to join, or are a member of, another Masonic Order.
Section X contains some definitions for terms used in this notice.
I. Application for initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining
As a candidate, you consent to the processing, retention and sharing of your personal data submitted on or with your application, including details of criminal convictions if applicable, for the purpose of assessing your membership application and any other membership applications you may make to Masonic entities.
The assessment of your application will include printing some of your personal details on the summons which is sent to all of the members of the Lodge or Chapter to which you are applying. Those details are your full name, age, profession or occupation (if any), place or places of abode, business address or addresses and names of your proposer and seconder. Your details will be checked against records of current members and of members who have resigned or been expelled for the purpose of verifying that you are eligible to make your application.
You can withdraw your consent and request erasure of your application data at any time prior to your initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining by notifying your proposer and seconder that you wish to cancel your application.
If you apply from outside the UK then your data will be transferred to the UK and processed for the purpose of assessing your application. It may be transferred from the UK to Masonic entities local to you for the purpose of assessing your application.
II. Use of your data when you are a Freemason
As a Freemason your data will be processed, retained and shared for any reasonable purposes required by the Book of Constitutions, the Royal Arch Regulations or the bodies they sanction from time to time. These purposes include, but are not limited to, the following purposes:
- Assessing any membership applications you make to Masonic entities;
- Registering you as a member of Freemasonry;
- Sending communications which you are entitled to receive as a Mason;
- Recording the progress of your career in Freemasonry;
- Masonic disciplinary processes;
- If you resign or are expelled from membership, maintaining records to prevent you from improperly re-applying for membership; and
- Maintaining records of your career in Freemasonry for archive and historical purposes.
You may stop your data from being used for all purposes except 6. and 7. above by resigning from the United Grand Lodge of England and, if applicable, the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England using the processes prescribed by their respective constitutions. If you resign or are expelled, personal data relating to your membership will normally be retained and processed by the United Grand Lodge of England for 100 years for purpose 6. and indefinitely for purpose 7. Other Masonic entities may also keep historic records, for example once you cease to be a member of a Lodge your personal details will remain in Lodge minute books which cover the period in which you were a subscribing member.
Your data may also be used within one year of your resignation from a Lodge or Chapter to contact you for the purposes of understanding why you resigned and if applicable to assist you in finding an appropriate Lodge or Chapter to join.
You may request access to the data held about you by each Masonic entity, and rectification of that data if applicable, or object to the processing of that data, by submitting a request to the relevant Masonic entity.
Where you provide your data to a Masonic entity, it may be shared with other Masonic entities of which you are a member so that your data is kept up to date. For example, if you move house and provide your new address to your Lodge, that data may be shared with United Grand Lodge of England so that it can update its records.
If you are a member of a Masonic entity based outside the UK then your data may be transmitted to, processed and stored in the jurisdiction of that Masonic entity. Your data will also be stored and processed in the UK for the purposes set out in this Section II.
The legal bases on which your personal data will be used in accordance with this Section II are:
a. the legitimate interests of Masonic entities as not for profit membership organisations; and
b. the fulfilment of contractual obligations owed to you by your Lodge or Chapter supported by its affiliated Masonic entities.
III. Masonic charities
Masonic charities need to keep their donor databases accurate and up to date. If you choose to provide your name and residential address to a Masonic charity, then Masonic entities may permit those Masonic charities to verify their donor databases against your name and address data that Masonic entities hold. The legal basis for this processing is the legitimate interests of that charity.
Masonic charities provide, among other work, support to Masons, former Masons and their relatives. Masonic entities would like to be able to share your personal data with recognised Masonic charities so that the charities can process it:
- on receipt of an application for relief, to determine whether you or your relatives are eligible beneficiaries; and
- where you have separately consented to a Masonic charity contacting you with fundraising materials, to allow that charity to update your contact details in their fundraising database by viewing your contact details held by Masonic entities.
IV. Criminal convictions
Criminal conviction data will only be used by your Lodge, the relevant Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Lodge and the United Grand Lodge of England to:
- determine your suitability to become a Freemason;
- determine your suitability to remain a Freemason; or
- maintain records to prevent you from improperly re-applying for membership if you have ceased to be a Freemason by resignation or expulsion.
Freemasons are expected to conform to high standards. In relation to purpose 1. above, as a candidate you must disclose any criminal convictions, except that you may choose whether to disclose a conviction if it is spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The legal basis on which this data is processed is your consent. You can withdraw your consent and request erasure of your criminal conviction data at any time by notifying your proposer and seconder that you wish to cancel your application.
If convicted of an offence when a Freemason, you must report certain criminal convictions to your Lodge Master or the Grand Secretary in accordance with Rule 179A of the Book of Constitutions. The Master of your Lodge may also report such convictions to other Masonic entities in accordance with the Book of Constitutions and the disciplinary processes of Freemasonry. These reports are made for purpose 2. above and data in them can be retained for purpose 3. above. The legal basis on which this data is processed is the legitimate interests of the Masonic entities as membership organisations in upholding their values. The processing falls within the “processing by not-for-profit bodies” exemption to permit processing of criminal convictions data.
V. Archiving and historical research
Many Masonic records which may contain your data are archived for the public interest and kept for historical research. When they are no longer needed by the relevant Masonic Entity they are loaned or given to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, a charity registered in England with charity registration number 1058497. The records which are loaned are transferred permanently to the charity when the Masonic Entity considers appropriate.
The charity currently restricts access to the records for 70 years except where they might contain sensitive personal information in which case access is restricted for 100 years. These periods are subject to change to reflect best practice. After this time the records are made available to academic researchers and others in accordance with the charity’s work. More information about the charity’s work can be found at https://museumfreemasonry.org.uk.
VI. Freemasonry Today
Every subscribing member of a Lodge in London or a Province who has a UK address registered with United Grand Lodge of England is entitled to receive a copy of the quarterly magazine, Freemasonry Today. If you are entitled to receive a copy then your name and address will be shared quarterly with the printers and distributors of the magazine for the sole purpose of sending the magazine to you. The legal basis for this use of your data is the legitimate interests of United Grand Lodge of England as a membership organisation. If you would prefer not to receive the magazine in hard or digital copy then please use the “remove from mailing list” option at https://www.freemasonrytoday.com/contact-us. You may also use this link to notify of a change to your address or to re-subscribe for the magazine.
If you have a visual impairment and request an audio version of Freemasonry Today then with your consent United Grand Lodge of England will share your name and address with its chosen distributor from time to time of the audio versions. If you receive the audio version then United Grand Lodge of England will share your name, address and subscribing status with the distributor for the purpose of keeping the distributor’s records accurate and up to date.
VII. Other uses
Communications - If you communicate with the United Grand Lodge of England or the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England they may monitor, record, store and use any telephone, email, webform or other communication with you in order to communicate with you in relation to your query, respond to the issues raised or deal with them in accordance with the Book of Constitutions or Royal Arch Regulations, check any information you have provided, maintain records of recent communications for legal reasons and improve the quality of the services they offer. The legal basis for this processing is the legitimate interests of each as a membership organisation.
Surveys - If you complete any of the surveys that the United Grand Lodge of England or the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England use to collect feedback then the data you submit may be used to contact you if there are specific concerns raised but otherwise will be used in aggregated, anonymised form. The legal basis for this processing is your consent.
Volunteering - If you volunteer for any committees or other roles at the United Grand Lodge of England or the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England then they will process your name, contact details and any other personal data relevant to the role for the purposes of enabling that role to be performed safely and efficiently including security passes and login details if applicable. The legal basis for this processing is your consent.
If you accept promotion to a Grand Rank or to Metropolitan, Provincial, District or Overseas Grand Rank then your name and office or rank will be printed in relevant yearbooks and elsewhere. The United Grand Lodge of England and Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England’s Year Book is on public sale in hard copy format and a version is made available online to Freemasons through the members’ secure website. Your contact details will also be printed in relevant year books and elsewhere to the extent necessary so that you can be contacted in order to discharge the functions of your office or in all other cases will be included only with your consent. The legal bases for this processing is the legitimate interests of the Masonic entity publishing the relevant year book or consent, as applicable.
Freemasons’ Hall - If you choose to visit Freemasons’ Hall at 60 Great Queen Street, London then your image will be recorded by a CCTV system operated by the United Grand Lodge of England. The purpose of the CCTV is to protect the health and safety of all building users, protect the premises, identify the owners of lost property and to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. The legal basis for this processing is the legitimate interests of the United Grand Lodge of England as owner and occupier of the premises.
If you choose to use the public wifi internet access at Freemasons’ Hall using a personal electronic device the United Grand Lodge of England will store and process details of that device for the purpose of providing the wifi to you. The United Grand Lodge of England may also store and process details of the websites that you visit using the wifi for its monitoring and administrative purposes and for crime prevention purposes.
Employees and contractors - The United Grand Lodge of England uses the data of employees for the purposes of performing their contracts of employment and for other purposes which are required by the law or which fall within its legitimate interests as an employer, including sharing that data where appropriate with pension providers and HMRC. Further detail is set out in the employee privacy notice available from HR and the data protection policy in the United Grand Lodge of England staff handbook.
The United Grand Lodge of England and the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England use the data of contractors for the purposes of performing their contracts and for any other purposes which are required by the law.
VIII. Other Recognised Grand Lodges
If you are a Freemason and you choose to apply to join other recognised Grand Lodges they may request that you consent to Masonic entities sharing the details of your Masonic career, including certificates of good standing, with them for the purposes of enabling them to assess your application. If you do not consent then we recommend that you make this clear on your application to that Grand Lodge.
IX. Other Masonic Orders
If you are a Freemason and you choose to apply to join other Masonic Orders they may request that you consent to Masonic entities sharing the details of your Masonic career, including certificates of good standing, with them for the purposes of enabling them to assess your application. If you do not consent then we recommend that you make this clear on your application to that Masonic Order.
If you are a member of a Masonic entity and of another Masonic Order and resign or become subject to disciplinary proceedings from either organisation it is likely that the other will become aware of it because members of other Masonic Orders are commonly also members of the United Grand Lodge of England.
“Book of Constitutions” means the General Laws and Regulations for the Government of the Craft of the United Grand Lodge of England from time to time, a copy of which can be found at https://www.ugle.org.uk/about-us/book-of-constitutions.
“Masonic entities” includes any Lodges or Chapters you apply to join or have joined, their Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Lodges and Chapters and the United Grand Lodge of England and, if applicable, the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England. Each applicable Masonic entity will be a data controller.
“Royal Arch Regulations” means the General Regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England from time to time, a copy of which can be found at https://supremegrandchapter.org.uk/about-supreme-grand-chapter/royal-arch-regulations.
If you have any questions or complaints about how your data is processed please contact the relevant Masonic entity. If you have raised your concerns but not received a satisfactory response you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office or outside the UK to your local supervisory authority (if applicable). More information about UK complaints can be found at https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/.