Oyster Worldwide is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy

This Privacy Notice explains

  • when and why we collect personal information about our current and potential customers
  • the conditions under which we might share it with others
  • how we keep it secure
  • your right to control what happens to it.

Who are we?

Oyster Worldwide was established in 2006 to provide worthwhile volunteer and paid work programmes abroad. We are a registered company based in the UK (no. 5768252).

When do we collect information from you?

We collect information about you when you book a trip with us, enquire about our programmes or visit our website.

What type of information do we collect, and why?

Oyster customers: When you book an Oyster trip we will need to record your name, contact details and necessary personal information such as relevant medical history, a photo, insurance and flight details. We use this to:

  • arrange your trip in line with your preferences
  • stay in contact with you before, during and after your trip
  • make sure staff at the programme have basic information about you and your needs
  • arrange flights and other services for you, if requested
  • send SMS texts with important details relating to your trip
  • seek feedback after you return
  • send occasional information about promotions and opportunities that might be of interest.

Enquiries about our programmes: We collect very basic information from potential customers interested in Oyster. If you send an enquiry, we will use and store your name, contact details and any preferences you have expressed, in order to send you a personalised reply and to stay in touch with you.

Visitors to Oyster’s website: We use cookies on our website to provide anonymous data about browsing patterns. You can switch these off if you prefer, but please note that this may result in a loss of functionality when using our website. Click here for further explanation.

Our lawful basis for collecting and processing your personal data under the General Data Protection Regulations is ‘legitimate interest’. Click here for further explanation.

Who has access to your information?

We will never sell or rent your information to third parties.

We will need to share some of your information with third party organisations in order to arrange your trip, process your payments or send you newsletters and other communications. This includes senior staff at the programmes we work with, Oyster representatives abroad, flight agents, a payment gateway provider and our direct marketing partner. In doing so:

  • we will transmit any personal information securely
  • we will only disclose the personal information that the third party needs to deliver the service
  • we require third parties to keep your information secure and only use it in connection with Oyster’s services
  • where organisations are based outside the European Economic Area (EEA) we expect them to use your data only to fulfil their role regarding your trip and never to share it with others.

Keeping your information secure

We take the following steps to ensure that your personal information is kept secure:

Hardware and software

High levels of security in the office with appropriate anti-virus software, firewalls, password-protected computers and locked storage for all key hardware.

Good practice in data handling

  • Regular deletion of unnecessary personal information and emails
  • Secure handling and disposal of any paperwork with personal details
  • Strict protocols for the handling of any personal information sent to staff at the programmes (please note that most of these are outside the EEA).

Secure payment systems
When you pay Oyster, your card information is not held by us, but is collected directly by third party specialist payment processors with high levels of security

Personal customer accounts
You will have access to a secure personal account with your own password. We emphasise the importance of keeping your password safe.

Respecting your preferences

We regularly review the information we hold and will delete it as soon as it is no longer needed. If you book an Oyster programme, the personal details you provide will be deleted after you have returned. However, we will retain very basic information, so that we can stay in touch over the longer term.

We keep very basic details for people who have been in contact with Oyster about our services, so that we can send occasional updates that might be of interest.

If you decide that you do not wish to continue receiving information from Oyster, we will remove your details from our mailing lists. You can change your marketing preferences at any time by selecting the ‘unsubscribe’ option on the email, by emailing us [email protected], or telephoning +44 1892 770771.

Your rights

You have the right to ask for a copy of the information Oyster holds about you. Please use the contact details above.

If you feel that your personal data has not been handled correctly, or you are unhappy with our response to any requests you have made to us regarding the use of your data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can contact them by calling 0303 123 1113, or via their website

Data protection officer

Oyster’s data protection officer is Jon Arnold. He can be contacted at [email protected], or +44 1892 770771.

Review of Oyster’s privacy policy

We keep this policy under regular review. It was last updated in April 2018.

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