Section I sets out how your data will be used if you apply for initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining a Lodge or Chapter.
Section II sets out how your data will be used if you are a Freemason.
Section III sets out how your data may be used by Masonic charities if you are a Freemason.
Section IV provides more detail about how data about any criminal convictions will be used if applicable.
Section V provides more detail about how your data will be stored for archive purposes in the public interest and for historical research.
I. Application for initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining
As a candidate, you consent to the processing, retention and sharing of your personal data submitted on or with your application, including details of criminal convictions if applicable, for the purpose of assessing your membership application and any other membership applications you may make to Masonic entities.
The assessment of your application will include printing some of your personal details on the summons which is sent to all of the members of the Lodge or Chapter to which you are applying. Those details are your full name, age, profession or occupation (if any), place or places of abode, business address or addresses and names of your proposer and seconder.
You can withdraw your consent and request erasure of your application data at any time prior to your initiation, exaltation, joining or re-joining by notifying your proposer and seconder that you wish to cancel your application.
II. Use of your data when you are a Freemason
As a Freemason your data will be processed, retained and shared for any reasonable purposes required by the Book of Constitutions, the Royal Arch Regulations or the bodies they sanction from time to time. These purposes include, but are not limited to, the following purposes:
Assessing any membership applications you make to Masonic entities;
Registering you as a member of Freemasonry;
Sending communications which you are entitled to receive as a Mason;
Recording the progress of your career in Freemasonry;
Masonic disciplinary processes;
If you resign or are expelled from membership, maintaining records to prevent you from improperly re-applying for membership; and
Maintaining records of your career in Freemasonry for archive and historical purposes.
You may stop your data from being used for all purposes except 6. and 7. above by resigning from the United Grand Lodge of England and, if applicable, the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England using the processes prescribed by their respective constitutions. If you resign or are expelled, personal data relating to your membership will normally be retained and processed by the United Grand Lodge of England for 100 years for purpose 6. and indefinitely for purpose 7. Other Masonic entities may also keep historic records, for example once you cease to be a member of a Lodge your personal details will remain in Lodge minute books which cover the period in which you were a subscribing member.
Your data may also be used within one year of your resignation from a Lodge or Chapter to contact you for the purposes of understanding why you resigned and if applicable to assist you in finding an appropriate Lodge or Chapter to join.
You may request access to the data held about you by each Masonic entity, and rectification of that data if applicable, or object to the processing of that data, by submitting a request to the relevant Masonic entity.
The secretary of your Lodge and, if applicable, Scribe E. of your Chapter will provide on request details of your data controllers and their contact details.
The legal bases on which your personal data will be used in accordance with this Section II are:
a. the legitimate interests of Masonic entities as not for profit membership organisations; and
b. the fulfilment of contractual obligations owed to you by your Lodge or Chapter supported by its affiliated Masonic entities.
III. Masonic charities
Masonic charities need to keep their donor databases accurate and up to date. If you choose to provide your name and residential address to a Masonic charity, then Masonic entities may permit those Masonic charities to verify their donor databases against your name and address data that Masonic entities hold. The legal basis for this processing is the legitimate interests of that charity.
Masonic charities provide, among other work, support to Masons, former Masons and their relatives. Masonic entities would like to be able to share your personal data with recognised Masonic charities so that the charities can process it:
on receipt of an application for relief, to determine whether you or your relatives are eligible beneficiaries; and
where you have separately consented to a Masonic charity contacting you with fundraising materials, to allow that charity to update your contact details in their fundraising database by viewing your contact details held by Masonic entities.
Your data will not be processed by Masonic charities for purposes 1. or 2. of this Section III unless you have provided your consent. You may change these two optional consents at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
IV. Criminal convictions
Criminal conviction data will only be used by your Lodge, the Province and the United Grand Lodge of England to:
determine your suitability to become a Freemason;
determine your suitability to remain a Freemason; or
maintain records to prevent you from improperly re-applying for membership if you have ceased to be a Freemason by resignation or expulsion.
Freemasons are expected to conform to high standards. In relation to purpose 1. above, as a candidate you must disclose any criminal convictions, except that you may choose whether to disclose a conviction if it is spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The legal basis on which this data is processed is your consent. You can withdraw your consent and request erasure of your criminal conviction data at any time by notifying your proposer and seconder that you wish to cancel your application.
If convicted of an offence when a Freemason, you must report certain criminal convictions to your Lodge Master or the Grand Secretary in accordance with Rule 179A of the Book of Constitutions. The Master of your Lodge may also report such convictions to other Masonic entities in accordance with the Book of Constitutions and the disciplinary processes of Freemasonry. These reports are made for purpose 2. above and data in them can be retained for purpose 3. above. The legal basis on which this data is processed is the legitimate interests of the Masonic entities as membership organisations in upholding their values. The processing falls within the “processing by not-for-profit bodies” exemption to permit processing of criminal convictions data.
V. Archiving and historical research
Many Masonic records which may contain your data are archived for the public interest and kept for historical research. When they are no longer needed by the relevant Masonic Entity they are loaned or given to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, a charity registered in England with charity registration number 1058497. The records which are loaned are transferred permanently to the charity when the Masonic Entity considers appropriate.
The charity currently restricts access to the records for 70 years except where they might contain sensitive personal information in which case access is restricted for 100 years. These periods are subject to change to reflect best practice. After this time the records are made available to academic researchers and others in accordance with the charity’s work. More information about the charity’s work can be found at https://museumfreemasonry.org.uk.