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Privacy Policy


We are the Science Museum Group and this Privacy and Cookies Policy gives detailed information as to when and why we collect personal information from you, how we keep it secure and how we use it.

The ‘Science Museum Group’ is the trading name of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum. The museums within our group are the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, the National Railway Museum in York and Locomotion in Shildon. We also produce the Manchester Science Festival. This policy covers use of both personal information by the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum and our wholly owned trading company (called SCMG Enterprises Limited). We refer to ourselves within this policy as ‘we’ or ‘us’.

1. How we collect your personal information

We collect information when you interact with us including (but not limited to) when you visit our websites, sign up for our emails, make a donation or buy tickets in any of our museums (whether online or over the phone).

We also use certain publicly available information to help us reach out to potential supporters and we will collect and use certain information where you visit our websites or use our free Wi-Fi.

We collect your personal information in a number of ways which are described below:

  1. When you contact us to book tickets over the telephone or by email
  2. When you book tickets either online or in person at one of our museums
  3. When you enter into a competition operated by us or one of our partners
  4. When you log on to use the free Wi-Fi at our museums
  5. When you visit our websites, including if you sign up to one of our email updates, complete forms, shop online at our online shop, apply for a job with us, create an online account with us or post a comment on a blog. If you have cookies enabled on your web browser, in such circumstances, we may use cookies to collect information about your visit as you move through our website. For more information about this please see section 10 below on Cookies
  6. When you make a donation
  7. When you respond to a survey we provide to you
  8. When you interact with us on social media (for example by ‘liking’ our pages on Facebook) depending on your privacy settings on such platforms
  9. When you complete online forms, such as for general contact; educational bookings or group visits. These details are emailed to relevant staff within SMG to provide appropriate services
  10. We also may collect information about you from third parties (as detailed further below in section 3)
  11. If you otherwise contact us by telephone, email or post

2. What personal information we collect

We collect information that is necessary to perform the services you have requested, to keep you informed with what’s on at our museums and that is otherwise necessary for us to operate our museums as well as improve the experience of our visitors.

There are circumstances where you may limit the information you provide us with, but this may affect the service you receive or the information we provide to you.

We may collect and process the following information from you:

Information obtained directly from you (for example, in person, over the phone, by post, or when you interact with us online. We may collect:

  • Name
  • Prefix
  • Email address
  • Postal address
  • Contact telephone number

Where relevant we may also collect:

  • Payment Card details (although please be aware we will not hold such information for any longer than necessary to process your transaction)
  • Delivery address(es) and/or Billing address(es)
  • Email preferences
  • Details of goods and services purchased by you
  • Information as to whether or not you are a tax payer to enable us to claim Gift Aid on your donation
  • Where you have left us a legacy, any information you have provided us with to administer this, such as details of your next of kin, executor or solicitor
  • Information that you provide when you enter a competition or a promotion by us or one of our partners
  • Information provided in correspondence when you contact us
  • Information that you provide when you complete surveys that we use for research purposes
  • Direct debit details for ongoing payment arrangements
  • Your MAC address to provide a seamless Wi-Fi service whilst in our museums
  • Any particular access or dietary requirements you may have to help us improve your visit
  • We may collect additional information where we believe you may be interested in supporting our museums (this is described in section 3 below under the heading “When we wish to better understand you and your potential interest in supporting our museums”)

When you visit any of our websites (including games and apps we provide – as we host them on web servers) we may use cookies and other similar technologies (including Google Analytics) as well as collect other information from you which is described in section 10 below.

We may also obtain information available from other external sources about you and combine it with information we hold about you. This will only be done if this information is publicly available (for example on Companies House or the land registry) or if you have given permission to a third party to share this information. This is described in section 3 below under the heading “When we wish to better understand you and your potential interest in supporting our museums”.

3. Why we collect your personal information and how we use it

We use the information we hold about you for a number of purposes including to provide information you have asked for, to provide a service (or goods) you have requested from us, to request additional information from you, to develop and improve our services and to raise money for and otherwise operate our museums. Below we describe how and why we use this information and how long we retain it.

We may use your information in the following ways:

To fulfil our obligations under a contract with you and to otherwise carry out our business

This includes:

  • fulfilling purchases you have made of our goods and services (including our exhibitions and other commercial experiences)
  • processing your payments (although please be aware we will not hold your payment details for any longer than necessary to process your transaction)
  • administering your donation to us, including processing Gift Aid and corresponding with you about your donation
  • contacting you with any important information in relation to your purchase of goods or services including confirmation of your orders, reminders, details of any changes, delays or other information relevant to your booking, thank you letters for donations
  • contacting you in relation to the renewal of any annual agreement you have with us (for example, annual passes to our Wonderlab galleries)
  • contacting you in relation to any competition you may have entered into with us
  • for the internal administration of any of your purchases from us
  • contact you to respond to your queries (for example, if you email us with a question)
  • improving our websites and online services
  • fulfilling reporting obligations to our funders

When we have your consent

If we have asked your permission to do so in advance we shall use your information to:

  • send you emails about events, fundraising and activities at our museums or events held within our museums produced by third parties in accordance with your specified preferences. We may also occasionally include selected information about events at other organisations at the foot of emails. We will endeavour to ensure that these events are of interest to the email subscribers.
  • email you in relation to specific event or update about our museums.
  • contact you to ask you to respond to surveys or take part in focus groups and photoshoots;
  • share your details with other specific third party partners who will contact you to let you know how they are using your information;
  • continue to contact you in relation to opportunities to support our museums financially (this is described further below in this section under the heading “When we wish to better understand you and your potential interest in supporting our museums”).

When we have a legal obligation to do so

In appropriate circumstances we shall use your information to fulfil our legal obligations which may include:

  • the use of CCTV recording equipment on our premises for monitoring and security purposes
  • detecting and reducing the risk of fraudulent transactions in person or online
  • undertaking due diligence to detect fraud, money laundering and credit risk and protect the reputation of our museums
  • to keep our databases up to date
  • for our financial records, including for Gift Aid purposes
  • such other obligations as are imposed on us from time to time
  • deleting or updating the information we hold about you if we learn such information is inaccurate.
  • complying with your data rights (as further described below in section 5)
  • Health and Safety implications if appropriate, for example reporting first aid incidents

When it is in our legitimate interest to do so

We shall use your information where it is in our legitimate interest to do so, to:

  • learn about your interests and preferences so that we can provide you information which is relevant and interesting to you as well as targeting our marketing so that they’re more relevant to you.
  • classify our visitors and audience into groups or segments by attitudes and behaviours, using the information you provide us with (through your interactions with us and our museums including when you respond to our surveys). These segments help us to:
  • understand our audience better and ensure we’re sending relevant information to each group; and
  • enable us to tailor and target our cultural programme and services’ to help us manage and improve them.
  • use pseudonymised details to guide advertising to you on social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) or through other third party advertising that may appear on other websites you use. The information shared with these platforms is pseudonymised to protect your personal information.
  • measure and understand how our audiences respond to a variety of marketing activity so we can ensure our activity is well targeted, relevant and effective
  • enable us to run the test version of our website and customer relationship management system that we use internally to pilot new features and ensure the smooth running of our web services.
  • identify and contact individuals who are in a position to support our museums financially (as further described below).
  • retain your personal information on our secure customer relationship management system for the above purposes.

When we wish to better understand you and your potential interest in supporting our museums

For a small number of individuals, we want to better understand their engagement with the Science Museum Group and their potential interest in supporting us further. Before contacting these individuals about supporting our museums, we may seek publicly available information to help us understand the background of people who may choose to support us and to ensure we make requests for support to those who may be able and willing to give.

In such circumstances we may collect the following information (in addition to that detailed in section 2 above): the individual’s previous interactions with our museums, job title(s), details of offices held, place of business, business networks, publicly available information in relation to the individual’s career, educational history, hobbies and interests, residence locations, languages spoken, donations to other organisations, wealth and assets, family (excluding information about children unless provided by that individual). We may also use publicly sourced images to help identify individuals who attend our events.

We use a variety of sources to obtain such information including newspaper websites, the official websites of other companies and charities, housing market websites, and the organisations in the list below:

We consider that it is in our legitimate interest to collect and use this information and, if we deem it appropriate, to contact such individuals. After contacting such individuals, we shall ask for their consent to continue to contact them in relation to opportunities to support our museums and related activities and opportunities.

If we elect not to contact such individuals or if they tell us they do not wish to be contacted at any time, we shall delete the information we have collected, only retaining such key identifying information as will allow us to ensure they are not contacted or considered for contact again.

How long we retain your personal information for

We keep your personal information as long as necessary for the legal purposes set out above.

4. How we share your personal information with third parties

The Science Museum Group will not share, sell or otherwise make available your personal information to third parties without your express prior permission.

We shall share your data with third parties who are performing services on our behalf (for example, where we use third party ticketing organisations), in order to comply with our legal obligations (for example fraud protection) or in order to enforce our rights, property or the safety of the Science Museum Group, our visitors or others.

We may share your personal information with the following organisations:

  • service providers working on our behalf. For example this may include payment processing, database services, website hosting services, providers or online and/or cloud services, printing and mailing organisations, marketing agencies and email delivery services
  • third party data services and analytics platforms who assist us with segmenting and understanding our audiences (as described above in section 3 above)

If we have your permission, or it is otherwise made expressly clear in advance, we may share your personal information with:

  • named third parties who if you ticked an opt in to allow us to provide your details to such third parties when you purchased goods and services from us
  • other organisations such as competition organisers, sponsors and exhibition collaborators where it is made clear that such organisations shall be provided with and permitted to use your personal information, subject to such third parties’ terms (and privacy policy). We recommend that you check the data protection notices provided by such third parties and contact their Data Protection Officer (or equivalent) if you have any queries
  • partner venues where you have bought tickets hosted at such venues
  • HMRC where we have your permission to claim Gift Aid on a donation you have made

If we are required to do so by law (for example under money laundering or charity law legislation, or under a court order) we may share your personal information with the police, other law enforcement or regulatory bodies or a government authority investigating unlawful activities.


5. Your data protection rights

You have certain rights under data protection laws in relation to the personal information we hold and are using about you. To exercise your rights, please use the contact details provided under the ‘Contact Us about your personal information’ section below.

Your rights include asking for a copy of the information we hold about you, having any inaccurate information we hold about you corrected, or to request that we stop using your personal information in a particular way (for example, you may request that we stop emailing you). Your data protection rights are summarised under the tab immediately below.

You have the following rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data, these rights include:

  • To be informed about how we use your personal data (the purpose of this policy);
  • To have accurate information held about you, and to have your details updated when they are inaccurate. If you have an online account you may amend your personal details and email contact preferences at any time. If you prefer, you can contact us by email, telephone, by mail, or in person to update your details with us;
  • To ask us to delete your data (often called the “right to be forgotten”). We might not always be able to delete it, under the law there are some circumstances in which we will need to, or are entitled to, hold on to it;
  • To get a copy of your personal data. A subset of your data (limited to data that you have provided to us) is available in a machine-readable format if required;
  • To object to how we use your data, and request that we stop using it for certain purposes. There may be circumstances where you ask us to restrict such uses of your information, but we are entitled to refuse that request. However, we shall always stop using your data for email marketing purposes at your request. Each marketing email we send to you will include details on how to change your communications preferences or unsubscribe from future communications.
  • To withdraw your consent, where we are using your personal information with your consent (as described above in the ‘Why We Collect Your Personal Data and How we use it” section).
  • To ask us to transfer your data to another organisation, where your data is held in a machine-readable, commonly used way, and can be safely transferred.
  • If we make a decision about you using automated means, you have right to request that the decision be reviewed by a human; and
  • The right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner ( if you think that any of your rights have been infringed by us.

To exercise your rights, please use our contact details below.

We may request additional information so that we can verify your identity (and to ensure your personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it). This may include:

  • A colour copy of your driving licence, birth certificate or utility bill
  • If your request relates to a specific transaction with the Science Museum Group, evidence of that transaction (i.e. a receipt or confirmation)

We may contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to help us enact your rights in accordance with the law.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. However, occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complicated or you have made a number of requests. In such circumstances, we will notify you.

6. Security of your personal data

The Science Museum Group is committed to keeping your data secure. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorised access and use.

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (‘EEA’). It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, among other things, the fulfillment of your order, the processing of your payment details and the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this policy. This is done in a number of different way including:

  • The country we send the data to might be approved by the European Commission as being sufficiently secure;
  • The recipient is located in the United States and is a certified member of the approved EU-US Privacy Shield Scheme; or
  • The recipient company might have signed up to a contract obliging them to protect your information.

In all such cases we shall ensure that any transfer of your information is compliant with data protection law.

However, please note that the transmission of data via the Internet is not completely secure. Your communications may be routed through a number of countries before being delivered. We cannot guarantee the security of any data transmitted to our Websites, however, once we have received your data, we will use adequate security procedures to prevent unauthorised access.

7. Our data protection registrations

The Science Museum Group has registered with Information Commissioner’s Office. These registrations are in the name of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum Group (registration number Z3140818) and SCMG Enterprises Limited (registration number Z7613339).


We keep this Privacy and Cookies Policy under review and will make changes from time to time. We may let you know about such changes by email, text, or another suitable method of communication. The latest version of this policy will always appear on this page.


If you would like more information or would like to raise any queries, exercise your rights or make a complaint relation to our use of your personal information, you may contact our Data Protection Officer using the following details:

Emma Yates
Data Protection Officer
National Science and Media Museum
Science Museum Group
Little Horton Lane


This section describes how we use cookies and similar technologies when you visit our websites, use our online games and apps or use our onsite Wi-Fi services.

When you visit our websites

The Science Museum Group operates a number of websites including (but not limited to) the following:

You can browse the Science Museum Group’s Websites without telling us who you are or revealing any personal information about yourself. If you have cookies enabled on your web browser, the Websites will collect information about your visit as you move through the Websites.

This may include: technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, your login information (where applicable), browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform; information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from the Website (including date and time); Event or Exhibition tickets you viewed or searched for; page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page.

We use this data to inform the development of our service (for example, if we know which web browsers most of our visitors are using, we can allocate website development resources accordingly). Please see below for more information about cookies.


Cookies are pieces of data that a website can transfer to a user’s web browser. The cookies may remain on your computer after you leave the website but you can manually delete them using most browsers. Most web browsers are pre-set to accept cookies. Some cookies store data just for the time you are on the website. These are called session cookies and are not stored on your computer after you have left the website.

A pixel tag (also known as a web beacon or clear GIF) is an invisible 1×1 pixel that is placed on web pages. When you access these web pages, pixel tags generate a generic notice of the visit and allow us to set or read our cookies. We use pixel tags in combination with cookies to track activity on our websites, particularly to track visits, times and dates of visits, pages viewed, country and city locations, devices used, purchases, sources visited before coming to our websites, demographics and email sign ups. We use these for reporting and for marketing purposes to retarget advertising and for lookalike modelling. This information is used to make our websites and advertising more relevant to your interests.

If you prefer not to receive cookies, you can adjust your web browser to refuse cookies or to warn you when cookies are being used. You can also use plugins and extensions that block the functionality of pixel tags. Most elements of the Science Museum Group’s Websites will still function if you disable cookies in your web browser settings.

When you visit Science Museum Group Websites, if your browser is using the standard settings and it is accepting cookies, you are giving consent for cookies on the Science Museum Group Websites to be stored on your computer. If you do not wish for this to happen, you can disable them in the settings of your browser. For more information on cookies and their uses, visit the cookies page on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

In particular we use the following cookies and similar technologies:

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how our visitors use and navigate our Websites. We use this information to report to our funders such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and to analyse usage of the Websites so that we can continually work to add new features and improve your experience of them. This information is anonymous and cannot be used to identify you personally. Please read the Google Analytics Privacy Policy to find out more.

We may use the Advertising Features of Google Analytics to find out more about the demographics and interests of our visitors. When you visit the Websites and see an advertisement (an ‘impression’), a cookie is placed on your computer or device by, for example DoubleClick (Google’s Internet ad serving business) and then if you visit another site that has ads served by DoubleClick, the same cookie can be read and modified by DoubleClick.

By tracking what kind of sites you visit and how you interact with ads for different products and services, Google aims to build up a picture of who you are; your age, gender and interests. Using the Advertising Features of Google Analytics means we receive reports that tell us who Google thinks is visiting our site; age, gender and interests. The information is totally anonymous and you are not personally identifiable.

You can go to Google preferences to see what Google thinks are your age, gender and interests. You can add, edit or delete information on that page, or you can opt-out of Google collecting and analysing your behaviour altogether.

Google Analytics collects information anonymously, however you can opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites you use by installing the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Science Museum Group Websites have a number of interactive features on older parts of the Websites that use Flash. Flash is used to deliver games, video and other interactive content. Many web browsers will have a version of the Flash Player that plays these files. The Flash Player can store data in a similar way to standard cookies, using a data file called a Local Shared Object or “Flash cookie”. For more information, visit the Adobe website’s page on managing or disabling Local Shared Objects.

During your visits to the Websites you may be delivered cookies by third-party websites. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, Facebook, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Twitter, YouTube, Google Maps or Flickr, you may be presented with cookies from these websites. The Science Museum Group does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third-party websites for more information.

From time to time, we run surveys and other analytics tools to improve our Websites. Cookies are used to allow the form or pop-up survey to be hidden on your return visits. This is to prevent you from being shown the survey again unnecessarily. Cookies are also used to record the overall number of answers to the survey questions and to link these to web statistics.