GDPR & Privacy

Privacy and Data Protection Statement

Welcome to the Social Democrats, and to, the website and online services of the Social Democrats.

We know that you care how information about you is used and shared. This Privacy and Data Protection Statement explains what information of yours will be collected by the Social Democrats when you use our online services, how the information will be used, and how you can control the collection, correction and/or deletion of your information.

We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy and Data Protection Statement. The Party’s use of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Acts, 1988-2018.

(a) Who is the Data Controller

The Social Democrats is the Data Controller in respect of the data processing activities set out below. This means that the Party decides why, when, and how, your personal information is processed. If you have any questions about this Privacy and Data Protection Statement, you can contact us at:

Compliance Officer,
Social Democrats,
2nd Floor, Frederick Street South,
Dublin 2.

You can also contact us by email: or by phone at (01) 551 0926.

(b) Why we collect your Personal Data

Article 5 of the GDPR requires that data is collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and is not further processed in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.

The Social Democrats is a registered political party, established for the purpose of working towards the realisation of:

  • A just society that ensures dignity for all its people as part of a true republic
  • A strong economy that offers diverse opportunities and stable national finances
  • Open, transparent and accountable government
  • Sustainable economic, social and environmental planning and decision-making, guided by the best available evidence.

The Social Democrats collect data from our members, subscribers, supporters, donors, employees, volunteers and constituents in order to enable the organisation to function effectively and achieve its stated objectives. We only collect the personal information that we need, and we only use it for the purposes for which it was given to us. For example, we need your home address for correspondence purposes and to identify the political constituency in which you reside so that we can connect you with the relevant Branch membership. We need your email address so that we can contact you about your Party membership, Party updates, meetings, events, fundraising and campaigns. We ask you to confirm that you are 18 years or older because different laws apply to those who are under 18 years in relation to contracts, child protection and other matters.

We ask for financial data in order to collect your membership fee, and we collect and retain information relating to donations in order to file reports and ensure we comply with the requirements of the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Revenue Commissioners, and other regulatory bodies.

(c) Where we obtain your Personal Data

(i) User-Provided Information: Most of the personal data obtained by the Social Democrats comes directly from our members and others who engage with us. You provide us with information about yourself when you join as a member, make a donation, subscribe to our newsletter, fill in any form on our website, volunteer with us, attend one of our webinars, seek advice or information from us, and so forth. The data is generated and received by us through emails, on-line forms and submissions, telephone calls, letters, surveys, social media and other platforms.

(ii) Third Party Service Providers: The Social Democrats obtains financial information from banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions, when our members, donors, employees, and others, consent to sharing that information for the purpose of paying membership fees or donations to the Party, and such like.

The Social Democrats uses a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system provider to organise and process the information we receive from our members, donors and supporters so that we can contact various sub-groups for specific purposes, identify those entitled to vote on internal Party matters, identify registered donors, and so forth. The data received by us via the CRM system is the same data that we have received from our users. It is simply organised, collated and presented in different sub-sets and formats.

The Social Democrats’ website also uses cookies. Cookies are a small text file containing a string of alphanumeric characters. When you visit the, the website or our CRM system provider may send one or more cookies to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser and lets our system log you in. A cookie does not collect personal information about you. A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive after you close your browser. Persistent cookies may be used by your browser on subsequent visits to the site. Persistent cookies can be removed by following your web browsers’ directions. A session cookie is temporary and disappears after you close your browser. You may choose to reject cookies when you first use our website and you can reset your web browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent, or to change whether you wish to accept or reject cookies from

However, some features of may not function properly if the ability to accept cookies is disabled. You can read more about how our current CRM system provider interacts with and protects your information at and

Additionally, the Social Democrats use Google Analytics to track and analyse visitors’ use of This service collects the information sent by your browser as part of a webpage request, including cookies and your IP address, and their use of it is governed by their own Privacy Policy.

(d) How we use your Personal Data

(i) In accordance with the consents you have given us:

We use and process the personal information you have given to us for the following purposes where you have consented for us to do so:

  • To contact you by email to communicate with you on matters relating to your membership, Party updates, meetings, events, fundraising and campaigns;
  • To contact you by phone, text messages or other phone-based applications in respect of Party and branch matters and activities;
  • To occasionally send documents or items to you by post;
  • To analyse and assess your data, in combination with the data of other users, with a view to improving our offerings and services so that your visit to our website and social media pages are more informative, beneficial and engaging;
  • To operate, maintain, and provide to you, the features and functionality of and to administer our subscribers lists and membership functionality;
  • To record online meetings, webinars, conferences and other events that you may attend and participate in, in order to make the content and information provided at such events available to a wider range of people, thus furthering our political objectives;
  • To include your image within publications in print, on our website or elsewhere;
  • To enable your participation in, and support for, various Social Democrats’ activities, campaigns, fundraising efforts, events, and so forth, aimed at furthering our political objectives.
  • To enable us to notify you of your entitlements and obligations as a member of the Party, and to send you Party-related and formal notices.

As these communications are based upon your consent, you may withdraw your consent to us to use your information in any of these ways at any time, save for one notable exception:

While an alternative means of communication may occasionally be agreed to, the Social Democrats consider that it is essential for the Party to be able to communicate with its members via email, and has made this form of communication an essential requirement for membership. Therefore, should you wish to withdraw your consent to our use of your email address, then we are entitled to declare your membership to be revoked forthwith.

It should also be noted that the withdrawal of your consent in respect of other forms of communication and use of your data, will only apply as and from the date of our receipt of your withdrawal of consent and will not operate retrospectively.

(ii) In accordance with legal obligations and regulatory requirements:

We must use and process the personal information you have given to us for the following purposes:

  • To comply with the law and to comply with any legal proceedings served on us or our agents;
  • To record and report details of donors to the Party in accordance with the requirements and requests of the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO);
  • To take any actions in relation to health and safety incidents as required by law;
  • To report any incidents or concerns to the relevant regulatory authority in accordance with guidelines, codes, regulations and all legal obligations, and to assist the work of government enforcement agencies;
  • To enable compliance with contractual obligations, e.g. processing your credit card or bank details when taking payment of your membership fee;
  • To investigate, prevent or take action regarding suspected or actual illegal or unlawful activities;
  • To enable us to defend or refute any legal claims made against the Party;
  • To comply with a request from you in connection with the exercise of your rights, e.g. to allow us to record and act upon any specific data consent withdrawal;
  • To enforce this Statement, take precautions against liability, to investigate and defend ourselves against any third-party claims or allegations, or to protect the security or integrity of our site; and
  • To exercise or protect the rights, property, or personal safety of, our users or others.

(iii) In accordance with our entitlement to pursue a legitimate interest:

We may use and process the personal information you have given to us for the purpose of pursuing our legitimate interests as a political party, including:

  • To effectively administer the website and CRM system, our social media pages and internal operations;
  • To assess and gain insight into our membership profiles and interests;
  • To honour and complete our membership and other contractual arrangements with you;
  • To respond to your queries and requests;
  • To operate the administrative and technical aspects of the Party both effectively and efficiently;
  • To prevent and detect fraud and other criminal or unlawful activities;
  • To protect our property, our contractual rights, and other legal rights, and to bring into being, or defend, legal proceedings;
  • To pursue, comply with, and implement, our codes of conduct, our complaints and disciplinary procedures and all other internal policies and procedures.

(iv) Personal Identifiable Information:

The Social Democrats will not rent or sell your personal identifiable information to others. We may share your personal identifiable information with designated data processors for the purpose of providing information or services to you. If we do this, such third parties’ processing of your information will be bound by this Privacy and Data Protection Statement.

(v) Data contained in the Register of Electors:

Candidates for the Social Democrats are provided with a copy of the relevant Electoral Register for the particular election and their particular constituency or electoral area. This data is provided for the legitimate purpose of informing candidates about the population distribution in their respective electoral areas.

The Social Democrats do not process any personal data contained in any register of electors.

The Social Democrats do not keep a copy of any ‘marked register of electors’.

The Social Democrats do not have or maintain any database of electors/voters.

The Social Democrats have not used members, volunteers, activists or supporters to conduct any market research or opinion polling of any electors/voters and we do not process any such data.

(e) How we protect your Personal Data

The Social Democrats care about the integrity and security of your personal information.

We apply internal security procedures to protect the personal information you supply to us, to prevent access by unauthorised persons and unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage. These include physical and IT security measures, restricted access practices, the use of non-disclosure agreements and training provision.

We may store personal information in locations outside the direct control of the Social Democrats (e.g. on servers or databases co-located with hosting providers).

Your privacy settings may be affected by changes to the functionality of third-party providers, such as our membership platform or newsletter provider.

While the Social Democrats are not responsible for the functionality or security measures of any third party, we ensure that our engagement with such third parties imposes contractual obligations on those parties to keep data securely.

There are however, inherent security risks when you use the internet. We cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to the Social Democrats or guarantee that your information on the service may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards. You accept these inherent risks and will not hold us responsible for any breach of security which was not our fault.

We are not responsible for the practices employed by websites linked to or from, nor the information or content contained therein. Please remember that, when you use a link to go from to another website, our Privacy and Data Protection Statement is no longer in effect. Your browsing and interaction on any other website, including those that have a link on our website, is subject to that website’s own rules and policies. Please read over those rules and policies before proceeding.

In the event that personal information is compromised as a result of a breach of security, the Social Democrats will promptly notify those persons whose personal information has been compromised in accordance with the provisions of the GDPR and Data Protection Acts 1988- 2018, or as otherwise required by applicable law.

(f) How we protect Children’s Rights in respect of Data

 A child is any person under the age of 18 years. The rights and obligations relating to privacy and data protection apply equally to adults and children. Therefore, in any circumstances where the Social Democrats require to hold data in respect of a child, that data will be obtained, processed, stored and managed in accordance with this Privacy and Data Protection Statement.

Additionally, the Data Protection Acts 1988-2018 set the age of digital consent at 16. This means that children aged 16 and over may consent to give us personal data and have us process and store such data in accordance with this Statement.

The Social Democrats does not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from any child under the age of 16 or knowingly allow such persons to register for services. If you are under 16, please do not send any information about yourself to us, including your name, address, telephone number, or email address. No one under the age of 16 is allowed to provide any personal information to or on In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under the age of 16 without verification and parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from or about a child under 16, please contact us at

 (g) The period for which we may hold your Personal Data

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that all personal data must not be kept for longer than necessary. The timeline will, therefore, depend on the purpose for which the information was obtained in the first instance, or as required or permitted for legal, regulatory, fraud prevention and other legitimate purposes.

If you correspond with us by email, we may retain the content of your email messages, your email address and our responses. We may also retain any messages you send through our website or to us on other platforms, such as on social media.

Personal data is retained while the person remains a member of the Party and for a maximum period of six (6) years thereafter. This 6-year period of post-membership retention is considered necessary for the following reasons:

  • It matches the statutory limitation period during which contractual claims may be commenced.
  • It matches the period within which members may instigate the Party’s complaint and disciplinary procedures.
  • It matches the period required by the Revenue Commissioners for the retention of financial records for audit purposes.
  • It matches the period set out in Standards in Public Office (SIPO) guidelines for data relating to donations.

During this time period, when a person ceases to be a member, their personal data is removed from datasets relating to members, and is placed in a dataset relating to supporters. This means that the former member continues to receive some updates on Party activities, events, fundraising and campaigns.

Former members who do not wish to receive such updates may unsubscribe as outlined on emails we send, or e-mail us at requesting that we remove their contact details from our supporters’ mailing list. We shall honour such requests without delay.

(h) Your additional rights under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Acts 1988-2018

  • Right to Access your Personal Data You have the right to access any personal data that we hold or process about you and to request information from us on the categories of such data, the purpose for which it is processed or retained, details of those to whom your data is disclosed, the source of the data, and the period for which that data is proposed to be retained. We may ask you for proof of identity before we grant your request.
  • Right to Rectification You have the right to ask us to correct and/or complete any data that you believe is inaccurate and/or incomplete. We will comply with your request without delay or notify you without delay of a valid reason for not complying with your request. We may consult with you to ensure that your personal data is being correctly amended.
  • Right to Erasure You have the right to ask us to erase/remove your personal data. However, this right does not apply where we have to comply with a legal obligation or where we have to retain some or all of your information in order to pursue or defend legal claims, as notified in clause (d) above.
  • Right to Restriction  You have the right to ask us to limit our processing of your personal data in certain circumstances. However, we are still required to process your data for storage purposes, to comply with legal obligations and in order to pursue or defend legal claims, as notified in clause (d) above.
  • Right to Object You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data on grounds relating to your particular situation, in circumstances where we are relying on legitimate interests as a legal basis for processing your data, as notified in clause (d) (iii) above.
  • Right to Portability  You have the right to ask us to provide you with your personal data in a commonly used format or to transmit it to a third party where this is technically feasible. This right is subject to certain conditions set out in Article 20 of the GDPR.
  • Right to Complain to the Data Protection Commission (DPC) You have the right to submit a complaint to the DPC, the supervisory authority authorised to receive and deal with such complaints in Ireland. The DPC prefer to use online forms which you can access via their website

(i) Changes to this Privacy and Data Protection Statement

If we change our privacy and data protection policy and procedures, we will reflect those changes in this Privacy and Data Protection Statement on to keep you aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances we may disclose it. Changes to this Privacy and Data Protection Statement come into effect when they are posted on this website.

 (j) Notification Procedures

It is our policy to provide notifications, whether such notifications are required by law or are for marketing or other business related purposes, to you via email notice, written or hard copy notice, or through conspicuous posting of such notice on, as determined by the Social Democrats in its sole discretion. We reserve the right to determine the form and means of providing notifications to you, provided that you may opt out of certain means of notification as described in this Privacy and Data Protection Statement.

(k) How to contact us

If you have any questions about this Privacy and Data Protection Statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this website, please contact us at

To request a copy of your personal data (a Data Subject Access Request) please contact our Compliance Officer at , or at the address provided in clause (a) above.