Maintaining your privacy is really, really important to us. You entrust us with sensitive financial information, and we take that responsibility seriously.
Version 5.1: This policy was last updated on 29th August 2018. It may be updated in the future and we'll post the new version here on our website. We will never deviate from our overall philosophy of maintaining your privacy, though.
1. General information
2. What information do we collect?
Your personal data
When we say your "personal data", we mean any information that identifies any person that you provide to us during your trial period, after you subscribe, or that is contained in any other information that you provide to us (or that you authorise a third party to give to us on your behalf).
Your "personal data" may also be contained in information that we collect about you in connection with your use of the FreeAgent website and/or FreeAgent. The financial data that you enter into FreeAgent, or that is provided to FreeAgent from your bank, isn't part of the "personal data" discussed here, unless it identifies a person – for more information about your financial data, jump ahead to the next section. When it comes to your personal data, we comply with our obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and any other applicable data protection legislation.
Information you provide – Your personal data includes the information you provide, or that you authorise someone else to provide, when you sign up for an account or sign up to receive our emails, or when you answer questionnaires, surveys, enter competitions or provide information in your account profile, on the FreeAgent website, or during a support enquiry about you and/or your organisation. It also includes information you provide when you complete any forms which you submit to us (e.g. when you authorise us to receive the transaction information from your bank account). It also includes information you upload to your FreeAgent account.
Examples of this personal data include your name, your email address, contact and/or employee names; and any correspondence when you contact us. It could also include your bank account details and bank transaction details (if it identifies a person). It could also include details in any invoices or receipts that you upload (if they identify a person).
We do not collect or process special categories of personal data, as defined under GDPR. Also, we do not knowingly collect or solicit any personal data from anyone under the age of sixteen or knowingly allow such persons to register for FreeAgent. FreeAgent is not directed at children under the age of sixteen. In the event that we learn that we have collected personal data from a child under age sixteen without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible.
Information we collect - We collect information about your website usage to improve our service, to understand trends and to enhance and customise content and advertisements. Some of this data may be "personal data", where it identifies a person. Here's the information that we collect and how we use it:
- We monitor patterns of usage, such as login dates and volumes of data, so we can understand how people are using FreeAgent in order to develop and improve our products.
- We also monitor patterns of usage so that we can tailor any communications we may send you or advertising that you may receive. For example, we may tailor your newsletter with information about product features that you haven't tried yet, instead of features that you use frequently.
- For security reasons and to aid in monitoring patterns of usage, we log your IP address when you use the website. This is your computer's individual identification number that is assigned to your computer when connected to the Internet.
Information others provide to us - We may receive information from others (e.g. your bank) that you have authorised that third party to provide to us. This could include the initial information to enable us to create your account (e.g. your full name, your email address and your business type) and also your bank transaction data.
Your financial data
In addition to your personal data, we will also hold financial data that you enter into FreeAgent. Examples of your financial data include your organisation's invoices, expenses, receipts and bank transactions.
You own all of the financial data you enter or upload into FreeAgent and have ultimate control over who has access to it. For example, if you want to give your accountant access to your financial data, you can switch this on in FreeAgent. Keep in mind, however, that with great power comes great responsibility - it is your job to safeguard your password and account access. Also, you need to make sure you have obtained any relevant consents or permissions necessary for you to upload the personal data of others (such as suppliers and clients) to FreeAgent and for it to be used as set out in this policy.
3. What do we use your data for?
Providing FreeAgent - We use your personal data to enable us to register you and provide you with access to FreeAgent and the FreeAgent website. It will also enable us to contact you by email, fax, post, SMS, social media or telephone where necessary concerning FreeAgent; to record your personal preferences; to personalise our services to you (such as by pre-populating fields to make it easier for you to provide information when you return to FreeAgent or the FreeAgent website). It will also enable us to produce reports you request as part of the services we provide, including regulatory reports and/or other reports. We may also validate your information (and, in some cases, match it against information that has been collected by a third party, for example Companies House) to check that the data we hold is accurate, consistent and current.
Should you choose to use parts of FreeAgent that involve providing your personal and/or financial data to third parties (for example, if you choose to give your accountant or your bank access to your data), then your personal and/or financial data will be shared in that way. Such personal and / or financial data may include, for example, general, financial and transactional data, and information from your account such as accounting ledger balances, bank transactions and invoice, bill, expense and project details. These third parties will use that data in accordance with any consents you have given us or that you may give to us in the future.
We may use third parties to assist us in providing FreeAgent from time to time, and in those cases may pass on your personal and/or financial data to them. In such cases we will only share your data with third parties that we trust, and where there are assurances in place as to how they will protect the data.
Improving FreeAgent - We will also use and analyse your personal data and financial data so that we can administer, support, improve and develop our business, customer service and the features of the FreeAgent website and FreeAgent generally. We may use third parties to assist us in doing these things from time to time, and in those cases may pass on your personal and/or financial data to them. We will only share your data with third parties that we trust, and where there are assurances in place as to how they will protect the data.
Providing insights - We monitor anonymous, aggregated information about account and financial data so that we can produce insights about small business finance. For example, based on an anonymous, aggregate data analysis, we may produce a white paper that reports on how most small businesses are not paid on time. We may share these insights with customers, on our blog or other promotional material, use them internally to improve our product and communications, or share with other interested third parties. We will never identify you or your business in such communications or white papers and will never report data in such a way that your business could be identified.
Contacting you for marketing purposes - We may use your personal data to contact you by email, fax, post, SMS, social media and/or telephone to let you know about our other FreeAgent and/or third party services, content, offers or product ranges which may be of interest to you. We may also use your financial data to enable us to tailor these notifications (in order to make sure what we are sending you is relevant). We will only use your data in this way where you have provided consent, we have legitimate business reasons for doing so, or where we are otherwise entitled by law to do so. If you would like us to stop providing you with such notifications, just contact us using the details below. Please note, this may take up to one working day to take effect. To stop receiving emails from FreeAgent itself (for example, a reminder that your subscription is expiring), you should cancel your FreeAgent account.
We may contact you if the specific arrangement we have in place with a third party which impacts you is changing and / or coming to an end and to let you know what will take place next.
Legal requirements – We may use your personal data to comply with any legal obligations to which we are subject.
We shall periodically check that the personal data we store for you is accurate. If you would like to update the personal data we hold about you, please login to your FreeAgent account or contact us at yourData@freeagent.com with your request.
4. Why do we use your personal data?
We collect and use your personal data for a variety of reasons. We need some data to enter into and perform our contract with you and provide you with access to FreeAgent – for example your contact details and other information requested during the FreeAgent setup process. If you fail to provide such data we will be unable to provide our service to you.
Other information we collect because we have legitimate business interests, for example, in:
- Ensuring that we can onboard you as a customer and manage your account;
- Understanding how our customers use our products, services and websites;
- Understanding and responding to customer feedback;
- Researching and analysing the services our customers want;
- Improving our product and better understanding how our customers use it.
In some circumstances we may process your personal data because it is required for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation.
5. Who do we share your information with?
You have the option within your account to share your data with people that you trust – for example, you can switch on account access for your accountant to see your financial data. We will not share your financial data with a third party unless you authorise it (by choosing to do so within FreeAgent, or as detailed in this policy).
We will share your personal and financial data with third parties in certain circumstances:
- We may disclose your data to any member of our group (which means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and its subsidiaries) and other companies which may be added to our group from time to time;
- We may pass aggregate information on the usage of the FreeAgent website and FreeAgent, where relevant, to maintain, improve and manage the FreeAgent website and FreeAgent, but this will not include your personal data.
We may also share your personal and financial data with third parties:
- in the event that we, our business, or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party (in which case personal information about customers will be one of the transferred assets);
- if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal or financial data in order to comply with any legal obligation; to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the investigation of unlawful activities of FreeAgent website users or relating to FreeAgent users; or in order to enforce or apply any contract with you; or to protect our rights, property, or safety of our employees, customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.
We also utilise a number of carefully selected third parties to help provide our services to you. Examples of these functions include email, providing marketing assistance and data analysis, data management, handling credit card transactions and providing customer service. In choosing to work with any such third parties, we will always ensure that the security policies and confidentiality arrangements of those third parties adhere to the same requirements we ourselves impose and expect, as a minimum. No ownership rights to the data will be transferred to any third party.
For a full list of subprocessors and details of the adequate safeguards in place in respect of data transfers outside the EEA, please see here.
Additionally, you may grant third party access to your personal or financial data by enabling the FreeAgent API for that third party. At all times, this access is controlled by you. FreeAgent is not responsible for the privacy practices employed by any third party given access by you to your personal or financial data by the FreeAgent API. Use of the FreeAgent API is governed by the FreeAgent API Terms.
6. How long do we store your data for?
We only store your data for as long as is necessary for the purposes of processing set out in this policy. When you cancel your account with FreeAgent, you can either delete your data immediately, or we will automatically delete your data after one year. If your free trial expires or your account is suspended due to non-payment, we will keep it available for you for two years. After two years of inactivity it will be automatically deleted.
If you are signed up to marketing communications, cancelling your FreeAgent account will not cancel your marketing preference. If you would like to unsubscribe, please email yourData@freeagent.com, otherwise we will delete your email address from our system after two years of inactivity.
To ensure the integrity of our systems and your data, we utilise various technologies to continually take secure, encrypted backups. All data, including deleted data, remains archived within these backups and these are maintained according to our defined two-year data retention policy, after which they are removed.
7. You can export your data at any time
You can export a copy of your data whenever you like - this will include your personal data and that of your clients, contacts and suppliers, your financial transactions, invoices, and expenses. We recommend that you use the export functionality to keep a backup of your data. While we regularly backup your data (see our Security Section), we can't restore backups on an individual basis. Find out more about to exporting your FreeAgent data).
You can also ask us for a copy of your personal data that we hold (see Section 10: What are your rights? below).
8. You can delete your data at any time
You have the option to delete all of your data at any time, using the “Delete Account” option in the settings area of FreeAgent. Using this option cancels and deletes your FreeAgent account and all associated data. You can also use the “Reset Data” option to reset your FreeAgent account after loading test data during your free trial. Using this option immediately deletes all data previously entered into your account. If you're unsure whether or not to delete any data in FreeAgent then please do check with your accountant.
Deleting your data removes it from our active servers immediately, however we retain archived database backups for two years, after which these are permanently deleted.
We highly recommend that you export your data before cancelling, since many countries (including the UK) require you retain your business records going back many years, even if you have finished trading.
If your free trial expires or your account is suspended due to non-payment, your account will be automatically deleted after two years of inactivity. We retain historical details about your payments to FreeAgent for accounting purposes because we are required by law to do so.
9. We don't store your credit card details
10. What are your rights?
- Access to your personal data: You can ask us to confirm if we are processing your personal data and you may request a copy of your personal data by contacting our support team at yourData@freeagent.com.
- Right to change or withdraw your consent: Where you have given us consent to make use of your personal data for any of the purposes outlined in this policy, you may withdraw that consent by contacting us using the details located at section 14 of this policy. If you wish to change your contact preferences or no longer wish to be contacted for marketing purposes get in touch.
- Right to rectification: You may ask us to update out-of-date or inaccurate information we hold about you. To do so, please log on to your FreeAgent account and update your information or get in touch.
- Right to erasure: You are free to delete your data at any point, using the Delete all Data functionality.
- Right to data portability: In certain circumstances you may ask us to provide you with the personal data that we hold about you in a structured, commonly used, machine readable form, or ask for us to send such personal data to another data controller. You can use the Export All Data functionality at any time to export your data in this manner.
- Right to object: In certain circumstances you may object to our processing of your personal data. If this is the case please get in touch.
- Right to restrict processing: You can ask us to restrict the processing of personal data we hold about you in certain circumstances. If you wish to do so, please get in touch.
- Make a complaint: You may make a complaint about our data processing activities to a supervisory authority. In the UK this is the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Further details can be found on their website.
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12. Security and data storage
We take security and privacy seriously. We will endeavour to take all reasonable steps to keep your personal and financial data secure once it has been transferred to our systems. We adopt appropriate, industry standard data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures to protect against unauthorised access, alteration, disclosure or destruction. For further details of the security measures we have implemented, please see here.
Where we utilise third parties to help provide our services, we will always ensure that the security policies and confidentiality arrangements of those third parties adhere to the same requirements we ourselves impose and expect, as a minimum.
Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of the FreeAgent website or FreeAgent itself, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone.
Please note that the internet is not a secure medium and although we will do our best to protect your data, we cannot guarantee the security of any data transmitted to the FreeAgent website or through FreeAgent itself. Any transmission is at your own risk.
14. Getting in touch