Our Privacy Notice has been updated.

We have made some changes to our Privacy Notice to give you clear information about how we process your personal data.

We have rearranged the sections to make the Notice easier to read and included more information on our legal obligations and on our processes.

Privacy Notice

Version 2.0, revised 19th August 2019

1. Introduction

The Wine Society is committed to delivering the best experience for our members. As such, we take our responsibilities in looking after your personal information very seriously. This Privacy Notice explains how we (The International Exhibition Co-operative Wine Society Limited (‘The Wine Society’)) will use your personal information. We collect, use and are responsible for personal information about you. When we do so, we are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UK Data Protection Act 2018, which applies across the European Union (including the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of data protection legislation.

2. Personal data we collect

We collect data you provide to us. This includes information you give when joining or registering yourself as a member, placing an order or communicating with us. For example:

  • Your personal details, including your name, postal and billing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, date of birth and title.
  • Photographic ID in order to verify your age. This is a legal requirement because of the products we sell. We only use it for this purpose and do not store copies of this information.
  • The password you set for your account, which we store in an encrypted format.
  • Your payment information including card number and expiry date.
  • Your direct debit information including account name, account number and sort code.

If you purchase membership of The Wine Society as a gift for someone, your details will be recorded (as will the recipient’s)

When you shop with us, browse or interact with our websites or attend one of our events, we may collect:

  • Payment information in order to fulfil the orders you make. We are a PCI DSS compliant business, so your payment card information is stored securely by us.
  • Information about your purchases and preferences (for example, what you have bought, the quantities, when and where you bought it and how you paid for it).
  • Information about your online browsing behaviour and contributions on our websites, and information about when you click on one of our adverts or promoted content on third party websites, such as Google.
  • Information about the devices you are using to access our online services (including the make, model and operating system, IP address, browser type and any mobile device identifiers).
  • Your username when becoming a member of The Wine Society’s Community.

When you contact us or we contact you - or you take part in promotions, competitions, surveys or questionnaires about The Wine Society - we may collect:

  • Personal data you provide about yourself anytime you contact us about your membership (for example, your name, Community username, order details and contact details) or other personal details, including by phone, email or post or when you speak with us through live chat or social media.
  • Details of the mailings, emails and other digital communications we send to you.
  • Your feedback and contributions to customer surveys and questionnaires (unless anonymised).

We may also use personal data from other sources, such as specialist companies that supply information and public registers in order to make sure we are trading legally and that you are getting the best service from us. For example, this other personal data helps us to:

  • Ensure you are old enough to be sent marketing material relating to alcoholic products.
  • Validate that you are old enough to purchase alcoholic products from us.
  • Review and improve the accuracy of the data we hold.
  • Improve and measure the effectiveness of our marketing communications, including online advertising.

We may also conduct research and analysis on the information that we hold, which can generate personal data. For example, by analysing our members’ and prospective members’ interests, we may be able to build a profile which helps us to decide which of our communications are of interest to members and prospective members.

We may use personal data to communicate with people to promote The Wine Society. The marketing data may include your name, email address, postal and billing address, phone number, date of birth, gender, title and the user ID of any connected social platforms. The legal basis is our legitimate interests, to ensure that we provide relevant and better services and enhancing our customer base.

3. How we use your personal information

Under data protection law, we can only use your personal information if we have a proper reason for doing so, for example to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations, for the performance of a contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract, for our legitimate interests or those of a third party or where you have given consent.

A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights or interests. It is also to ensure that we provide relevant and better services and improve our customer base.


When you register as a member of The Wine Society by completing our application, you will be agreeing to the use of your personal information by us to administer your membership. This information will be used to:

  • Provide and fulfil your orders, and refunds where necessary.
  • Allow you to transfer wines to and access your Members' Reserves.
  • Access tastings tickets and any other services you may purchase from us.
  • Inform you about the performance of The Wine Society.
  • Help to improve and develop our product offerings, member services, member experience, and the way we communicate with you.

When joining as a member of The Wine Society you become a shareholder in the co-operative and will receive important information relating to the business (e.g. notices of general meetings) and our products. If you do not want to receive this information, you can let us know by emailing memberservices@thewinesociety.com or calling Member Services on 01438 741177. We will use your personal information as appropriate, to process your application, set up and administer your account, to fulfil your orders, contact you as necessary with The Wine Society information and fulfil our legal and regulatory compliance responsibilities. Information about you is stored securely by us and will only be accessible to people that need to see it to carry out their job responsibilities.

Promotional communications and marketing

We may use your personal information to send you updates (by email, text message, telephone or post) about our products and services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new products and services. We may use a hashed (or anonymised) version of your email addresses to ensure that messages we post on third party sites (social media, for example) are targeted to a relevant audience.

We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal information for promotional purposes. This means we do not usually need your consent to send promotional communications. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.

We may also use personal data to help us decide which of our communications are of interest to members and to prospective members. We evaluate, categorise and profile personal data in order to tailor goods, services and communications (included targeted advertising). This is to help us identify individuals who might be interested or willing to join The Wine Society. This also helps us ensure that our offers and services are marketed in a relevant and personalised way, to avoid sending irrelevant communications to our members and other individuals.

We always use your personal information with the utmost respect and never sell it to other organisations for marketing purposes.

You have the right to opt-out of receiving promotional communications at any time by contacting Member services on 01438 741177 or to unsubscribe from email click on the link at the bottom of the email.

Research and profiling

We may use personal data to undertake research and build profiles which enable us to understand our members, improve our relationship with them, and provide a better experience.

Profiling is gathering information about individuals or groups of individuals and understanding their characteristics or behaviours to learn more about their interests or likely behaviour.

We profile members in terms of financial status and lifestyle. For example, we keep track of the amount, frequency and value of each person’s purchases. This information helps us to ensure communications are relevant and timely and improve the experience our members receive. It also helps us identify individuals or groups of individuals who might be willing to join The Wine Society and we may contact them to see if they wish to do so.

You can opt out of having your personal information profiled in this way by contacting us (see above). We sometimes collect information on preferences and interests so that we know what communications you are mostly likely to be interested in.

Analysis, grouping and segmentation
We analyse our members to identify shared characteristics and preferences. We do this by assessing various types of information including behaviour (e.g. previous responses) or demographic information (e.g. age or location) or lifestyle information (e.g. your interests and your affluence).

By grouping people together on the basis of common characteristics, we can ensure that groups are provided with communications, products, and information which is most important to them. This helps prevent your inbox from filling up, and means we are not wasting resources on contacting people with information which isn’t relevant to them.

Anonymised data
We may aggregate and anonymise personal data so that it can no longer be linked to any particular person. This information can be used for a variety of purposes, such as recruiting new members, or to identify trends or patterns within our existing members. This information helps inform our actions and improve our marketing, products and services.

Applying for a Job with us

If you are applying for a role at The Wine Society, any personal information that is provided in this process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application. We will use your contact details to get in touch with you to progress the application and any other information to assess your suitability for the role for which you have applied. We do not share this information with anyone outside of The Wine Society. Your information will be kept for 6 months, unless it has been agreed with you that it can be retained for longer to be considered for any future roles with us. We will store your information securely and ensure only those involved in the recruitment process are able to access it.

4. Who we share your information with

To provide the best service to our members, we work with carefully selected third parties who are responsible for delivering certain functions on our behalf. We routinely share personal information with:

  • third parties we use to help deliver our products and services to you, e.g. payment service providers, mailing service providers, warehouses and delivery companies;
  • companies that help us with technology services;
  • other third parties we use to help us run our business, e.g. marketing agencies or website hosts;
  • third parties approved by you, e.g. social media sites you choose to link your account to or third-party payment providers;
  • Our insurers, brokers, legal advisers and banks;
  • External auditors.

We may share personal data with third party providers of services (for example Experian or similar organisations) or digital advertising or social media companies who work on our behalf, for example social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. We may use these services for marketing, promotional, research or profiling purposes (see section 3 above). This is so you and others like you (lookalikes) are shown only relevant advertisements relating to us. We will also ensure that you are not provided with unnecessary marketing communications from us. If you choose not to see our advertisements, you can manage your preferences by using your social/digital advertising platform settings.

We will only share personal data that enables our third parties to provide their services. When we share your personal data with these providers, we require them to keep it safe and not keep it for any longer than they need to in order to perform their responsibilities.

We only allow our service providers to handle your personal information if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal information. [We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to ensure they can only use your personal information to provide services to us and to you.]

We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

5. Where your personal information is held

Information may be held at our offices and those of our third-party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see above: ‘Who we share your information with’).

6. How long your personal information will be kept

We hold your information as a member for the duration of your membership. As our members are shareholders, we require a record of your contact information in order to communicate with you about the organisation.

Otherwise, we will not retain personal information for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this Notice. When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal information, we will delete or anonymise it.

7. Keeping your information secure

We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to access it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

8. Your rights

We want to make sure that the personal data we hold about you is up to date and accurate. If any of the details are incorrect you can update them using your online account or by letting us know and we will amend them for you.

Under the terms of the current data protection legislation, you have the following rights:

  • The right to be provided with a copy of your personal information (the right of access). Much of this information is already available in the My Account area of our website;
  • The right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal information (the right of rectification);
  • The right to require us to delete your personal information in certain circumstances (the right to be forgotten);
  • The right to receive the personal information you provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit the data to a third party (the right to data portability);
  • The right to object (i) at any time to your personal information being processed for direct marketing (including profiling) and (ii) in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal information, e.g. processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests (the right to object);
  • The right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (including profiling) that produces legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affects you (the right not to be subject to automated individual decision making).

For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, please contact us or see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please make a request in writing stating the purpose of your request, your name, share number and a contact address and phone number to:

The Company Secretary
The Wine Society
Gunnels Wood Road,

We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.

The General Data Protection Regulations also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone: 0303 123 1113.

9. Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time—when we do, we will inform you via a notice on our website.

Society Promise
Members before profit

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.


4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies: Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.