Royal Mail Group privacy notice

We are committed to respecting your privacy and protecting your personal information (data) in line with current data protection laws. This privacy notice explains how we collect and use your personal data and tells you about your privacy rights. 

We’ve split the information into sections so that you can click through to the areas you need.

This notice explains how we, Royal Mail Group Limited, use your personal data. 

Personal data is information which relates to a person who has been, or could be, identified from it. Examples may include a person’s name, address, email address and other personal details. 

Royal Mail Group Limited includes the Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide businesses. The personal data of yours that we use includes: 
•    details we collect about you when you use our websites and apps
•    information provided when you use or receive our services, and
•    information we receive from other sources. 

We will usually be the ‘data controller’ responsible for how and why personal data is used.  We may sometimes use personal data on behalf of another organisation, as that organisation’s ‘data processor’. In this case, that other organisation will explain how your personal data could be used.

Our address is:
Royal Mail Group Limited
100 Victoria Embankment
London
EC4Y 0HQ.

When you use or receive our products or services, we will sometimes need to give you additional information about how we will use your personal data. You should read this privacy notice with any other notice or information we provide. 

This privacy notice applies if you use any of our products or services. This includes using any of our websites (such as royalmail.com, royalmailgroup.com or parcelforce.com) or apps. This policy also applies if you contact us or we contact you about our services by post, phone, email, text message, push notifications (automatic messages sent by apps) or other methods (including posts on websites and social-media platforms).

Royal Mail Group processes various types of personal data. This includes information you provide to us and information we create when providing services to you or other customers. For more details of the personal data we process, and how this data collected or obtained, see the table below.

Types of data What it includes Where we get it from
Your identity and contact data

This includes:
•    your name
•    your address and other delivery locations (including GPS co-ordinates and map positions), and 
•    other contact information, such as your email address and phone numbers. 

It may also include other identifiers such as:
•    tracking numbers, barcodes and reference numbers on items we collect or deliver, and 
•    details of any electronic device you use to access our services, such as its IP address and operating system.

If you work for one of our business customers, we will record: 
•    your business’s name
•    your position in the business, and 
•    the business’ address, email address and phone numbers. 

If you work for an organisation that supplies services to or works with us, we will also record: 
•    your organisation’s name
•    your position in the organisation, and 
•    the organisation’s address, email address and phone numbers
We may also collect contact information of children who use or receive our services. 

You provide this information whenever you: 
•    contact us directly
•    use our websites or apps 
•    fill in one of our forms
•    apply online for a service from us, or
•    use or receive our services.  

If you access our services through a smart-speaker or similar technology, we may receive this information from the company providing that technology.

We also collect some of this data when we scan any barcodes on items in our network. 

We sometimes receive these personal details from other people and organisations, such as:
•    people sending mail to you
•    organisations who ask us to arrange a collection from or delivery to you, and 
•    public sources such as the electoral roll.  

We may collect children’s data if the child is included in your application for our Redirection service, somebody sends a child a letter or parcel, or a child uses one of our services. This includes when children send letters to Santa, either from home or school.

Financial details This includes:
•    records of the costs of the products and services you have bought
•    records of your payments, and 
•    your payment information, such as credit card or debit card payment details.

You provide this information when you use our services or receive a payment.

We may also receive this information from other organisations such as banks and 
credit-reference agencies (for example, when they authorise a payment from you or to help us check your identity).

Marketing preferences This is the information we have about your preferences for receiving marketing from us.

We record this information when you contact us (for example, when you apply for one of our services or register with one of our websites). You can update your marketing preferences at any time.

Customer records This is our record of the products and services you have used, including: 
•    records of letters and parcels you have sent, if you have an account with us, or 
•    the name and address you provided as the sender of a letter or parcel. 
You provide much of this information when you use our services. We will also record this information while providing our services.
Address history This is your old address and your new address when you arrange a Redirection service. You provide this information as part of your application for the Redirection service. We may also receive this information from someone else in your household if they apply for the service.
Other address data

In limited cases, a delivery address may include personal data (for example, if a house name includes the occupier’s surname).

Ofcom regulations state that we do not have to deliver items to some addresses, or to collect items from them. We keep records of these addresses and the reasons why our usual obligations do not apply

We may receive these address details from you or from a local authority.

Contact history and records of enquiries, complaints and claims These are details of any enquiry, complaint or claim you have made to us. The details may include: 
•    copies of letters, emails and call recordings 
•    the details of your enquiry, comment or complaint (including sensitive information, known as ‘special category data’, such as information about your health, religion or ethnic background)
•    any other information we need to deal with the matter and reply to you, and 
•    the results of your enquiry, comment or complaint. 
You provide some of this information when you make your enquiry, complaint or claim. We will also record some information when dealing with the matter.
Proof of delivery information These are records of delivery, including the name and address of the person who accepts delivery of an item and any signature that person gives us. You provide this information when you accept delivery of an item, including when you accept delivery of an item for someone else.
International shipping details This is information relating to international letters and parcels. It includes: 
•    the name and address of the person sending the item
•    the name and address of the person receiving the item, and 
•    details of the item’s contents.

We may receive this information from overseas postal authorities or carriers when you receive a letter or parcel from overseas. 

If you send a letter or parcel overseas, you may need to give us this information for delivery purposes, customs and tax purposes, or security screening. 

Recipient information

This includes records of letters or parcels delivered to you and the services used by the sender.

We use your name and address to collect, sort, track and deliver items to you. The sender may also give us other contact information, such as your phone number or email address, so we can enable you to track your delivery. 

We receive this information from the sender or collect it from the details attached to the outside of letters and parcels in our network.

We may also receive this information from overseas postal authorities or carriers if the item is sent to you from overseas. 

Recordings of you  These include:
•    images recorded on CCTV and other equipment used to protect our customers, employees and property, and 
•    call recordings made for training purposes or for other records. 
We may record images of you if you visit a location where there is CCTV. We may also record phone calls between you and us.
Images of you or your chosen delivery locations These include:
•    photos of you or other people (for example, if an image is uploaded to be printed on a product or stamp), and 
•    photos of delivery locations

You or other people may send us these images. 

We may also take photos of locations you have identified as safe for us to deliver parcels to.

Proof of Age This is a record of any age checks carried out when items cannot be delivered to people under a certain age. We may make a record that you meet the age requirements for an item we have delivered. 
Online Sellers Some of our services involve us having access to your account with online sellers or other websites. If you give us permission to access your account details, we will receive data from you, the website or both. 

Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a ‘legal basis’ (genuine legal reason) for doing so.  The table below sets out and explains each legal basis we rely on and the purpose of using your personal data.  More than one legal basis could apply when we use your personal data for a particular purpose, so the table explains the relevant ones:  

When Why
Providing services to you when there is a contract in place with you. This includes: 
•    taking necessary steps to make sure your mail is delivered
•    sending you service messages and updates
•    providing proof of postage or delivery, and 
•    opening an account for you (including for using our apps). 

Contract – We need to use your data to provide these services to you in line with that contract.

Providing postal services to you when you have paid us to do so but we don’t have a contract or agreement in place with you. This includes: 
•    taking necessary steps to make sure your mail is delivered or returned to the sender
•    sending you service messages and updates, and 
•    providing proof of postage or delivery.

Some of our products and services have special terms and conditions and are known as ‘schemes’. These schemes mean that we do not need to have individual contracts with each customer using these products or services. You can find more information at https://www.royalmail.com/non-contract-terms-and-conditions

Legitimate Interests – we need to process your data to provide these postal services for which you have paid. 
Providing postal services requested by another person or organisation (for example, when someone sends you a letter or parcel, we will use your data to deliver or return it, enable you to track it or provide delivery updates).  These services include: 
•    taking necessary steps to make sure your mail is delivered or returned to the sender
•    making changes to a scheduled delivery (such as the time or delivery point)
•    confirming to the sender where and when the item was delivered 
•    contacting you to confirm whether you have received an item if the sender claims you may not have done, and arranging to collect a letter or parcel from you
Legitimate interests and consent – We need to use your data to provide these services.  The terms and conditions of the service will explain when we need your permission to use your data for a specific purpose, and how to give that permission.
Providing you with: 
•    services which allow you to manage deliveries of letters and parcels 
•    services which allow you to manage other options, including making changes to a scheduled delivery, and 
•    information about your sending history, your address and locations you have looked up by using our services.
Legitimate Interests and consent – we need to process your data to provide the sender and recipient with your details in order to complete the delivery and to allow the delivery to be properly tracked within the postal service. In some circumstances, we will obtain your consent to do this, otherwise we have a legitimate interest to do so.
Processing payments and refunds for our services. Contract – We need to use your data to process payments and refunds in line with our contract with you.
Taking necessary steps when you have accepted a parcel on behalf of someone else (such as your neighbour).  This may include using your data to: 
•    complete the delivery
•    give your details to the sender and the person the item was sent to, to let them know you have the item, and allow the delivery to be properly tracked within the postal service
Legitimate interests and consent - We need to use your data to provide these services.  The terms and conditions of the service will explain when we need your permission to use your data for a specific purpose, and how to give that permission.
Providing delivery updates to the sender and the person the item was sent to, as part of our track and trace services. Legitimate interests – We need to monitor our delivery services to improve them and provide better information to our customers.
Dealing with enquiries, complaints or claims and giving you the opportunity to provide reviews of our services.  Legitimate interests – We may need to use your data to help us deal with enquiries, complaints or claims raised by you or anyone else. 

Providing data to business customers and the UK Government. 

We need to share your data to support the interests of business customers and the UK Government. This includes:
•    helping businesses to keep accurate, up-to-date addresses for their customers
•    helping businesses to target their marketing, and 
•    helping businesses and the UK Government to check identities and prevent fraud.

Legitimate interests – Our business customers and the UK Government have a legitimate interest to use data in these ways, and we have a legitimate interest to support them.  
Marketing our products and services to customers and possible customers. This may include: 
•    running competitions and promotions 
•    making sure that when you click on our online adverts you’re linked to the right webpage, and 
•    checking how effective our adverts are (for example, by monitoring whether you download our apps or visit our website after clicking on one of them). 

Legitimate interests and consent – We may need to use your data to send you marketing information about our products and services with you. In some circumstances, we will ask for your permission before sending you marketing. 

You always have the right to opt out of receiving marketing information sent specifically to you. See section 4 below for more information about marketing.

Improving our customers' experience of our services and websites. For example, we use information about your visits to our websites to help us understand how different people use them and how long they spend on particular pages.. Legitimate interests – We use your data to help us understand how you use our services so we can improve them.
Carrying out market research and analysis to improve existing services and develop new ones. For example, we may develop new postal or data services for business customers to help them keep their address database up to date, identify and prevent fraud and check identities, or to target their marketing. Legitimate interests and legal obligation – We need to use your data to improve the products and services we offer and to develop new services for you and other customers. This may involve us, or a market research organisation working for us, contacting you for feedback on our services.
We also need to use your data to help us follow regulations, including to check levels of customer satisfaction.
Maintaining security, preventing fraud and money laundering, and taking action against fraudsters and other criminals. This includes: 
•    identifying and stopping illegal scam mail 
•    using credit checks, and
•    using personal data to support or defend legal action, including as evidence in court cases.

Legitimate interests – We sometimes need to use data to protect rights, property and personal safety. 

See section 6 below for more information about security and preventing fraud.

Customs and tax purposes, and security screening, for overseas items. Legal obligation – We need to use personal data to help us follow revenue and customs regulations and to protect the mail in our network.
Preventing and detecting crime, including using CCTV to protect our customers, employees and property.

Legitimate interests – We sometimes need to use personal data to: 
•    protect the rights, property and personal safety of our staff and customers, and 
•    keep the mail items in our network safe.  

We may also use this information in investigations and legal action related to any crime detected, including as evidence in legal disputes and court proceedings.

Preventing illegal or unauthorised sharing or processing of personal data and confidential information. Legitimate interests – We sometimes need to monitor and block communications between our staff and others to protect the security of personal data and confidential information.
Meeting legal requirements (for example, under postal services law we must maintain the Postcode Address File and make it available to people and organisations who want to use it under particular terms). Legal obligation – We may need to use your data to help us carry out our legal and regulatory responsibilities as postal operators and under health and safety law.
Protecting our workforce Legitimate interests and legal obligation – We may need to use your data to help us meet health and safety requirements and our legal duty to protect our workforce. This includes identifying addresses which we will not deliver to or collect from.

 

Marketing

We would like to keep in touch with you, by post, email, phone, social media or online, about our products, services and offers that might interest you. You can choose whether you want to receive these communications and can opt out at any time. 

We have a legitimate interest in promoting our products and services, but if you ask us not to send you marketing communications, we won't send them. In particular, when we collect contact information that we would like to use to send you marketing, we will give you the opportunity, at that time, to tell us not to send it. 
 

Making sure our marketing messages are relevant to you 

We want to make sure the information we send you about our products and services is relevant to you. To do this, we may use your personal data to help us understand your interests better. We may also use details of your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet (including its IP address) to check you are linked to the right web page after clicking on one of our online adverts.  If you visit our websites, we may also use cookies to tell us which marketing to send you. Please see section 11 below for information about cookies.

These approaches help us to make our communications more relevant and interesting for you. Looking at the web pages you’ve visited and the things you’ve bought helps us to understand you as a customer better and allows us to provide personalised services, content, communications and online advertising. We may also measure how you respond to our marketing communications to help us understand how effective they are and offer you products and services that better meet your needs. 

If you don’t want us to personalise our marketing messages to you in this way, you can opt out of personalisation. If you do this, we will not send you any more marketing communications.  Please see section 11 below to find out more about how you can control whether we use cookies in marketing to you.

Changing your marketing preferences

You can change your marketing preferences at any time. You can do this:

·         online

·         over the phone

·         using the ‘unsubscribe’ link in our marketing emails

·         by replying STOP to our marketing text messages

·         through our apps, or

·         by writing to us at any time.

If you say you do not want to receive marketing information from us, this will prevent you from receiving offers or hearing about other products which may be of interest to you.

If you have registered through our royalmail.com website, you can change your marketing preferences online at any time through the ‘My Account’ section of the website at https://www.royalmail.com/user/login.

  • Marketing preferences provided through parcelforce.com 

Parcelforce Worldwide account customers can change their preferences through the ‘My Profile’ section of the Parcelforce Worldwide website at https://www.parcelforce.com/user/login 

You can also contact our Information Rights team to ask us to stop sending marketing emails, letters or other forms of direct marketing.

Service information 

We may need to send you communications about the service you are using. For example, we send our customers order confirmations, delivery updates, invoices and notice of changes to our terms or prices. 
If you choose to opt out of marketing, we may still need to send you this kind of information.

Communication preferences

If you choose to turn off app notifications on your phone, you may still receive notifications and other service messages from us in other ways (for example, by text message, email or letter).

Marketing preferences

We like to hear your views as this can help us to improve our products and services. So, from time to time we may contact you to carry out market research or a survey or ask a market research organisation working for us to do so. You always have the choice about whether to take part in our market research.

Our employees and agents

Our employees, or agents who act on our behalf, may use your data for the purposes set out in sections 3 and 4 above. For example, if you contact us with an enquiry or complaint, members of our Customer Service Team will see your information. 

Customers

We share your personal data with our customers when we provide them with services which involve you. For example, if a customer has arranged for an item to be sent to you, we will give them delivery updates and proof that it has been delivered.  This proof may confirm where we delivered the item and show any signature the person who received the item gave us.

Online shopping platforms

If you buy postage through an online shopping platform such as eBay or Amazon, or if we deliver items you have bought from them, we may share your personal data with them to provide updates on an item’s location and proof of delivery. 

Other organisations 

Information will be shared with specific categories of third parties where customers have indicated they wish to receive information about products, services or promotions provided by those third parties that may be of interest to them.

Royal Mail Group may share personal data with other organisations or public bodies for legal purposes, such the police, law enforcement agencies, fraud prevention agencies and other bodies where is necessary or appropriate for the prevention or detection of crime or to protect the rights, property or safety of any person. This may include informing other organisations of addresses to and from which we will not deliver or collect items.

Postal authorities and overseas carriers

We will share your personal data with overseas postal authorities and carriers. If you are sending a letter or parcel overseas or receiving an item from overseas, we will provide the information required for customs and tax purposes or for security screening. This information will normally include: 
•    the sender’s name and address
•    the name and address of the person receiving the item, and 
•    details of the item’s contents. 

Information required by law or regulation 

If required by any law or regulation, we may share your personal data with regulators such as the Information Commissioner

We may share some of the personal data we hold about you with fraud-prevention agencies, who will use it to prevent fraud and money laundering and to confirm your identity. If fraud is detected, you could be refused certain services, finance, or employment. Further details of how we will use your information, the fraud-prevention agencies, and your data protection rights, can be found at www.cifas.org.uk/fpn

Royal Mail Group and other organisations may also use your personal data to prevent fraud and money laundering when, for example:
•    checking details on applications for credit and credit-related or other facilities
•    managing credit and credit-related accounts or facilities
•    recovering debt
•    checking details on proposals (applications) and claims for all types of insurance
•    checking details of job applicants and employees, and
•    identifying and preventing illegal scam mail.

We and other organisations will also use the information recorded by fraud-prevention agencies from other countries.
 

New business customers

If you are a new business customer applying for a credit account, we may give some of your personal data to TransUnion International UK Limited, a credit-reference agency providing services such as checking credit risk and affordability, fraud prevention, preventing money laundering, confirming identities and tracing debts.

TransUnion will use your personal data to provide services to us and their other clients. We use their services in order to assess your creditworthiness and the suitability of products, check your identity, manage your account, trace and recover debts, and prevent criminal activity such as fraud and money laundering. There is more information about TransUnion and how they use and share personal data in their privacy notice here.

We may share your personal data overseas if we or another organisation abroad need it for any of the reasons set out above.  For example, if you are sending a letter or parcel overseas, we may need to share your data with the overseas postal company. 

If we use a service provider or technology provider based overseas, we may also need to share your data with them (for example, to provide the product or service you have asked for, to process your payment details or to provide support services).

We will make sure that your personal data is protected by law or under a contract that is in line with UK law.

We only keep your data for as long as we need to use it. This will depend on the product or service we are providing. There may also be legal requirements for us to keep your data for a certain length of time.

You have the following rights in relation to your personal data.

The right to be informed

We will give you information about how we use your personal data at the time we collect it from you (for example, when you open an account or apply for a service online), or through privacy notices such as this one.

The right to access your personal data

You have the right to get a copy of your personal data and details of how we use it. 

You can ask for details of the personal data we hold about you by contacting our Information Rights and Governance Team (information.rights@royalmail.com). We may need proof of your identity. We will also need you to tell us which information and uses of your data you want to know about (for example, which of our services were involved and when we might have used the data).  We may also ask you to fill in an optional application form to help us confirm your identity and trace the information you need.

The right to have your data corrected

You have the right to have your data corrected if it is wrong or incomplete. 

We will do our best to make sure your personal data is accurate and up to date. However, we rely on you to check that some of the information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. Please let us know about any changes to your information (for example, by updating your account details on our websites).

The right to object

You have the right to object to some uses of your personal data, such as for marketing (as set out in section 4 above). However, if the law allows us to continue using your data, we may do so. 

The right to have your data deleted

You have the right to ask us to delete your personal data from our records if there is no legitimate reason for us to continue using it. However, if there is a legitimate reason for us to use it, we will not be able to delete it. 

The right to restrict use of your data

You have the right to limit the use of your personal data if:
•    you feel that it is not accurate and needs to be checked
•    you disagree with our legal reasons for using your data and want us to reconsider using it
•    we are using your data illegally, but you do not want it to be deleted, or
•    we no longer need the data, but you want us to hold it for the purposes of a legal claim. 

The right to transfer your data

You have the right to ask us to transfer your personal data to another organisation. We must do this if the transfer is, as data protection law says, ‘technically feasible’.
This right only applies to personal data which you have given to us and which we use either with your agreement or to keep to a contract we have with you. 

The right to withdraw your agreement to use personal data

If you have agreed we may use your personal data in a certain way, you can withdraw that agreement at any time. 

For support relating to your personal-data rights, please contact our Information Rights and Governance Team at information.rights@royalmail.com.

The Information Commissioner’s Office provides full details of your data protection rights. There is more information on their own website.


Covid-19 disruption 

We take the rights set out above very seriously and will always aim to respond to any request from you as soon as we can. However, due to the current situation with the 
Covid-19 outbreak, it may take us longer to deal with your request. This is because we have fewer staff at work and new challenges to meet. Please bear with us. 

The quickest way for you to contact us is by emailing information.rights@royalmail.com. We will then get back to you by email. We may still need to carry out some checks to confirm your identity and protect your information (for example, by asking you to email us proof of your identity or phoning you to check your details). 
 

If you have a question or complaint about Royal Mail products or services, please contact Royal Mail Customer Services

If you have a question or complaint about Parcelforce Worldwide products or services, please contact Parcelforce Worldwide Customer Services.

If you have any questions about your personal data, you can contact our Information Rights and Governance Team at the following address.

Information Rights and Governance Team
Royal Mail Group
Pond Street
SHEFFIELD
S98 6HR

Email: information.rights@royalmail.com

Our Data Protection Officer

You can contact our data protection officer at: 

Royal Mail Group
100 Victoria Embankment
London
EC4Y 0HQ

Email: information.rights@royalmail.com

Your right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office

If you believe we have not met our legal duties, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at the following address. 

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk

Cookies are text files placed on your computer when you use a website or app. When you use our websites and apps, we will ask you whether you agree to us using cookies to collect information about:
•    the devices you use to access those websites and apps, and
•    how you use those websites and apps (for example, the pages and content you’ve looked at). 

It’s up to you whether to agree to us using cookies.  For more details of the cookies we use, including cookies which help us to target advertising messages at you, please see the cookies policy on the website or app you are using.

 

If you are in the European Union and would like to contact our representative there, their name and address are:

General Logistics Solutions B.V.
Breguetlaan 28-30
1438 BC Oude Meer
Netherlands.
 

13. Changes to our privacy notice

We will review our privacy notice regularly and post any updates on this web page. This privacy notice was last updated in December 2020.

This privacy notice is also available in Welsh, Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, German and Dutch. However, only the English language version is our actual privacy notice. The translations were last updated in November 2019.