Data Protection Privacy Notice – Website and Publications


This privacy notice was last updated on 26 June 2023.


Introduction And Purpose

Further to the Convention Establishing the Square Kilometre Array, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (“SKAO”) has been established as an international intergovernmental organisation. As an intergovernmental organisation, SKAO is not legally bound by UK data protection legislation, but instead follows its own Data Protection Policy. SKAO’s Data Protection Policy builds on the best practice from data protection laws of its three host countries: Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

This Privacy Notice explains what you should expect in relation to personal information about you which is collected, handled, and processed by SKAO.  

SKAO acknowledges and agrees that any personal information of yours that it handles will be processed in line with the SKAO Data Protection Policy SKAO Data Protection Policy.

Data Controller

The Data Controller is the Square Kilometre Array Observatory. You can contact SKAO at SKA Observatory, Jodrell Bank, Lower Withington, Cheshire, SK11 9FT, United Kingdom.

SKAO has appointed a Data Protection Officer, who is responsible for advising SKAO regarding compliance with its Data Protection Policy and monitoring its performance against it. If you wish to contact SKAO regarding the use of your personal information, lodge a complaint, or wish to exercise your rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer at or you can write using the above address.


SKAO reserves the right to change these data protection provisions, at any time, effective for the future.

Accuracy Of Your Personal Information

It is important that the personal information SKAO holds about you is accurate. If your personal information changes, please ensure that SKAO is informed.

The Information SKAO May Collect About You

Personal information relates to any information about an individual which allows that individual to be identified. SKAO collects, uses, stores, and transfers various categories of personal information which has been grouped below:

  • Identity Information: can include title, name, date of birth, gender, photograph, video, nationality, country of residence, job title, affiliation/employer, Curriculum Vitae (CV), and username or similar identifier.
  • Contact Information: can include physical address, email address, and telephone numbers.
  • Health, Safety and Wellbeing Information: can include any relevant (self-disclosed) disability or first aid information, COVID-19 vaccination status, dietary requirements, and any food allergies that SKAO needs to take into consideration.
  • CCTV Information: includes Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) video footage recorded at SKAO physical premises and telescope sites. This includes inside buildings and structures (such as reception areas, loading bays, corridors, public spaces, and secure areas), the external perimeter of buildings and structures, car parks, and external areas of each site where required.
  • Technical Information: includes any relevant information required to provide you with access to SKAO IT Services.
  • Website Usage Analytics Information: includes information about how you use SKAO websites and your preferences. SKAO collects anonymous information about user activity on its website, including the number of users visiting, pages viewed, etc. Other technology information about the devices you use to access SKAO websites may also be identified.
  • Marketing and Communications Information: includes your preferences in receiving direct marketing from SKAO and your communication preferences. SKAO also gathers statistics relating to email opening and clicks, the location (country) of its readers, and readers habits (preferred pages, read time spent, etc) using industry standard technologies.

Failure to provide any requested personal information may result in SKAO not being able to perform any contract SKAO has with you, cater for your health, safety or wellbeing requirements, or provide access to any required SKAO services, events, or premises.

If an individual is submitting personal information on behalf of another person, it is the responsibility of the individual providing that personal information to SKAO to ensure they have received the necessary consent to submit that personal information. SKAO may request evidence of this consent.

How Your Personal Information May Be Collected

SKAO uses different methods to collect your personal information, including but not limited to:

Direct Interactions:

  • When you enter a contract with SKAO
  • When you visit SKAO premises
  • When you request access to SKAO services
  • When you register and attend SKAO meetings, events, and data challenges
  • When you subscribe to SKAO publications
  • When you apply for a job at SKAO

Automated Technologies or Interactions:

  • When you interact with the SKAO website
  • When you are in viewing range of SKAO CCTV cameras

Third Parties or Publicly Available Sources:

  • Analytics providers
  • Social Media Networks

How SKAO Will Use Your Personal Information

SKAO will only use your personal information in compliance with its Data Protection Policy and will only request and process the specific personal information necessary to complete the required purpose or activity.

When SKAO uses your personal information, the lawful bases we rely on for processing this information are:

  • Your consent. You are able to remove your consent at any time. You can do this by contacting
  • We have a contractual obligation
  • We have a legal obligation
  • We have a vital interest
  • We need it to perform a public task
  • We have a legitimate interest that does not undermine your fundamental rights and freedoms

SKAO will only process your Special Category personal information (sensitive information about you such as any allergies or other dietary requirements) with your explicit consent or if it is necessary:

  • For the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims
  • Very occasionally, when it is needed to protect your or another person’s vital interests and you are not capable of giving your consent (for example, in an emergency)
  • Archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes

The table below describes the purposes SKAO plans to use your personal information, the categories of information required, and the basis for processing.



Further Information

To ensure the protection of SKAO premises, Staff, Visitors, Contractors and property for Health, Safety, and Security purposes when visiting or working at SKAO’s physical premises and telescope sites




To assist the emergency services (police, ambulance, and fire services) where necessary. Ensure health, safety, wellbeing or environmental compliance. To identify and provide evidence where criminal activity has taken place. To identify and provide evidence where a breach of policy has taken place. To monitor activity where there is a legitimate business purpose. To protect the vital interests of Staff and Visitors.

Protect the health of SKAO Staff and Visitors when attending any SKAO Premises or SKAO Meeting relating to COVID-19





Processing this personal information is required for SKAO to comply with various government legislation, guidance and SKAO’s agreements to occupy and use property that is not owned by SKAO. Please refer to SKAO’s relevant Covid-19 Vaccination Policies (click for the RSA and Aus policies) for further information.

To perform any contract SKAO has with you



Managing the day-to-day activities required for the fulfilment of the contract. Conducting performance and talent management activities. Maintaining any SKAO issued training and development activities and records. Managing issues at SKAO. Maintaining governance (e.g. conflicts of interest). Other activities necessary to complete any legal obligations.

To provide you access to SKAO facilities and IT Systems





To provision access to SKAO IT Systems. To ensure SKAO is aware of Individuals who have access to its premises, and relevant partner premises, to ensure health, safety, and security requirements are satisfied.

To allow you to register and attend SKAO events





To reserve a place for you at the event. To provide you with information about the event, participants, event updates, and possible changes, cancellation or similar information. Inform you about accessibility, transportation, parking, etc. that may impact your attendance to the event. To be aware of and accommodate any dietary requirements or allergies. To align with legislation, for example, under public safety legislation. To monitor the effectiveness of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the SKAO and across the events SKAO organises; note that any information used for this purpose is anonymised. To create a publishable list of participants registered to attend each event, which shall contain only your name and any organisation you represent. To inform you of similar future events that you may wish to attend.

To allow you to register and participate in Science Data Challenges




To reserve a place for you and your team at the event. To provide you with information about the event, participants, event updates, and possible changes, cancellation or similar information. To align with legislation, for example, under public safety legislation. To monitor the effectiveness of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the SKAO and across the events SKAO organises; note that any information used for this purpose is anonymised. To create a publishable list of participants registered to attend each event, which shall contain only your name and any organisation you represent. To provision access to the high-performance computing (HPC) facilities. To inform you of similar future events that you may wish to attend.

Recording of Meetings and Events you attend.



To support training, communication to the wider Observatory, or as a formal record of the meeting/event itself. Participants shall be notified at the time of the meeting/event if the meeting/event is being recorded.

SKAO Websites you visit

Website Usage Analytics

This allows SKAO to monitor the effectiveness of its websites and continually improve them.

SKAO newsletters,  publications, or other SKAO communications, such as new products, engagement opportunities, or other outreach activities you subscribe to.



Marketing and Communication

To allow SKAO to monitor and improve its newsletter and engagement activities.


By registering to join a mailing list, you are providing your consent to receive this information. You may opt-out of receiving future newsletters or publications from SKAO by emailing the Communications team who will remove your information from all SKAO mailing lists.

Who will your personal information be shared with?

Your personal information will be shared with specific SKAO staff, associates, and other third-party individuals directly involved with the SKAO where those individuals have a legitimate reason to require access to your personal information (e.g. to arrange meetings or events, to provision access to IT systems, etc).

CCTV information will be accessible to SKAO Staff only where those members of Staff have a legitimate reason to access this information. A third-party security company has also been appointed to monitor CCTV activity on behalf of SKAO.

Personal information, including CCTV information, may also be made available to relevant third-party organisations within Host Countries where there is a legitimate reason to provide this information (e.g. where SKAO uses premises or sites owned and operated by a partner organisation).

SKAO may also share personal information with emergency services (e.g. police, ambulance, or fire services), or relevant health and safety bodies for reasons of health, safety, and welfare.

Your Covid-19 vaccination status information will only be shared with third-parties where those third-parties have a legitimate need to require access to your personal information, as set out in the Covid-19 Vaccination Policy (click for the RSA and Aus policies).

Personal information may be shared with external organisations providing services for meetings or events you are attending. In particular, SKAO may share your information (including dietary requirements) with a catering service if you are attending an event where catering is offered. SKAO may also use third-parties to deliver events or process payments.

Selected events listed on the website publicly display the names of participants. This includes past events. Please contact if you do not wish your name to be displayed, or you wish for your name to be removed from an existing participants list.

Some personal information may be published on social media, such as group photos, or details about an individual. However, this information will only be published with the consent of the individuals concerned.

It may also be necessary to share your personal information with our High Performance Computing (HPC) facility partners for their security requirements when completing SKAO Science Data Challenges.

SKAO uses a third-party organisation to collect anonymous information about users’ activity on its websites to help SKAO monitor the effectiveness of the websites and perform continuous improvements.

SKAO websites may contain hyperlinks to and from other third-party websites. Clicking on those links or connecting with those third parties may allow them to collect or share information about you. Please note that SKAO assumes no responsibility or guarantee for third-party content or data provisions. Please refer to the privacy notices of those third party websites for further information.

SKAO uses third-party organisations to deliver publications and send out invitations to outreach and engagement events, and to gather statistics relating to email opening and clicks to help SKAO monitor and improve its e-newsletter and engagement activities.

Personal information may also be shared with external organisations in the context of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion work and any analysis will be anonymised.

How SKAO stores your personal information


Personal information is either stored on SKAO owned servers at the UK based SKAO Global Headquarters, within a SKAO Member State (Cloud-Based), or internationally (Cloud-Based) in compliance with the SKAO Data Protection Policy.  

Personal information is also stored on encrypted laptops and mobile devices that belong to SKAO.

How long does SKAO keep your personal information?

SKAO will retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, or where there is an ongoing legitimate business need to do so. In order to determine the retention period, SKAO will consider whether there is a contractual need to retain the information, any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements, and whether the information is necessary to continue to provide services to you.

SKAO will inform you if any personal information will be used for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes where this information is not anonymised.

In some circumstances you can request that SKAO delete your personal information.


SKAO uses cookies to collect information about user activity on its website. It is possible to reject all non-necessary cookies. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of the websites may become inaccessible or not function properly. Please review SKAO’s cookie settings at the footer of the SKAO website for further information relating to the cookies used.

Your Rights

Under the SKAO Data Protection Policy, you have a number of rights with regard to your personal information. SKAO will seek to honour these rights.

You have the right to request from SKAO access to and rectification or erasure of your personal information, the right to restrict processing, object to processing as well as in certain circumstances the right to data portability.

Where you have provided consent for the processing of your personal information, you have the right (in certain circumstances) to withdraw that consent at any time which will not affect the lawfulness of the processing before your consent was withdrawn.

You have the right to lodge a complaint to SKAO if you believe that it has not processed your personal information in line with the SKAO Data Protection Policy.

Noting SKAO’s legal status as an intergovernmental organisation, nothing in this Privacy Notice will be deemed or interpreted as a waiver, express or implied, of any privileges or immunities accorded to SKAO by its constituent documents or under international public law.

Last modified on 05 September 2023