We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our clients; this policy explains how we do this.
When do we collect personal information?
We collect your personal information in several instances, including when you
- register as a client of Animal Ark Veterinary Centre
- make an appointment
- sign up to one of our Healthcare Plans
- engage with us on social media
- contact us by any means with questions about our services, product or treatment
- ask one of our colleagues to email you about a service, product or treatment
- registering microchips
- comment on or review our products or services
- have given a third-party permission to share the personal information they hold about you with us
- phone us, sometimes we record phone conversations for record or training purposes
- visit us, our car park and public areas may have CCTV systems operated for the security of our clients and colleagues and the prevention of crime (these systems may record your images during your visit)
What personal information do we collect and why?
When you register as a client, book an appointment, subscribe for products/services under one of our Healthcare Plans, apply for pet insurance, register a microchip, you will be asked for some essential information including your title, first name, surname, postal address, email address, telephone, details of your pet and, if applicable, payment information. These are collected to help us:
- Provide veterinary care to your pet
- Register your details as a new client
- Manage and process your health plans
- Process payments due to us (including for treatments for your pet)
- Contact you about your pet, or account where required
- Prevent and detect fraud – to do this, we may need to disclose information to assist legal or debt recovery processes
- Understand your needs and listen to your feedback via market research/analysis, client polls and surveys
- Send you reminders about appointments, vaccination dates and flea and worm treatment dates
- Respond to any issues or queries you may raise
- Conduct analytics to understand how our services are used
- Notify you about changes to our service
Information that we collect automatically
When you visit our website, we may collect certain information automatically from your device. In some countries, including countries in the European Economic Area, this information may be considered personal information under applicable data protection laws.
Specifically, the information we collect automatically may include information like your IP address, device type, operating system, unique device identification numbers, browser-type, broad geographic location (e.g. country or city-level location) and other technical information. We may also collect information about how your device has interacted with our website, including the pages accessed and links clicked.
Collecting this information enables us to better understand the visitors who come to our website, where they come from, what content on our website is of interest to them, and what they have viewed or looked at. We use this information for internal analytics purposes, to improve the quality and relevance of our website to our visitors and users.
Information that we obtain from third party sources
From time to time, we may receive personal information about you from third party sources, but only where we have checked that these third parties either have your consent or are otherwise legally permitted or required to disclose your personal information to us. For example, we may receive personal information from other veterinary professionals if you transfer from another veterinary surgery and register as a client of Animal Ark Veterinary Centre.
We will use the personal information we hold about you (as well as pseudonymised or anonymised information generated from your personal information) to carry out analysis and research. We carry out all such analysis and research on the basis that it is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests in understanding our clients and ensuring that our services and products meet the needs of our clients. We undertake data analytics, whereby we combine information we hold on a large scale to:
- Learn more about our clients and their preferences
- To identify patterns and trends amongst our clients
- Enhance user experience on our websites
- Provide information, content and offerings tailored to our clients’ needs
- For general research and statistical purposes
- For aggregated reporting purposes within Animal Ark Veterinary Centre
- To help us develop new services, treatment plans, health plans and products
- To monitor performance of our services
We will use your personal information (including by anonymising and aggregating it with other clients’ personal information) for sales, supply chain and financial analysis purposes, to determine how we are performing and where improvements can be made. This is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests in understanding how our business is performing, and considering how to improve our performance.
Who do we share your personal information with?
We may disclose your personal information to the following categories of recipients:
- to specialist referral centres or specialist veterinary hospitals, when we refer your pet for specialist diagnosis or treatment
- to other veterinary professionals, if you request that we transfer your pet’s patient history on transferring to another veterinary surgery
- to insurance companies with whom you have insured your pet
- to laboratories and other suppliers who you have agreed we may provide your details to and who require them to provide services in relation to your pet
- IT companies who support our websites and other business systems
- Direct marketing companies or other third parties who help us manage electronic communications with you
- Data insight and data analysis companies (to provide us with tools to analyse the data which we hold)
- Promotional partners
- Customer review companies (so you can leave feedback and we can improve our service to you)
- To any competent law enforcement body, regulatory, government agency, court or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary (i) as a matter of applicable law or regulation, (ii) to exercise, establish or defend our legal rights or apply our Terms and Conditions, or (iii) to protect your vital interests or those of any other person
- To any other person with your consent to the disclosure.
Where we share your personal information with third party service providers and partners we apply a policy to ensure your personal information is safe to protect your privacy. Our policy requires:
- We provide only the information they need to perform their specific services
- They may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract with them
- We work closely with them to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected always
- If we stop using their services, any of your personal information held by them will either be deleted or rendered anonymous (subject to applicable law).
If you have any questions about the third parties we share your personal information with, please contact us.
Legal basis for processing personal information
Our legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described above will depend on the personal information concerned and the specific context in which we collect it.
However, we will normally collect personal information from you only (i) where we need the personal information to perform a contract with you, (ii) where the processing is in our legitimate interests and not overridden by your data protection interests or fundamental rights and freedoms, or (iii) where we have your consent to do so. In some cases, we may also have a legal obligation to collect personal information from you or may otherwise need the personal information to protect your vital interests or those of another person.
Events and the legal basis for processing information include:
- Appointment Reminders – need to perform a contract with you
- Medication/Treatment Reminders – need to perform a contract with you
- Preventative Care Reminders – legitimate interest
- Response to Queries/Issues Raised – need to perform a contract with you
- External Laboratories – need to perform a contract with you
- Referral Centres – need to perform a contract with you
- Microchip Data Bases – need to perform a contract with you
- Insurance Companies – need to perform a contract with you
- Healthcare Plan Provider – need to perform a contract with you
- Payment Information/Account Information (including the use of debt collection agency) – need to perform a contract with you
- On-Line Booking Platform – need to perform a contract with you
- Newsletters/Notices of Events – legitimate interest
- Clinical History Forward onto other Vet Practices – legitimate interest
- Crematoriums – need to perform a contract with you
- Notify Change of our Services – legitimate interest
If you have questions about or need further information concerning the legal basis on which we collect and use your personal information, please contact us.
How do we keep your personal information secure?
We use appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect the personal information that we collect and process about you. The measures we use are designed to provide a level of security appropriate to the risk of processing your personal information. Specific measures we use include:
- Keeping your information up-to-date and accurate. Please note that, to do this, we require you to tell us if any of your details such as your name or address change; and
- Having in place strict security procedures for the storage and disclosure of your information to prevent unauthorised access.
International data transfers
Your personal information may be transferred to, and processed in, countries other than the country in which you are resident. These countries may have data protection laws that are different to the laws of the UK.
Our servers and website servers are located in the UK, but some of our third-party service providers and partners operate outside of the UK, such as in Australia and the United States. This means that when we collect your personal information we may process it in any of these countries.
We retain personal information we collect from you where we have an ongoing legitimate business need to do so (for example, to provide you with a service you have requested or to comply with applicable legal, tax or accounting requirements).
When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymise it or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible. For more information about the specific periods for which we retain your data, please contact us.
Your data protection rights
You have the following data protection rights:
- If you wish to access, correct, update or request deletion of your personal information, you can do so at any time by contacting us
- In addition, you can object to processing of your personal information, ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or request portability of your personal information.
You can exercise these rights by contacting us
- You have the right to opt-out of email marketing communications we send you at any time. You can exercise this right by clicking on the “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” link in the marketing e-mails we may send you
- Similarly, if we have collected and process your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent
- You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information. For more information, see the section headed “contacting the regulator” below.
We respond to all requests we receive from individuals wishing to exercise their data protection rights in accordance with applicable data protection laws.
Contacting the regulator
If you feel that your personal information has not been handled correctly, or you are unhappy with our response to any requests you have made to us regarding the use of your personal information, you have the right to raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can contact them by calling 0303 123 1113 or go online to www.ico.org.uk/concerns (please note we cannot be responsible for the content of external websites).
How to contact us
If you have any questions or concerns about our use of your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at the following address email@example.com
The data controller of your personal information will be Animal Ark Veterinary Centre Ltd.