- Our Apple iOS device apps
- Our Android device apps
These sites/device apps are owned and run by the SOS Publications group of companies. Some services and/or features mentioned below may not be available on all our sites/device apps.
2. What is considered “personal data”?
3. What kinds of information do we collect?
4. How do we use your information?
6. How is your information shared?
7. What is our legal basis for processing data?
8. You are in control of your personal data.
9. Where do we store your data?
10. Data retention, account deactivation and deletion.
11. External Services.
12. Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessment.
Learn how we collect, use, disclose, retain and protect your personal information.
SOS prioritises customer trust. We know that your personal data is important to you. That is why we keep it private and safe, and we only ever use your personal data with your consent.
SOS is committed to being a good guardian of your Personal Information. We will always handle it in a responsible manner, and secure it with administrative, technical, and physical safeguards.
We also believe in being honest, direct and transparent when it comes to your data and follow these three guiding principles:
- Transparency: we will always be transparent about what Personal Information we collect and process.
- Simplicity: we will use easy‑to‑understand language to describe our privacy practices to help you fully understand what is happening and the choices you have.
- Control: we give you control over the Personal Information you provide to us.
The GDPR and CCPA guidelines say personal data is any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual; meaning information that could be used, on its own or in conjunction with other data, to identify an individual.
Personal data will now include not only data that is commonly considered to be personal in nature (e.g. names, physical addresses, email addresses), but also data such as IP addresses, behavioural data, location data, financial information, and much more.
We will only use your information for the purpose it was collected (or for similar/related purposes).
The type of information we collect depends on which services you use on our site(s).
- If you sign‑up to receive our email marketing newsletters we collect your name and email address.
- If you register on our site to post a question or reply to a topic in our Forum, we ask for more information.
- If you wish to submit a Readers’ Advert, we ask you for other types of information.
- If you use our shop to subscribe to the magazine or buy some other product, we require your full name, address, email address and payment details.
Users of the Forum discussion groups must register for these services (it is free of charge) in order to post or reply to messages and to vote in a poll; there is no requirement to register in order to read/browse messages.
Forum's "Email This Topic To A Friend" Service
A Forum user can choose to electronically forward a news story or discussion thread to someone else by clicking the link at the top of that topic. The user must provide their email address as well as that of the recipient. This information is used only in the case of transmission errors and, of course, to let the recipient know who sent the story. The information is not used for any other purpose.
The SOS Forum offers interactive polls to users so they can easily share their opinions with other users and see what the SOS audience thinks about important issues. Only registered users may vote and SOS uses a system to "tag" users after they have voted so they can only vote once per poll. This tag is not correlated with information about individual users.
For Email Newsletter sign‑up we store your email address and the choice of newsletters in our email marketing database. You may unsubscribe and opt out from any newsletter at any time by clicking the Unsubscribe link in the message.
If you register on the site some of the information you supply, e.g. your SOS account username, is used as the name of the person posting a comment in our Forum. If you use our free Readers’ Ads service we ask you to supply a Contact name and indicate whether you are a Public or Business seller. By adding this information you are agreeing to it being displayed in public in your published advert.
If you are purchasing items from our shop we will request your card or PayPal payment details and process it via our Payment Service Providers, Stripe or PayPal Inc. Note: we do not store your card details on our server but pass them to our payment service provider at the moment of transaction. This is done via a secure encrypted SSL link. We only retain the last four digits of your card number and the card type to help identify which card was used should there be a query with your order. Stripe and PayPal store your information on the basis of their privacy policies.
If you have purchased from us, we keep a record of each order in the Order History section of your private My Account. You can view this in your account at any time and see a list of items you have ordered, check the status of each order and download an invoice/receipt for your own records.
If you purchase a subscription, whether for a Print magazine or Digital, we need to keep in touch with you via email to inform you about when your subscription will expire. We typically do this by sending you a renewal email message. To remain in contact with you about this important matter we therefore ask you not to uncheck the ‘Allow Contact’ box which you’ll find in your My Account’s Mailing List section, since this will stop all communication with you. It’s your choice whether you check or uncheck that box but, if unchecked, we cannot be held responsible if your subscription lapses and you miss issues.
There are separate check boxes related to marketing emails which you are free to opt in or out of at any time.
Occasionally SOS conducts reader/user surveys to better understand the interests of our users. We sometimes share the aggregated demographic information in these surveys with our advertisers and partners. The survey results are analysed on an anonymous basis to produce data sets in the form of totals, graphs and charts.
No personally identifiable information is included in any analysis report.
- See our Cookies and Site Security page: https://www.soundonsound.com/information/cookies-site-security
SOS will never sell your personal data or share it with third parties without your full consent. Currently the only request for such consent is when you enter one of our Competitions and we ask you to voluntarily opt‑in to receive marketing information from the Competition prize sponsor and/or SOS. This is optional and you are not obliged to opt‑in.
Under GDPR guidelines there are six ‘lawful basis’ categories that may apply or be relevant and are therefore the basis for processing your data. For example, if you sign up to our email newsletters, you made the decision to provide your name and email address and select the newsletters you’d like us to send. So, by submitting your sign‑up form you have given us ‘Consent’ to provide the service.
If you purchase a magazine subscription or mail order item via our shop, you have entered into a commercial contract with us, so your submitted data is processed and we communicate with you on the lawful basis of ‘Contract’. Depending on how you use our site other lawful bases may apply.
When you register on our site you create an account that we call ‘My Account’. You can log in at any time, using your email address and the password you chose when creating the account, in order to amend your contact details as well as opt in or out of subscribing to our newsletters. If you have difficulty doing this, please contact us using the form on this page:
We want to ensure you remain in control of your personal data. Part of this is making sure you understand your legal rights, which for individuals are as follows:
- The right to confirmation as to whether or not we have your personal data and, if we do, to obtain a copy of it (this is known as a subject access request).
- The right to have inaccurate data rectified.
- The right to object to your data being used for marketing or profiling.
- The right to have your data deleted.
If you would like further information on your rights or wish to exercise them, please contact us using the form on this page:
The SOS website(s) are hosted in the USA by our IT Suppliers. We use cloud‑based Enterprise Class servers in a secure environment. The hosts safeguard our sites and servers using firewalls and physical access controls at their data centres plus data access authorisation control compliant with Privacy Shield status.
We also use MailChimp for our email marketing activity and Zendesk for customer support. These third‑party suppliers are also based in the USA and secure your data on the basis of Privacy Shield.
What is Privacy Shield?
The U.S. Department of Commerce, with the European Commission and the Swiss government, created the EU‑U.S. and Swiss‑U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks to provide companies with a mechanism to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States in a manner that provides an adequate level of protection for the purpose of European data protection law.
We retain your personal information for as long as necessary to provide the Services you have requested, or for other essential purposes such as complying with our legal obligations.
Right To Be Forgotten
You may request that we deactivate or delete your account at any time, subject to our legal obligations. For users who have posted in our Forum, we cannot remove individual posts from a topic as that would break the discussion thread. Instead, we over‑write your Forum username and set it to ‘Guest’ so that the post cannot be attributed to you and is anonymous.
Please submit your request using the form on this page:
We use a number of third‑party services to monitor the usage of our website and insert advertisements into our web pages, provide customer support, and provide access to our tablet edition and replica 'page turning' magazine.
- We use Google Analytics to help us understand how users interact with our site. This is completely anonymous and no personally identifiable data is collected or can be tracked back to any one individual.
- We use Google Ad Manager and Google AdSense to host and insert web advertisements into our web pages. These services are fully compliant with the IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework. SOS do not collect or obtain from third‑party sources or social media, any data which allows us to build a profile of you. Therefore, we do not display adverts to you based on any personalised data as none is available. All adverts are non‑personalised.
We use 'Cookie Control' from CIVIC to manage user cookie settings.
It also includes support for IAB Europe's Transparency and Consent Framework TCF (v2). IAB aims to help the digital advertising ecosystem to comply with the obligations under the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive. The TCF framework and ecosystem includes publishers, advertisers, media agencies, and tech providers.
The use of CIVIC means we no longer use Google AdManager and Google AdSense cookie control systems but they do serve adverts to our website.
- We use Zendesk to manage our customer support needs. When you submit a help request form from our web site or email us direct on one of our support email addresses, the data you send includes your email address, which we use to contact you and fulfil your support request. You have therefore given us Consent to retain your contact details and communicate with you to provide the support you seek. All data submitted to Zendesk is managed and stored in their secure environment in compliance with EU data protection requirements and the Privacy Shield Framework.
- We use Twixl Media’s App service to author and distribute a tablet version of our magazine. There are a number of ways to buy the magazine: either as a single issue or an annual subscription. Each magazine may be downloaded to your tablet and read off‑line.
- We use Pagesuite's replica magazine service to host and provide access to a browser-based, digital page-turning version of our UK/EU/World and North America monthly editions. The Pagesuite server does not store any personally identifiable information as your identity is codified into an anonymous ID token sent from the SOS website.
For iOS iPad user (Single issues)
You may purchase a single issue or annual subscription from the Apple iTunes App Store. To do this you must have an Apple account and your purchase is with Apple Inc. You are therefore their customer. SOS is not party to this transaction and we do not hold any data relating to your purchase.
Android tablet user (Single issues)
You may purchase a single issue from the Google Play Store. To do this you must have a Google account. SOS is not party to this transaction and we do not hold any data relating to your purchase.
SOS Digital Subscriber (Annual subscription)
You may purchase an annual subscription to our tablet edition for iPad or Android via our online shop. Once purchased you download the SOS viewer app to your device and use it to access the issues covered by your annual subscription purchase. This is done by logging into the app with the username / email address and password you set up on our site when you registered and created your My Account. This logging in process passes your details via the Twixl app to our database to check that you are entitled to download an issue. The Twixl server does not store any personally identifiable information as your identity is codified into an anonymous ID from the SOS website.
Whenever we develop new services on our website which impact how your personal data is used, we will do this in the spirit of the GDPR ‘Data Protection by Design’ methodology. This requires us to carry out a ‘Data Protection Impact Assessment’ in order to discover and understand how we might implement such a service that is in the best interests of our users and is compliant.
E&OE. Last updated 16 November 2023.