Privacy policy

How Gay Star News collects personal information – so you know we’re being responsible and ethical

Privacy policy
05 October 2012

How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when Gay Star News collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about:

  • Visitors to our websites
  • Complainants and other individuals in relation to a data protection or freedom of information complaint or enquiry
  • People who use our services, eg who subscribe to our newsletter or join our Urgent Action Network
  • Job applicants and our current and former employees and freelancers

Visitors to our websites

When someone visits our sites we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behavior patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our websites. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

Use of cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of our sites to operate and have already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from our sites, but parts of the sites will not work.

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit

Search engine

The search engine on our website is designed to be powerful and easy to use. The search is made possible by a piece of hardware (a search ‘appliance’) that is plugged into our server and continuously indexes the content on our site. All search requests are handled by the appliance and the information is not passed on to any third party.

People who make a complaint to us

When we receive a complaint from a person we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We may compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files only for as long as is necessary. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.

People who use our services

Gay Star News offers various services. For example, we may send out publications and we distribute electronic newsletters. We may use a third party to deal with some serves, but they will only be allowed to use the information to provide the required service and will remain within the terms of this privacy policy.

We have to hold the details of the people who have requested the service in order to provide it. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a service to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received. When people do subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this.

Job applicants, current and former Gay Star News employees, freelancers and interns

When individuals apply to work or intern for us, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example where we want to take up a reference, we will not do so without informing them beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, it will then be destroyed or deleted. We may retain de-personalized statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals will be identifiable from that data.

Once a person has taken up employment or been engaged as a regular freelancer or intern, we will compile a file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept secure and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment. Once their employment has ended, we will retain the file only for as long as is necessary and then delete it.

Complaints or queries

Gay Star News tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of our collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below.

Access to personal information

Gay Star News tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • Give you a description of it;
  • Tell you why we are holding it;
  • Tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • Let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to Gay Star News for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing to the postal address provided below.

If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

If we do hold erroneous information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes.

Disclosure of personal information

We will not disclose personal data without consent unless as otherwise stated or as required by law or to achieve a particular purpose which you could have been deemed to understand when you gave the information (eg for a competition prize provider to send the prize to a competition entrant).

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 2 August 2011.

How to contact us

You can contact us by writing to the address below.

Who we are

Gay Star News Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number 7719609. Registered office: Unit 2 Cedar Court, 1 Royal Oak Yard, London, SE1 3GA, UK.



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