Personal Data and Privacy Policy

Introduction to ALCS

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit, non-union, collective management organisation (CMO), established in 1977 and wholly owned by the authors within its membership. The current membership includes authors working across diverse genres for print, audio, audio-visual and digital publications and the successors to authors’ estates. We collect money for secondary uses of our members’ work from a variety of UK and international sources. Secondary uses include photocopying, digital reproduction, retransmission of TV/radio programmes and certain online uses. ALCS also campaigns on behalf of writers at a national and international level. We aim to ensure that writers receive fair payment for the use of their work, and that writers’ rights are recognised and respected.

Personal Data and Privacy

In order for ALCS to fulfill its function as a CMO, we process personal data which relates to our members, as well as non-member authors and other stakeholders and contacts. ALCS is committed to maintaining the appropriate confidentiality, integrity and security of personal data that we process by complying with both our legal and ethical obligations in respect of data protection and privacy. This policy sets out the principles ALCS adheres to when processing personal data and outlines the operational aspects of our various data processing activities.

What Personal Data do we Collect?

Personal data is any information relating to an identifiable living individual. We collect the following information about individuals:

ALCS Members

In order to enable ALCS to participate in licensing schemes on behalf of its members and to distribute shares of the resulting income to them, ALCS maintains a Members Database comprising the following information which may contain personal data:

Personal/contact information: names (including pseudonyms), gender, contact and address details, dates of birth and death.

Affiliations: Membership of other writers’ organisations is also recorded to enable the relevant discounting of ALCS membership fees.

Payment information: details of ALCS income, bank details, agent details and agent bank details, HMRC registration information.

Works information: details of editions for books and serial publications; series and episode details for TV and radio programmes; film titles.

Correspondence: information relevant to your specific enquiries.

Other: any other information you choose to provide to us.

The Members Database will include personal data of members who are beneficiaries of or representing beneficiaries of author’s estates.


Typically the information described above is provided to ALCS by individuals when they join ALCS as members (on behalf of themselves or others). However, in some cases, works information and contact information are obtained indirectly by ALCS for the purposes of identifying, locating and contacting writers to whom outstanding fees are owed. ALCS is under a legal obligation to do this (see What is the Legal Basis for ALCS Data Processing? below). Details of the sources used by ALCS to identify and locate writers can be found here.

Other contacts

In addition to the Members Database, ALCS also maintains a separate database comprising information (including name, address, contact details and business employer) provided by individuals from related organisations, industry stakeholders and other contacts.

ALCS is committed to fair and transparent processing and any individual requiring information as to where ALCS originated his/her personal data (including any public sources) may contact ALCS at any time.

Website visitors

When any user visits our website, we will also automatically collect certain limited information through the use of cookies to distinguish that user from other users of our website. This helps us to provide a better experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. For more information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them click here.

What do we do with your Personal Data?

ALCS Members

ALCS will use the contact details supplied by members to provide them with information on distributions and to enable the exercise of their governance rights, by providing notices regarding company meetings and elections.

Contact details are also used to provide news and information about ALCS and its activities. Members can opt-out of receiving these notifications or change their preferences at any time using the ‘unsubscribe’ link provided in these emails or by contacting the ALCS Communications Department, ALCS Limited, 6th Floor, International House, 1 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1UN, or via email

Members’ banking details are used to make distribution payments.

Member and non-member authors

ALCS uses data linking authors and their works for the purposes of submitting claims to the licensing bodies we work with in the UK and overseas. Typically, this involves the exchange of data in the form of electronic files confirming schedules of works and authors that are represented by ALCS and, where relevant, the partner organisation.

ALCS uses data it has collected about authors (e.g. their locations and/or contact details) for the purpose of contacting the relevant authors to pay them their fees.

Other Contacts

We use the contact details of individuals from related organisations, industry stakeholders and other contacts in the ordinary course of conducting our function as a CMO in accordance with applicable law and regulations.

From time to time, we may contact members, non-members and other contacts to invite them to specific events relating to our function as a CMO. We take care to only invite individuals to events that are relevant to, and likely to be of interest to those individuals. If you do not want ALCS to contact you or would like to inform ALCS of your preferences regarding such contact, please contact the ALCS Communications Department, ALCS Limited, 6th Floor, International House, 1 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1UN, or via email at any time.

What is the Legal Basis for ALCS Data Processing?

By law, ALCS may only process personal data where it has a legal justification or requirement to do so.

In accordance with that law, ALCS processes personal data as described above because it is:

1) Necessary for the performance of our membership contracts with our members: and/or

2) Necessary for the purposes of ALCS’ legitimate interests, namely to fulfil its function as a CMO in accordance with applicable law and regulations and to conduct and manage our relationship with specific individuals. Where we use your personal data for ALCS’ legitimate interests, we make sure that we take into account any potential impact that such use may have on you. If we believe your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms override our legitimate interests then we won’t use your personal data on this basis and may seek your specific consent, and/or

3) Necessary for compliance with its legal obligations.

As a CMO, ALCS is bound by the terms of The Collective Management of Copyright (EU Directive) Regulations 2016 and The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Extended Collective Licensing) Regulations 2014. These regulations legally require CMOs to take the necessary steps to identify, locate and pay fees due to non-member rights holders.

ALCS would not be able to fulfil its function as a CMO as set out in its membership contract and in the manner required by applicable law and regulation without processing personal data as described in this policy.

If you have any concerns about our processing please refer to details of “Your Rights in Relation to Personal Data” below.

Your Rights in Relation to Personal Data

Individuals whose personal data we process have certain rights in respect of that data, including:

(1) Right to information and access

You have the right to request access to the information that we hold about you.

In accordance with data protection laws, members also have the right to receive a copy of any information we hold about them in connection with the performance of our contract with them. On request, ALCS will provide members with copies of their personal data in a convenient format (via electronic means or otherwise). Where technically feasible, ALCS will also meet any member’s request to transfer their data to a third party.

(2) Rectification, erasure, and restriction

You have the right to ask us to limit or cease processing or erase information we hold about you in certain circumstances. In responding to such requests, ALCS will communicate to the individual concerned the impact of such restrictions or deletions, for example, on ALCS’s ability to carry out collections and distributions on their behalf.

ALCS takes reasonable steps to ensure that the personal data it holds about you is accurate and up-to-date and we will comply with any requests to rectify any inaccurate data we may hold about you.

ALCS relies on the accuracy of information provided by its members and will rectify any notified inaccuracies following a request by the individual concerned. ALCS members can access, update and, where necessary, correct the data we hold in respect of their personal, financial and works information via the members’ area of our website. For members who choose not to register for the members’ area, and anyone else, requests for access to information regarding personal, financial and works information should be made in writing to the ALCS Membership Department, 6th Floor, International House, 1 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1UN via email to or by phone 020 7264 5700. Requests by members to make changes to their personal, financial and works information should be made by post or phone; in the latter case ALCS requires members to provide proof of their identity by answering security questions prior to making the changes.

(3) Right to object

You have the right to object to ALCS using your information on the basis of its legitimate interests and the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes, where relevant (see “What do we do with your personal data?” section above).

ALCS is committed to respecting individuals’ rights. You may action your rights by contacting us using the details provided above and we will comply with your requests unless we have a lawful reason not to do so. ALCS will endeavour to handle any requests within a reasonable period and, in any event, within a month of the original request.

How ALCS Might Share your Personal Data

ALCS will only share personal data with third parties in the following circumstances:

UK and International CMOs

Data recording authors’ names and their works is passed on to CMOs in the UK and overseas for the purposes of identifying the level of licence fees due to individual authors.

ALCS contributes data to a secure international database of writers and composers (‘IPI’) which records the names, gender, nationalities and dates of birth/death of some ALCS members. ALCS also contributes data to a secure international database of audio-visual works (‘IDA’), which records the titles of the works and the names and contributions of those ALCS members who participated in the creation of those works. These systems facilitate the efficient exchange of rights and payment information among collecting societies around the world and are not publically accessible.

These data exchange procedures, which apply to organisations based within and outside the European Economic Area (EEA), are necessary to allocate the income from the various ALCS licensing income sources to individuals, and therefore are in the interest of members. Where ALCS transfers personal data to such organisations outside of the EEA, this may be to countries whose data protection laws are not equivalent to those in the UK and/or have not been the subject of an adequacy decision by the European Commission. ALCS will take steps necessary to ensure that such personal data is adequately protected and processed in accordance with this Privacy Policy. If you would like more information please contact the ALCS Operations Department, 6th Floor, International House, 1 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1UN, via email to or by phone 020 7264 5700.

Service Providers and Suppliers

ALCS employs external IT consultants to provide support and development services in relation to ALCS’ systems and databases. These consultants may from time to time need to access information which may contain personal data for the purposes of systems testing and development.

ALCS also uses third party providers to facilitate certain communications on its behalf, such as mail-outs providing notices of company meetings and elections, which requires them to access contact data. All such third parties are vetted by ALCS to ensure they provide adequate levels of security when processing data.

Financial Reporting on Members

At the end of the distribution process, ALCS submits various payment instructions to its bank detailing the relevant member’s bank account details and the amounts to be credited. In line with financial reporting regulations, ALCS is required to give full details of distributions to HMRC for any member paid more than £1,000 in the financial year. Details provided are: name, address, amount paid, VAT registration and whether or not the member is paid through an agency.

The ALCS auditors are also given access to ALCS systems for the purpose of the audit only.


In some circumstance, ALCS may need to share your personal data where necessary with other third parties (including legal or other advisors, regulatory authorities, courts and government agencies) to enable us to enforce our legal rights, or to protect the rights, property or safety of our employees or where such disclosure may be permitted or required by law.

We require third parties to maintain appropriate security to protect information from unauthorised access or processing.

Data Security

ALCS will take appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect the personal data we transmit, store or otherwise process against accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration or unauthorized disclosure or access.

The members’ area of the ALCS website requires entering a username/email address and password which is encrypted and known only to the member. The data that Members provide on-line to ALCS is also encrypted protected by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology. The ALCS members’ area is secured and hardened against attacks according to industry best practices and is regularly tested to ensure security provisions remain adequate. Bank account information is never returned fully to members in their online account (account numbers are masked out, i.e. ****1111).

All paper membership application forms are scanned into electronic format and stored on a database which is password and firewall protected. The paper copies are shredded. On a daily basis members’ personal data is backed up to a secure location.

Data files shared by ALCS with third parties are password protected. Data stored on ALCS laptops and portable devices is encrypted. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, although ALCS strives to protect your personal data online, including through use of encryption and other measures, we cannot guarantee the security of any Internet communication or transmission. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is not secure, please notify us of the problem immediately by contacting us using the details below.

Prior to introducing new systems or technologies relevant to the processing of personal data, ALCS will undertake the necessary impact assessments with a particular focus on any associated risks.

How Long Does ALCS Retain Personal Data For?

ALCS will only retain personal data for as long as is necessary to provide our services or for as long as we reasonably require to retain the information for our lawful business purposes or comply with a statutory or other legal requirement. Please contact us if you require further information about our retention policies.

Data Breaches

In the event of any breach of ALCS systems impacting on the security of a member’s or any other individual’s personal data, ALCS will inform the affected member(s) or individuals at the earliest opportunity describing the nature of the breach, the possible consequences and the measures being taken to remedy the situation in accordance with our procedures and applicable law.


If you are unhappy with the way in which ALCS processes your personal data, please contact us using the information provided below. You also have the right to lodge a complaint before the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK data protection authority. Their contact details as are follows: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745; or see their website.

Contact Us

Please direct any comments or enquiries relating to this policy to: The Chief Executive Officer, ALCS Limited, 6th Floor, International House, 1 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1UN, or via email

Updating this Policy

From time to time we may change our data processing activities. We will notify you of any changes to this policy as required by law. We will also post an updated version on our website.

Date: 1st March 2018