Marks and Spencer plc is a company registered in England and Wales which is part of the M&S group of companies (collectively referred to as "M&S", "we" or "us" in this policy).
Maintaining the security of your data is a priority at M&S, and we are committed to respecting your privacy rights. We pledge to handle your data fairly and legally at all times. M&S is also dedicated to being transparent about what data we collect about you and how we use it.
This policy, which applies whether you visit our stores, shop with us on line or otherwise engage with us provides you with information about:
- how we use your data;
- what personal data we collect;
- how we ensure your privacy is maintained; and
- your legal rights relating to your personal data.
M&S (and trusted partners acting on our behalf) use your personal data:
- to provide goods and services to you;
- to make a tailored website available to you;
- to manage any registered account(s) that you hold with us;
- to verify your identity;
- for crime and fraud prevention, detection and related purposes;
- with your agreement, to contact you electronically about promotional offers and products and services which we think may interest you;
- for promotional and marketing purposes and to tailor and personalise products and services;
- to train and manage our people and develop products and services;
- for customer insight and market research purposes - to better understand your needs;
- to enable M&S to manage customer service interactions (including refunds) with you; and
- where we have a legal right or duty to use or disclose your information (for example in relation to an investigation by a public authority or in a legal dispute).
Sparks and Other Marketing
M&S uses your personal data to send you promotional messages by email, text and other electronic communication channels (with your consent) and may send you postal mail to update you on the latest M&S offers.
M&S aims to update you about products & services which are of interest and relevance to you as an individual.
You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time, by:
1. changing marketing preferences via your M&S account;
2. making use of the simple “unsubscribe” link in emails or the “STOP” number for texts; and/or
3. contacting M&S via the contact channels set out in this Policy.
If you are a member of Sparks, we may collect data directly from you, as well as analysing your browsing and purchasing activity, both on-line and in store, and your responses to marketing communications. The results of this analysis, together with other demographic data, allows us to ensure that we contact you with information on products and offers that are relevant to you. To do so, we use software and other technology (automated processing).
If you visit our websites, you may be served personalised advertisements for M&S branded products and services whilst using other websites (including social media platforms). Any advertisements you see will relate to products you have viewed whilst browsing our websites on your computer or other devices, or which we believe are of interest to you.
Sharing data with third parties
Our service providers and suppliers
In order to make certain services available to you, we may need to share your personal data with some of our service partners. These include IT, delivery and marketing service providers and fraud prevention and identification partners.
M&S only allows its service providers to handle your personal data when we have confirmed that they apply appropriate data protection and security controls. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to data protection and security, which mean they can only use your data to provide services to M&S and to you, and for no other purposes.
Other third parties
Aside from our service providers, M&S will not disclose your personal data to any third party, except as set out below. We will never sell or rent our customer data to other organisations for marketing purposes.
We may share your data with:
- our carefully selected partners who provide ‘M&S’ branded products and services (for example energy suppliers), if we have your consent to do so;
- credit reference agencies, banks and payment card issuers (such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express)
- Third party marketing partners, such as Google or Facebook (to deliver advertising to you if you are using Google or registered with Facebook (see further information on Facebook below).
- a business with acquires all or part of the M&S business, as set out further below
- governmental bodies, regulators, law enforcement agencies, courts/tribunals and insurers where we are required to do so: -
- to comply with our legal obligations;
- to exercise our legal rights (for example in court cases);
- for the prevention, detection, investigation of crime or prosecution of offenders; and
- to safeguard and protect our employees, customers or other individuals.
If you have an account with Facebook (or Instagram) and accept cookies on our website, your personal data including purchasing and browsing activity may be shared with Facebook so they can serve M&S advertisements to you when you are using Facebook platforms and apps (including Facebook and Instagram). For certain data processing activities relating to the marketing, Facebook Ireland will act as Joint Controller.
Further information on how Facebook Ireland processes your personal data, including the legal basis Facebook Ireland relies on and the ways to exercise data subject rights against Facebook Ireland, can be found in Facebook Ireland’s Data Policy at https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy
In accordance with data privacy laws, M&S has entered into an agreement (a ‘Controller Addendum’) with Facebook Ireland to determine the parties’ respective responsibilities for compliance with the obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) relating to the Joint Processing.
We have agreed that M&S is responsible for providing data subjects with the information set out above, and agreed that between the parties, Facebook Ireland is responsible for enabling data subjects’ rights under Articles 15-20 of the GDPR with regard to the personal data stored by Facebook Ireland after the joint processing.
Cookieless technologies means Flashtalking can recognise your device using your IP address or device identifier. This allows them to display personalised ads that are more relevant to you.
Further information on how Flashtalking processes your personal data and how to exercise your data subject rights can be found in their consumer privacy statement. You can also opt out personalised ads displayed by Flashtalking using this link.
Mergers and Takeovers
In the event that a separate business acquires all or part of our business or its assets, for example in the context of a merger or takeover, we may need to disclose your personal data to that company, so they can continue to provide services to you. In this situation, your data will only be used by the other business for the purposes set out in this Policy.
In certain circumstances, it is possible that your personal data could be transferred to a company with whom we’re discussing selling or transferring all or part of the M&S business, but only where strictly necessary for the evaluation of the transaction. If this happens, the data will be kept secure and confidential and will be deleted if the business sale does not go ahead.
To deliver products and services to you, it is sometimes necessary for M&S to transfer your data outside of the UK to jurisdictions which have less stringent data protection laws to protect personal data . This will typically occur when we use overseas service providers located outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or if you are based overseas and outside the EEA. These transfers are subject to special rules under data protection laws.
If this happens, we will ensure that the transfer will be compliant with data protection law and all personal data will be secure. Our standard practice is to use ‘standard contractual clauses’ which have been formally approved by the European Commission and the relevant UK authorities for such transfers. Those clauses can be accessed here.
How long do we keep your data?
We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this Policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data, however the longest we will normally hold any personal data is 7 years.
M&S may collect the following information about you:
- your name, age/date of birth and gender;
- your contact details: postal address including billing and delivery addresses, telephone numbers (including mobile numbers) and e-mail address;
- purchases and orders made by you;
- your on-line browsing activities on M&S websites;
- your password(s);
- CCTV and other images;
- when you make a purchase or place an order with us, your payment card details;
- your communication and marketing preferences;
- your interests, preferences, feedback and survey responses;
- your location;
- your correspondence and communications with M&S; and
- other publicly available personal data, including any which you have shared via a public platform (such as a Twitter feed or public Facebook page).
Our websites are not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect data relating to children.
This list is not exhaustive and, in specific instances, we may need to collect additional data for the purposes set out in this Policy. Some of the above personal data is collected directly, for example when you set up an on-line account on our websites, or send an email to our customer services team. Other personal data is collected indirectly, for example your browsing or shopping activity. We may also collect personal data from third parties who have your consent to pass your details to us, or from publicly available sources.
Personal data we receive from third parties
M&S Bank and M&S Energy
We receive personal data from trusted third parties who provide services to our customers under the M&S brand, such as M&S Bank and M&S Energy. M&S Bank will share with us details of purchases made using your M&S payment cards, which we use to analyse customer behaviour and improve our tailored marketing.
M&S has entered into a partnership with Ocado Retail Limited (“Ocado”) and a range of M&S products are available for purchase for home delivery from the Ocado website. Ocado provides us with personal data of its customers so we can identify whether they are also M&S customers, in order to help enhance our marketing of Ocado services. We will also use data from them to better understand our customers’ needs and behaviour and ensure the partnership with Ocado operates effectively.
M&S is committed to keeping your personal data safe and secure.
Our security measures include: -
- encryption of data;
- regular cyber security assessments of all service providers who may handle your personal data;
- regular scenario planning and crisis management exercises to ensure we are ready to respond to cyber security attacks and data security incidents;
- daily penetration testing of systems;
- security controls which protect the entire M&S IT infrastructure from external attack and unauthorised access; and
- internal policies setting out our data security approach and training for employees.
M&S will never ask you to confirm any bank account or credit card details via email. If you receive an email claiming to be from M&S asking you to do so, please ignore it and do not respond.
If you are using a computing device in a public location, we recommend that you always log out and close the website browser when you complete an online session.
In addition, we recommend that you take the following security measures to enhance your online safety both in relation to M&S and more generally:
- keep your account passwords private. Remember, anybody who knows your password may access your account.
- when creating a password, use at least 8 characters. A combination of letters and numbers is best. Do not use dictionary words, your name, email address, or other personal data that can be easily obtained. We also recommend that you frequently change your password. You can do this accessing your account, clicking ‘your account’, clicking ‘your data’ and selecting ‘change password’.
- avoid using the same password for multiple online accounts.
You have the following rights:
- the right to ask for a copy of personal data that we hold about you (the right of access);
- the right (in certain circumstances) to request that we delete personal data held on you; where we no longer have any legal reason to retain it (the right of erasure or to be forgotten);
- the right to ask us to update and correct any out-of-date or incorrect personal data that we hold about you (the right of rectification);
- the right to opt out of any marketing communications that we may send you and to object to us using / holding your personal data if we have no legitimate reasons to do so (the right to object);
- the right (in certain circumstances) to ask us to ‘restrict processing of data’; which means that we would need to secure and retain the data for your benefit but not otherwise use it (the right to restrict processing); and
- the right (in certain circumstances) to ask us to supply you with some of the personal data we hold about you in a structured machine-readable format and/or to provide a copy of the data in such a format to another organisation (the right to data portability).
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights, please contact us using the contact details set out below.
We are required to set out the legal basis for our ‘processing’ of personal data.
Click here for further information
Generally M&S collects and uses customers’ personal data because it is necessary for:
In general, we only rely on consent as a legal basis for processing personal data in relation to sending direct marketing communications to customers via email or text message.
Customers have the right to withdraw consent at any time. Where consent is the only legal basis for processing, we will cease to process data after consent is withdrawn.
Our legitimate interests
The normal legal basis for processing customer data, is that it is necessary for the legitimate interests of M&S, including:-
What are cookies?
How are cookies managed?
The cookies stored on your computer or other device when you access our websites are designed by:
What are cookies used for?
The main purposes for which cookies are used are: -
How do I disable cookies?
If you want to disable cookies you need to change your website browser settings to reject cookies. How you can do this will depend on the browser you use. Further details on how to disable cookies for the most popular browsers are set out below: -
For Microsoft Internet Explorer:
For Google Chrome:
For Mozilla firefox:
For Opera 6.0 and further:
What happens if I disable cookies?
This depends on which cookies you disable, but in general the website may not operate properly if cookies are switched off. If you only disable third party cookies, you will not be prevented from making purchases on our sites. If you disable all cookies, you will be unable to complete a purchase on our sites.
Our Data Protection Officer helps us to ensure we protect the personal data of our customers (and others) and comply with data protection legislation.
If you have any questions about how M&S uses your personal data that are not answered here, or if you want to exercise your rights regarding your personal data, please contact our Data Protection Officer’s team by
- phone: 0333 014 8555;
For UK Residents:
You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Further information, including contact details, is available at https://ico.org.uk.
For ROI Residents:
You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commission. Further information, including contact details, is available at https://www.dataprotection.ie/.
M&S has partnered with certain trusted third parties to make additional products and services available to you, including:
- M&S Bank (previously M&S Money) accessible by clicking here
- M&S Energy (under partnering arrangements with Octopus Energy Limited) accessible by clicking here
- Clearpay accessible by clicking here
- PayPal accessible by clicking here
- Interest-free credit provider accessible by clicking here
These products and services can be accessed online through the relevant third party's "microsite". These websites, and others linked to from this Policy, are owned and operated by a third party and they are responsible for processing personal data in accordance with their own privacy policies.
This policy was last updated in August 2021
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