Let's talk about privacy

At Boots, we believe in making things easy for our customers. We know there's nothing more off-putting than the sight of a lot of boring small print, so we've written our Privacy Policy to make it clear, simple and easy to read.

The policy explains how Boots uses your personal data, whether you're shopping on boots.com or on bootsopticiansdirect.com, having your eyes tested at Boots Opticians or having a prescription made up at your local Boots pharmacy.

Our promise to you

Boots is committed to protecting your privacy. We believe in using your personal information to make things simpler and better for you. We'll always keep your personal information safe and will never sell it to third parties. We'll be clear and open with you about why we collect your personal information and how we use it. Where you have choices or rights, we'll explain them to you and respect your wishes. We've written this Privacy Policy in plain English without legalese to tell you how and why we use your personal information. We hope you'll find it clear and simple but if you have any concerns or questions please feel free to contact us.

Who's in control of your information?

You are. Throughout this Privacy Policy, 'we' or 'Boots' means companies within the Walgreens Boots Alliance Group, including subsidiaries, affiliates, joint ventures and franchises. We may share your personal information among these companies in order to provide, and keep you informed about our products and services, to handle any complaints or queries, and to give you the best customer service we possibly can. However, we never lose sight of the fact that it is your personal information and we will only send you marketing material if you have agreed that we can do so. You can find out more about the companies in Walgreens Boots Alliance on our website.

Collecting information about you

Boots collects personal information about you whenever you shop with us online or instore, and when you use our services. Please see below for examples of the data we collect from you:

boots.com
Boots mobile app
Name, address, contact details, purchases, devices information, browsing behaviour, adverts you may click on (including those shown on other organisations’ websites)
bootsopticiansdirect.com Name, shipping address, contact details, prescription information, purchases and management of subscriptions
Boots Advantage Card Personal data about yourself, purchases, emails and other digital communications we send to you, including information about which emails you open, and what links you might click on.
Pharmacies, Opticians, Hearing care and stores Personal data about yourself, such as name, address, age, gender, contact details purchases, appointment information, prescription, and audiological data.
Appointment booking Personal data about yourself, such as name, address, age, gender, contact details and medical information.
Social media When opted into marketing we obtain information posted publicly on social media sites and use it to help us understand how our different customers interact with us and what people think and feel about our brand. We do this in a way that doesn’t always identify individual customers e.g. we may look at which groups of customers are more likely to talk to us via social media or use social media to talk about Boots products.

Boots share pseudonymised data with social media platforms such as Facebook to enable Boots to deliver content and messages which may be of interest to you.
Processing data about children Boots Opticians and Pharmacy process children’s data for appointments and processing prescriptions. Children under the age of 16 using these services must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
If you’re a member of the Parenting Club, Boots will also store and process your child’s data, such as their date of birth. In order to obtain a Boots Advantage Card or a boots.com account you must be at least 13 years old.
Information provided by other people on your behalf If someone books an appointment on your behalf we’ll ask them for basic details about you, which may include health details such as whether you have a family history of diabetes or glaucoma. This is to ensure we book you in for the right type and length of appointment. We’ll check with you when you come to your appointment to make sure the information we’ve been given is accurate.

If you’re booking an appointment or registering for a service for someone else, please make sure they’re happy for you to provide their personal information on their behalf and that they understand why the information is needed

Information we collect online: Cookies

A 'cookie' is a file in your web browser that enables us to recognise your computer when you visit boots.com or bootsopticiansdirect.com and makes using our sites quicker and easier (e.g. login fields may be pre-filled with your email address). Cookies are also essential to the functioning of certain parts of the site such as remembering the contents of your cart, allowing checkout and card payment, and we use them to collect information about how the site is used, such as how many people visit and return and what products are being viewed. We may also use 'cookies' to share information with Google Analytics to understand how our site is being used and make improvements to the site.

How we use Cookies

The boots.com and bootsopticiansdirect.com websites uses Cookies in the following ways:

Making our websites work:

Both boots.com and bootsopticiansdirect.com websites use Cookies which are essential so that you can move around each site and log in to the secure areas. Without them you'd be unable to shop on the website or access your account.

Monitoring and improving the performance of the website:

These Cookies collect information about how visitors use the boots.com or bootsopticiansdirect.com site, e.g. which pages they visit most often and whether they see error messages. The information is aggregated so it doesn't identify individuals, and we use it only to help us improve the way the website works.

Enabling the features of the website:

These Cookies allow boots.com or bootsopticiansdirect.com to remember choices you have made, such as your user name or the region you're in, and help us provide you with a better, more personal experience. For example, they may allow you to watch a video clip, comment on a blog or add a product review.

Personalising your Boots experience:

Boots.com uses cookies to enable us to give you a more personalised experience when you visit our site, by recognising you and remembering any preferences or choices you've made on previous visits to the site. We may link these cookies to other information we hold about you (such as Advantage Card data) and use this to provide you with more relevant content and offers. The cookies also enable us to provide you with more personalised content and offers through our other communication channels. These include our stores, post, email, website, app, social, and online media.

Marketing and advertising:

Boots.com uses cookies to deliver adverts that are more relevant to you, as well as to limit the number of times you see a particular advertisement and to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. The Cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information may then be shared with other organisations for advertising purposes. They're also used to enable price-comparison sites to work and to improve website performance.

In order to link your online activity with your instore purchases, we may match customer information tied to our in-store transaction data, with data collected online, for example by matching on email address or Advantage Card number. Examples of the companies with whom we undertake this type of analysis include Google and Facebook. The information collected is used to improve the effectiveness of our advertising activity, and to personalise the content and messages that we send to you.

What are 'Flash Cookies' (or 'local shared objects')?

Boots.com uses Adobe Flash Player to deliver video content and interactive product images. Flash Cookies are stored on your device in a similar way to other types of Cookies, but they're managed differently by your browser. If you wish to disable or delete Flash Cookies, you can do this through Adobe Flash Player security settings, but please note that you may then be unable to view certain types of information and content on the boots.com website.

The Cookies we use on bootsopticiansdirect.com are listed below:

Persistent Cookies

A persistent cookie is a data file capable of providing websites with user preferences, settings and information for future visits. Persistent cookies provide convenient and rapid access to familiar objects, which enhances your experience. A persistent cookie is also known as a stored or permanent cookies.

Tracking Cookies

We use the 3rd party software Google Analytics to provide basic anonymous tracking data to help improve the website. This uses cookies to keep track of users across pages. Tracking cookies are optional and can be switched off in the 'Cookie Preferences'.

From time to time we may make changes to this list as we add or remove features from this website.

Restricting or blocking Cookies

As you will have seen in 'How We Use Cookies' above, some parts of our site need Cookies in order to function correctly. By default, Cookies should be enabled on your computer or device, and although you can 'disable' them in your browser this will affect your experience on boots.com and bootsopticiansdirect.com. You'll be limited to browsing, viewing and searching for products but won't be able to make a purchase, and you may experience technical problems with some other features on the site. You'll need to re-enter your basic details every time you visit the site and we won't be able to make the site more personal to you – you'll see generic content that may not be as interesting or relevant to you. If you'd still prefer to restrict, block or delete Cookies from boots.com or any other website, it's easy to do in your internet browser. Each browser is different, so you'll need to go to the 'help' menu on your browser and look for how to change your 'Cookie Preferences'.

Your privacy and shared computers

If you log in to boots.com from a shared computer, such as in an internet cafe or from a colleague's computer at work, Cookies may cause your e-mail address to display in the login field to anyone who uses the site on that computer after you. You can avoid this by clearing the Cookies stored by the web browser. The option to do this is normally in the 'Tools' dropdown menu at the top of the browser window.

Mobile app privacy

Information we get from the Boots mobile app

The Boots app needs to access certain information held in your phone and some of the device's functions in order to work properly. By downloading the Boots app, you're giving Boots permission to do this for the purposes below. Rest assured that we only use these permissions to provide the app and the services you request and use through it.

Device ID and identity of the user

The Boots app captures information about the device it's been installed on, such as the model of your phone, the version of the operating system it's using and the version of the app that has been installed. This allows Boots to accurately notify you when updates to the app are available for your version. The app also captures a device ID reference which allows us to send notification messages to your specific device if you have agreed that we may do so. This service is provided with the assistance of a third party, Urban Airship.

Advantage Card activity

If you choose to link your Advantage Card to the Boots App it'll enable us to improve your experience of using the app – for example, we're then able to provide you with personalised offers and messages. In order to do this effectively we'll track your interactions with these offers and messages, views, activations, and redemptions to ensure we continue to provide you with offers that we believe are in your interest.

Location

If you give permission for the Boots app to access location services (such as GPS or location from the network), the app will use this data to improve the functionality of certain features. For example, by enabling the 'Store Locator' feature to help identify stores near your present location. The app can access two different location options: 'approximate', where location is determined by accessing the network from your device, and 'precise', where GPS data is used in addition to network data for more accurate positioning.

Storage, photos, media files, camera and flashlight

The Boots app needs access to these areas of your device to enable you to use the Photo feature and select the images you wish to send to Boots stores to be printed. The Boots app can also access your device's camera to allow you to take photos if you choose to capture a new image for printing. The camera is also used to enable you to scan a barcode, and the app may also activate the flashlight on your device to give the camera sufficient light to take photos or scan barcodes.

Phone and call information

The Boots app can access the phone dialler on your device to enable you to make calls directly from within the Boots app, for instance to dial the Boots customer support team.

Contacts

The Boots app can access contacts stored on your device to enable you to share the Boots app via social media channels with contacts held on your device.

WiFi, network connections and internet data

The Boots app needs a connection to the internet in order to function, so it'll access data services on your device. It'll connect to available Wi-Fi networks, if Wi-Fi is active on the device, in order to download data. If the app cannot use an available Wi-Fi network, data will be retrieved from the network using the device's 3G or 4G connection.

Prevent device from sleeping

The Boots app can, if required, prevent your device from sleeping to ensure the app can receive notifications even when the device is not awake.

Vibration control

The Boots app can access the device's ability to vibrate so a vibration alert can be provided when a notification is received.

Monitoring the functioning of the Boots app

Google Crashlytics: the Boots app uses Google Crashlytics to help us monitor the functioning of our app and the way people engage with it. Some information is shared with Crashlytics for this purpose, but Crashlytics does not capture any personal information, only anonymised app usage information.

Information we get from other companies in our group

If you're a customer of our other brands, such as Soap & Glory or Sleek, the information you provide to them and to Boots is consolidated to help us understand our business and our customers. In turn, this helps us provide you with more relevant products, services and offers. This is done in a way that doesn't identify you as an individual.

Information we get from external companies

From time to time we may supplement the information we hold about you with data from other commercially-available sources, like the electoral roll and companies such as Experian that collate and update data. This helps us keep our records up to date, and learn more about our customers so we can continue to improve our products and services to them. We only work with organisations that obtain their data legally from publicly available or consent-based sources.

Occasionally, for marketing purposes, we may obtain lists of potential customers from external companies. We'll only deal with reputable companies that take privacy and data protection as seriously as we do, and have obtained consent to share this data with us. We'll always let you choose not to receive further marketing material from us.

Information we get when we acquire new Pharmacy or Optical businesses

If you're a customer of an optician or pharmacy business that has been taken over by Boots, we'll receive your personal information from them as part of the handover process. Where this happens, we place a notice in-store or we may contact you in writing to tell you that your personal information is changing hands. If you don't wish for your data to be transferred to Boots, you should speak to the store manager.

Information we get from your GP or healthcare professional

Boots provides a range of clinical and healthcare services in partnership with, or on behalf of, NHS trusts, local health authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Where these require your GP or other healthcare provider to register you for a Boots service, they'll give us information so we can do so. We use this information only to provide you with safe and appropriate care, deliver the service as agreed with the NHS body and meet our legal and regulatory obligations.

GP online services

If you have registered your Linkage Key / Passphrase to use GP online services through Boots, we will source patient repeat medication details, including your name and date of birth from your GP surgery for the purpose of enabling you to request NHS repeat prescription items directly from your GP for fulfilment by Boots. If you are requesting a repeat prescription on behalf of someone else, their patient details will also be included in the information we retrieve from your GP surgery. We use your medical information only to provide you with safe and appropriate care, deliver the NHS repeat prescription service and meet our legal and regulatory obligations.

Electronic Prescription: by using the boots NHS repeat prescription service, you are allowing your GP surgery to send your prescriptions electronically to a Boots pharmacy. If you choose to get your order delivered, our Boots pharmacy in the Midlands will handle your electronic prescriptions. If instead you choose to collect your order in store, your chosen Boots store will handle your electronic prescriptions.

You or the surgery will provide us with your details, so we can register you on the Electronic Prescribing system and resolve any problems or queries that may arise in connection with it.

We don't use this information for any other purpose.

Can I opt out of this?

Yes, you can call your dispensing Boots pharmacy or your GP and ask them to opt you out of the electronic prescription service.

Information we get from the NHS: your Summary Care Record

In England, the NHS is using an electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR) to support patient care. A similar service is also provided in Wales. The SCR is a copy of key information from your GP record, and it provides authorised health care professionals with faster, secure access to information about you when you need care. The NHS has made the SCR available to pharmacies across England, and it's now in use in many Boots pharmacies.

The Summary Care Record includes your contact details, NHS number, date of birth, information about medications you're taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have experienced.

Our pharmacists may need to refer to your SCR if you need urgent treatment or medication out of hours, or in other emergency situations where your pharmacist would normally need to speak with your GP but cannot do so. The pharmacist will ask for your consent every time they need to look at your SCR, except if you're unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate and they believe it's in your best interests to look at your record.

Only the pharmacist directly involved in your care is allowed to access the SCR. The pharmacist needs an NHS 'Smartcard' and passcode in order to do so and can only see the information they need to do their job. Their details are logged every time they look at your record and the access log is audited to ensure all access is appropriate.

Your SCR is not combined with any data Boots holds about you. It's held on an NHS system and is accessed only in the circumstances set out above.

Information about your health

When you use our services, some of the information we collect may be about your health and include data from NHS bodies such as your GP or hospital. We understand the sensitivity of this information and will only use it to provide you with these services and fulfil our legal obligations to the NHS or similar bodies.

If you have told us that it's fine to send you marketing, we may send you offers on healthcare products you sometimes buy or, if you are a Boots Opticians customer, on glasses or contact lenses. We will never use information about your prescriptions for marketing, although we may use it to let you know about services we provide that might be useful and relevant to you. For example, when you collect a prescription a Boots Pharmacist might ask if you would like to take advantage of our New Medicines Service, a Medicines Use Review, Diabetic Support Services or other similar services that may be relevant and useful to you. These services are voluntary but if you choose to use them we will need to ask you some health-related questions in order to fulfil our contractual obligations with the NHS. The information you give us will be shared with the relevant NHS bodies and we won't use it for any other purpose.

Information we use and get from social media

We may obtain information posted publicly on social media sites and use it to help us understand how our different customers interact with us and what people think and feel about our brand. We do this in a way that doesn't always identify individual customers. For example, we may look at which groups of customers are more likely to talk to us via social media or use social media to talk about Boots products. If we intend to use your information from a social media site such as Instagram, we'll always contact you for your permission first. If you raise a query or a complaint through Boots' social media pages, we'll of course have a record of your user name. This is used only to enable us to correspond with you and resolve the matter you've raised. Boots share pseudonymised data with social media platforms such as Facebook to enable Boots to deliver content and messages which may be of interest to you.

Online pharmacy services

If you purchase Pharmacy medicines from our online clinics, we will ask you some questions about your health to help us check that the medicine you are buying is suitable for you. This information is held securely on our systems and used only for processing your order. We won't use it for any other purpose.

Similarly, if you use our Prescription Dispensing and Delivery Service, we will ask you to give us some health-related information online. This information is held securely on our Pharmacy system to allow Pharmacy staff in Boots stores to check your prescription history and medical conditions, ensuring you receive the best possible service from us.

We may contact you by email or phone number about your online clinic order or prescription so please ensure that you're happy with the security and privacy of the email account you use in connection with this. Please note that if you send an email directly to our Pharmacy Service from your own email account, its contents will not be encrypted and therefore cannot be guaranteed to be secure.

Can I opt out of this?

Yes, to not be contacted by email or phone number about your orders or prescriptions please unsubscribe to this service by deactivating your account.

Information provided by other people on your behalf

Booking appointments for other people

If someone books an appointment on your behalf we'll ask them for basic details about you, which may include health details such as whether you have a family history of diabetes or glaucoma. This is to ensure we book you in for the right type and length of appointment with the correct healthcare professional. Of course, we'll check with you when you come to your appointment to make sure the information we've been given is accurate. If you're booking an appointment for someone else, please make sure they're happy for you to provide their personal information on their behalf and that they understand why we need to ask for the information. We don't use it for any other purpose.

Dispensing services: care homes

If you or a relative are a resident of a care home to which Boots provides dispensing services, Boots will receive personal information from the care home to enable us to dispense prescriptions safely and comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

How and why we use your personal information

We use your personal information to provide our products and services. Some are essential for us to provide the services you use or to fulfil our legal obligations. Some help us run our business efficiently and effectively. Some enable us to provide you with more relevant and personalised offers and information for example to set up and run your account, process orders and transactions, respond to queries and comments and provide you with the best possible level of customer service.

We may use it to contact you about orders you've placed or appointments you've booked or to send you reminders (e.g. about repeat prescriptions). We may also contact you in emergency situations, such as an urgent product recall or where we have a duty of care to notify you of information that relates to your health.

In all cases we must have a reason and a legal ground for processing your personal information. Some of the most common legal grounds we rely on are briefly explained below.

Detail Examples
Consent You’ll be asked to confirm that you’re happy to provide your personal data and that you give permission to Boots to process your personal data. All of the details such as why Boots want your data, how it will be used and if your data will be shared, will be provided at the time of asking you for your consent.

Where Boots are relying on consent you will usually see a tick box.

You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time if you no longer want to be part of the Boots processing activity
Boots may use consent where we’re asking you to confirm your marketing preferences to ensure we only contact you via the medium you have chosen i.e. text or email
Contractual Processing data for the purposes of a contract to which you are party to.

There’s a range of legal and regulatory requirements we and our parent company need to comply with, and some of these may affect the way we process personal data, or the length of time for which we are required to keep it.
When you purchase a product in a Boots store, on Boots.com or via the Boots app you are entering into an agreement to purchase the products from Boots.

Boots are required to obtain your personal information such as your name and delivery address to fulfil the order.
Legal obligation Boots will on occasion be under a legal obligation to obtain and disclose your personal data.

Where possible Boots will notify you when processing your data due to a legal obligation, however this may not always be possible.
In order to prevent and detect fraudulent or criminal activity we may share information with forces such as the Police. This is done in a safe and secure manner. You may not be notified of this.

Boots provides a range of clinical and healthcare services in partnership with, or on behalf of, NHS trusts, local health authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups. As part of this, Boots are required to share certain amounts of personal data in order for the NHS and Boots to meet regulatory and legal obligations. Boots will tell you when we share your data for this reason.
Legitimate interest Boots hold personal data for our own legitimate business interest. This relates to us managing our business to enable us to give you the best service/products and most secure experience. When we rely on this, we’ll carry out a legitimate interest assessment to ensure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative), and your rights under data protection laws.

Our legitimate business interests don’t automatically override your interests - we won’t use your Personal Data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you, unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law.
We may process your information to protect you against fraud when transacting on our website, and to ensure our websites and systems are secure.

We have an interest in making sure our marketing is relevant for you, we send you marketing that’s tailored to your interests.

When you place an order on our website we carry out identity verification and anti-money laundering checks, validating the personal information you give against appropriate third-party databases. This involves sharing your personal data with organisations such as Datacash, which verify those details and transactions and pick up on anything that may indicate illegal activity. This may in some cases involve the disclosure of information to a Credit Reference Agency, which will keep a record of that information and may pass it to the police.

Bootsopticiansdirect.com is not linked to any other Boots accounts you hold and therefore marketing permissions updated in your account on this site do not link to marketing permissions on boots.com and vice versa.

Things we need to do to provide you with the services you've requested

Providing our products and services

We use your personal information to provide our products and services, for example to set up and run your account, process orders and transactions, respond to queries and comments and provide you with the best possible level of customer service. We may use it to contact you about orders you've placed or appointments you've booked or to send you reminders (e.g. about repeat prescriptions). We may also contact you in emergency situations, such as an urgent product recall or where we have a duty of care to notify you of information that relates to your health.

Can I opt out of having my data used for this?

No, because this covers the many processes and legal obligations that we need to carry out in order to provide you with the Boots service(s) you've requested and also to protect you in emergency situations.

Meeting our obligations

Legal, regulatory and contractual requirements

As a healthcare provider, we're regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), General Optical Council (GOC) and Care Quality Commission (CQC), all of which may set out standards and codes of practice with which we need to comply. Where we provide NHS services in our pharmacies or Boots Opticians practices, we also have to comply with NHS Information Governance requirements.

Keeping our records up to date

We have a legal obligation to keep the personal data we hold accurate and up to date, we share your personal data across our group companies in order to do this.

We periodically update our records against commercially or publicly available sources (using companies such as Experian) to update addresses where customers have moved or who are deceased. This is to fill gaps in the contact details we hold and to correct addresses that are incorrectly formatted.

This excludes the information we hold about you on our prescription dispensing system. The information held there originates from your prescriber (usually your GP or a hospital) and is used only in connection with dispensing prescriptions.Any updates you make to information held elsewhere in Boots, such as your boots.com account or Advantage Card, are not applied to information held on this system.

Can I opt out of this?

Yes, however there may be legal and regulatory requirements that require Boots to keep your information up to date if you're using a Boots service.

Learning more about you

We'll consolidate the information we hold about you across the companies in Walgreens Boots Alliance and the different channels you use to interact with us (e.g. websites, stores, our app, correspondence etc.). We do this to keep our records accurate and up to date, provide you with a seamless and consistent service and build a clearer picture of our customers both as a group and as individuals. By understanding you better we can offer you the best and most personalised service we can, but don't worry - we will only send you marketing material if you have agreed that we can.

Crime prevention and detection

Like all retailers, Boots undertakes certain activities that enable us to provide our customers and colleagues with a safe, secure and legal environment online and in stores.

When you place an order on our websites we carry out identity verification, fraud prevention and anti-money laundering checks, validating the personal information you give against appropriate third party databases. This involves sharing your personal data with organisations such as Datacash, which verify those details and transactions and pick up on anything that may indicate illegal activity. This may in some cases involve the disclosure of information to a Credit Reference Agency, which will keep a record of that information and may pass it to the police.

In our stores, we use video and, in some places, audio recording to prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour. Where we do this we display clear signage, comply with the Information Commissioner's Surveillance Camera Code of Conduct, and have internal processes in place to minimise the impact on your privacy.

Can I opt out of this?

No, as there will be legal and regulatory reasons that these activities need to be carried out that are mentioned above. Therefore, we'll not be able to prevent processing your data for this reason as it's essential to protect our customers, our colleagues and our business from criminal activity.

Things we do to provide you with a better service

The following are things we do as a business to help us operate effectively and efficiently, and in turn provide you with better and simpler services. It's in our legitimate interests to do these things and we do them in a way that respects and minimises any impact on your privacy.

Learning more about our customers and our business

We carry out analytics on the information we hold about our customers to help us understand who our customers are, how they use our services, and how people interact with us. This enables us to plan our business - for example, stock and staffing levels make sure we offer the same experience online as in our stores, maximise the effectiveness of our advertising and understand how our business is performing. We don't do this in a way that enables individual customers to be identified. It's not related to the direct marketing or special offers that we send to you based on your use of Boots services.

Can I object to this?

Yes, you have the right to object to the way we use your data if you believe our legitimate interest in doing it is outweighed by your right to privacy. As this type of analysis is important in enabling Boots (like all major retailers) to operate efficiently and we carry it out in a way that doesn't identify individuals, we believe it has no impact on your privacy.

Recognising you when you use our services

Whichever Boots services you use, wherever and however you interact with us, we want to give you the same level of service and make things simple and straightforward. We use your details across our services so we can recognise you as a customer and provide consistent care with whichever service you're using. This also means you don't need to give the same details each time you come in.

Can I object to this?

Yes, we do this because it makes things more efficient both for you and for Boots. You can object, but doing so will limit the Boots services you're able to use in the future. If you don't wish us to recognise you across our services, the following services will be affected and may not work to its full potential:

  • Boots.ie account
  • Boots Advantage Card
  • Use of any of our private (non-NHS) healthcare services
  • Booking an appointment using our appointment booking service online, by phone or in store

The following services will remain unaffected if you object:

  • Having your prescriptions dispensed at Boots pharmacies as normal
  • Having an NHS eye test in a Boots Opticians, although your details will only be held in the practice where your test takes place and won't be accessible if you later attend a different Boots Opticians
  • Having an NHS clinical service in a Boots pharmacy, such as a flu jab, but your records won't be available to the pharmacist if you later have a clinical service in a different Boots pharmacy
  • Use of our online clinics
  • Placing an order on boots.ie or bootsopticiansdirect.com as a guest customer. You won't be able to sign up for an account

How do I opt out?

If you're a new customer on Boots.com or bootsopticiansdirect.com, you should use the guest checkout rather than setting up a boots.com or bootsopticiansdirect.com account as this will limit how Boots can use your data. If you're visiting a store for an eye test or other NHS clinical service, you should indicate your preference when asked.

If you're an existing customer, you'll need to email the details given below with your request. Note that if you close your account, we may continue to hold your personal information for a period of time after you cease to be a customer (see section headed 'how long do we hold your data' below).

Personalising your digital experience

We use your personal data such as your browsing history, username and purchases to personalise our websites so they're more relevant to you, giving you a better online experience. We do this through our use of Cookies and, where appropriate, information we have gathered about you from other interactions (e.g. products you buy or browse, or links that you have clicked on) or other sources (e.g. Advantage Card membership, including clubs that you have joined). For example, we may greet you by name, show search results that reflect things most likely to be of interest to you and show you content that's more relevant to you and the things you have previously shown an interest in.

Can I object to this?

Yes, but we believe it'll result in your online experience being less personal and relevant to you. The content and search results you see will be generic rather than related to your interests. Personalising your online experience doesn't affect the marketing options you have selected, it's to offer you a service personalised to your needs.

How do I object?

If you're a registered customer you can email the contact details given below with your request. If you're not a registered customer, information held in our Cookies may be used to select content that we feel is more relevant for you. To prevent this, you can clear your cookies.

Running our Advantage Card scheme

Advantage Card offers great benefits and rewards, and we aim to make these as relevant to you as we can. In order to do so, we need your personal information. If you're a member of our Advantage Card scheme, we'll build up a picture of you based on your use of Boots services. This includes your online and offline shopping habits, your browsing habits, information you give us about yourself and through any clubs you're a member of (such as Parenting Club, Over 60s etc.) and any information you provide about your family. We also include any information we've obtained from consent-based, commercially available sources (such as Experian) about you and people with similar interests and attributes. By building up and fine-tuning this picture of you, we can provide you with tailored offers that are exciting and relevant to you. These might be sent to you via email, post our websites or apps, or via online advertising. Please note that we only send you marketing material if you've agreed that we can.

Please be assured that information we hold about prescriptions that we've dispensed aren't included in the picture we build up of you.

Can I object to this?

The benefit of being an Advantage Card member is to receive points and rewards on the products and services that interest you. Without building up a detailed picture of you we can't tailor our offers and rewards to be personal to you and you won't receive the full benefits of being an Advantage Card member. If you don't wish to have your data used in this way, please contact us using the details provided below. If you do not wish to have your personal data processed for any purpose related to the Advantage Card scheme, you'll not be able to have an Advantage Card. If you're an existing member, you therefore need to close your Advantage Card account. You'll still be able to shop at Boots and use our services but you won't earn points or receive rewards.

Building up a picture of you

We may analyse your personal information, including the products you view and buy, your browsing habits and other ways you interact with Boots to evaluate the effectiveness of our advertising and help us provide more relevant offers, advice and information across a variety of marketing channels including online advertising and social media sites such as Facebook. Rest assured that we'll only send you marketing material if you've agreed that we can, and we'll never use sensitive information about your health. If you're an Advantage Card customer, we'll carry out this type of analysis in order to provide the benefits of the scheme.

Some of our marketing selection processes are fully automated so that we can ensure we're selecting offers, products and services that are the most relevant for each customer. In order to do this, we use data that we've obtained from your use of the Advantage Card such as what brands or products you like to purchase, how frequently you shop with us, how much you spend with us and which of our stores you shop in the most. We combine this with demographic data that we obtained when you signed up for the scheme, such as your gender, your age and where you live – this is particularly relevant when inviting you to events. This aggregated data is then compared against our other customers to understand your shopping habits in context. By doing this, we can tell you about products we already know you like and also suggest new products that we think you'd be interested in based on what people like you are buying.

Can I opt out of this?

Yes, but if you have asked to receive marketing you'll receive only generic offers based on your gender, age, location rather than specific marketing based on preferences and how you use Boots services. If you wish to opt-out please use the contact information provided at the end of the Privacy Policy.

Healthcare analytics

We carry out analytics on data about the prescriptions we dispense, which enables us to understand how our business is operating so we can develop our products and services. It also enables us to provide valuable insights about dispensing activity which we may share with partner organisations. Before we undertake any such analytics with pharmacy data, we anonymise it in line with the ICO Anonymisation Standards so it's not linked to you and you cannot be identified from it.

Can I object to this?

As the data we use in this activity is anonymised in line with the ICO anonymisation standards, it's no longer personal data, so you cannot exercise a legal right to object to it.

Healthcare/clinical research and market research

We work with leading universities, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies and other bodies carrying out healthcare research. This may involve providing anonymised and/or aggregated data about our dispensing activities. We have a strict process for assessing research requests and we only agree to take part in projects that have received ethical approval. Where any third party has access to Boots premises or data, we have measures in place to ensure they access only the data we've authorised them to access and for purposes of the research only.

Being able to conduct, participate and contribute to this type of data enables Boots to assist with helping to find cures and better solutions for healthcare, which will hopefully go on to benefit the healthcare of the public and our customers.

Can I object to this?

We believe this is an important activity that will benefit the public and may lead to a breakthrough in the healthcare sector. Like any data we use or provide is anonymised in line with ICO guidance, it's no longer personal data and you can't exercise a right to opt out.

As a pharmacy-based retailer, research is vital to our business. Occasionally, we contact customers who meet a particular set of criteria, including health-related factors, to invite them to take part in clinical research. The research may be carried out by external companies acting on our behalf but we'll never pass your personal information onto them unless we have your consent to do so. You're always free to decline or withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us.

On occasion, we may work with researchers who are looking for volunteers to take part in various research studies. Therefore, our pharmacists in store may ask if you're willing to take part in this type of research. If you're interested in hearing more, we may then put you in touch with the researchers who will provide you with all of information required and ask for your consent before any research begins. In such cases, Boots doesn't receive any details about people who decide to take part in the research, and your data will be processed by the researcher.

Customer feedback surveys and market research

We may invite you to give feedback on Boots services you've used or take part in market research activities such as customer surveys, questionnaires or focus groups. Although the invitation may be sent to you by third party agencies on our behalf, rest assured that we only send your contact details and, where relevant, data that we've collected through the use of your Advantage Card. We'll only contact you by email if you've have indicated that you're happy to receive marketing from Boots. Please be aware that you won't be contacted more than once every six months for research purposes, unless you have signed up separately to our Viewpoint panel and we never sell your personal data.

Boots will only ever share your data with reputable agencies in a safe and secure manner. All personal data is deleted as soon as it's been used. Keeping your data safe is our top priority.

Can I opt out?

Yes, you'll always be able to decline to take part in research activities and you can opt out of these types of emails from Boots as well as other marketing emails. You can do this by managing your preferences online or following the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our marketing emails

Using your data with your consent

Appointment booking – searching our systems

If you've previously had a prescription dispensed at a Boots pharmacy, we may have your contact details in our pharmacy system. These may be retrieved when we look up your details, but rest assured that we're unable to access any pharmacy details beyond your contact details.

How we send you marketing material

We use your information to send you offers and information, and you'll always be asked if you want to receive offers and information and via what channels you would like to receive them.

Can I opt out of this?

Yes, you can change your mind about receiving marketing material from us at any time by logging into your account on boots.com or bootsopticiansdirect.com.

Please be aware that as our marketing campaigns are prepared well in advance, you may still receive material by post for up to two months, and by e-mail or text for up to 28 days after updating your preferences.

Basket reminder emails

When you visit our website as a registered customer that is opted-in to marketing emails, we will use your email address to contact you (via a third party, Cloud IQ for boots.com and SendGrid for bootsopticiansdirect.com) with a reminder containing a list of unpurchased items that are still in your basket.

Can I opt out?

Yes, you will always be able to opt out of marketing emails from Boots or bootsopticiansdirect.com as well as other marketing emails. You can do this by managing your preferences online or following the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our marketing emails.

Important:using information about your prescriptions

When you use our services, some of the information we collect may be about your health and include data from NHS bodies such as your GP or hospital. We understand the sensitivity of this information and will only use it to provide you with these services and fulfil our legal obligations to the NHS or similar bodies.

As a healthcare provider, we're regulated by bodies including the GPhC, GOC and CQC. All of whom may set out requirements which we need to comply with when processing personal data, including timescales for keeping data, reporting requirements and professional codes of practice. Where we provide NHS services, we're required to comply with NHS Information Governance requirements. One of the requirements is to complete an Information Governance Toolkit which is used to report compliance to a set of information, protection and governance standard to the NHS. The same standards are applied in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Where we're contracted to provide a service to, or on behalf of, the NHS or an individual NHS Trust or body, we'll use your personal data to help us meet our contractual requirements to that body.

Dispensing prescriptions

The information we hold on your personal medical record is used only to enable us to dispense your prescription legally, safely and to fulfil our requirements to you and the NHS.

Can I opt out of this?

No, if you request Boots Pharmacy to carry out this service we need to use this information to dispense your prescription safely and legally.

Summary Care Record

This is only used with your consent and in emergencies.

Prescription detail

We'll never use information about your prescriptions for marketing, although we may use it to let you know about services we provide that might be useful and relevant to you when you come into our pharmacy. For example, when you collect a prescription a Boots pharmacist might ask if you'd like to take advantage of our New Medicines Service, a Medicines Use Review, Diabetic Support Services or other similar services that may be relevant and useful to you. These services are voluntary, but if you choose to use them we'll need to ask you some health-related questions in order to fulfil our contractual obligations with the NHS. The information you give us will only be shared with the relevant NHS bodies and we won't use it for any other purpose.

Sharing your information outside the Walgreens Boots Alliance Group

Legal obligations

We may share your personal information with third parties where required or permitted by law, if we believe we need to do so to protect our rights, or to comply with legal proceedings. In such cases, we'll always do so legally and with due regard to your privacy.

Sharing with the NHS

We share information with NHS bodies to fulfil our legal obligations as a provider of pharmacy, optical and hearing care services, or where we have a duty of care to do so. For example, to obtain payment for the services we provide and to measure the effectiveness of services.

In some circumstances we might need to let your GP know we've prescribed an item or given you a particular service.

If you've asked us to register you for an NHS scheme or service such as the NHS Organ Donor scheme, we'll pass your personal information to the NHS using a secure method of data transfer so the NHS can register you for the relevant scheme or service.

If you choose to have one of the NHS services provided in our pharmacies, such as a Medicines Use Review, we'll ask you for health-related information which is needed to fulfil our contractual obligations to the NHS. We share this information only with NHS bodies and won't use it in any other way. Although we may use your contact details to send you reminders about any follow-up appointments.

Non-Boots brands

From time to time we may contact you with special offers on behalf of brands we stock, but we'll never sell or share your data with those brands for them to use in their own marketing.

If you give your contact details and any other personal information at one of the premium beauty counters in our stores, you may be giving the information to that company rather than to Boots. Each company has its own Privacy Policy which may not be the same as ours, so we advise that you check who is collecting your personal information and how they'll use it before signing up to receive offers or information. Similarly, if you click through to another company's website via a link on boots.com or bootsopticiansdirect.com, check you're happy with that company's Privacy Policy before giving your personal information.

Changes to our business

If ownership of all or part of our business changes, or we undergo a reorganisation (including a merger or transfer between Walgreens Boots Alliance companies), we'll transfer your personal information to the new owner or successor company so we can continue to provide our services.

Companies that provide services on our behalf

We share your personal information with companies that provide services on our behalf, such as printers, couriers, mailing houses, data hosting services, social media organisations, digital marketing agencies, call centre providers, market research, manufacturers and suppliers. We always ensure these companies give your information the same level of care and security we do. If your information is to be sent outside Europe, we make sure it'll be subject to standards of protection and security that are as high as those Boots uses here in the UK. For more information on the location of your data please see below.

Examples of the functions that may be carried out by external companies:

  • Customer service centre
  • Account set up and card issue
  • Mailing houses and printers
  • Online and social media advertising
  • Delivery services such as couriers
  • Market research
  • Manufacturers or suppliers
  • NHS bodies, such as GP and hospitals
  • Payment providers
  • Companies that provide web hosting, content providers, competitions, waiting lists etc.
  • Companies that do fraud and money laundering checks
  • Companies that provide IIT services & support inclusive of web hosting, data storage, data cleansing, content providers, competitions, waiting lists etc.
  • Contact lens and glasses manufacturers and suppliers, and hearing care

Sharing data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA comprise ofall of the European Union countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Personal data can be transferred, processed and stored within these countries safely and securely as they offer an adequate level of protection to personal data in comparison to the UK.

There are a number of additional countries that can also offer an adequate level of protection, these are Andorra, Argentina, Canada, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland, Uruguay and the US.

Countries that Boots shares information with, which are outside of the above listed countries, are: Vietnam, China, India and Thailand. If your information is sent to any of these four countries, we make sure it'll be subject to standards of protection and security that are as high as those Boots uses here in the UK.

We take your data very seriously, therefore we'll always conduct a full review of all of our suppliers' processes and procedures including storage solutions for our data. In order to ensure adequacy when sending your data outside of the EEA, we put in place contracts based on the Standard EU Model Contract Clauses which are designed by the European Commission to guarantee adequacy for any data transfer and processing of this nature.

Can I opt out of having my data shared?

As your data is stored safely and securely both inside and outside of the EEA, we cannot offer alternative storage solution. If you wish to opt out of having your data stored outside of the EEA, you'll need to close your account with Boots.

How long do we keep your personal information?

We hold your personal information for as long as we have a legal or business reason to do so, which generally means as long as you remain a Boots customer or as required to meet our legal obligations, resolve disputes or enforce our agreements. To fulfil our obligations to the NHS, regulatory or similar bodies, health-related personal information may need to be retained for a period of time after you cease to be a Boots customer. We'll always store your data securely and won't use it for any other purpose.

Keeping your data secure: what you can do?

Securing your payment details online

Boots.com has been issued with a Secure Server Digital Certificate by the online Certification Authority, Digicert and bootsopticiansdirect.com has been issued with a Secure Server Digital Certificate by the online Certification Authority, Comodo SSL. This confirms that each of boots.com and bootsopticiansdirect.com is a legitimate website that provides an encrypted communication channel to protect the information you pass to Boots when making a purchase. For more information about VeriSign Digital Authentication services and online security guarantees, visit the VeriSign website. In addition to this, all credit/debit card payments are securely handled by an industry-leading payment processor and are never stored on either website.

Staying in control of your information: Your rights

We respect the fact that your personal information isyourinformation, and we'll make it easy for you to update or change your personal details or marketing permissions. Please help us to help you by letting us know if your contact details change, or if you spot any errors in the information we hold about you.

Your right of access

If you would like a copy of the information Boots holds about you or have any queries about the way Boots handles your personal information, please contact boots.customercare_team@boots.co.uk or, for similar queries for bootsopticiansdirect.com, please contact Boots Opticians Direct Customer Care at contactlenses@boots-opticians.co.uk

What information am I entitled to?

You have to right to obtain a copy of the all information that Boots holds about you, such as personal details, correspondence, marketing preferences, consent information, complaints, queries and Advantage Card history, within a 30 day time limit and free of charge.

Your right to move your data (portability)

Under certain circumstances you can request that Boots moves your data to another service provider. This is not an automatic right, depending on the type of data that Boots holds about you and the reason Boots process the data will depend on what Boots are able to do. Please go to boots.com and contact our Customer Service Centre to submit a request. If your query relates to bootsopticiansdirect.com please contact Boots Opticians Customer Care FAQs

Your right to processing

You have to right to request that Boots stop certain data processing activities that involve processing your personal data, this can be processes such as collecting your name and address on your boots.com account to deliver goods to you, among other examples given above. This isn't an automatic right, what Boots are able to do will depend on the type of data that Boots hold about you and why. Please go to boots.com and contact our Customer Service Centre to exercise your right to object to Boots processing your data. If your query relates to bootsopticiansdirect.com please contact Boots Opticians Customer Care FAQs

Your right to deletion

While you remain a customer, we'll process and retain your data as described in this Policy. Once you cease to be a customer we'll hold your data for as long as required by law. You do have a right to request that Boots deletes your personal data it holds. This isn't an automatic right, what Boots are able to delete will depend on the type of data that Boots hold about you. Please go to boots.com and visit our Customer Service Centre to request you data to be deleted. If your query relates to bootsopticiansdirect.com please contact Boots Opticians Customer Care FAQs

CCTV

If you require access to CCTV footage (for example, if you're the victim of a crime that takes place on Boots' premises), you should write to us at:

Central Customer Care Team,

D94,

Nottingham

NG90 1BS

UK

We'll ask the date and approximate time of the incident you wish to view and as much detail as you can to help us locate the correct footage, and we may make a small charge. We'll do our best to help, but there are situations in which we may be unable to make CCTV footage available to you, such as where the incident occurred some time ago or if we believe that allowing you to view it would breach someone else's privacy.CCTV is held for a 30 day period.

For all request mentioned above, there is a 30 day limit to which Boots must respond by and you may be required to provide proof of your identity.

Technologies associated with our CCTV systems will be used for the purpose of collecting non-identifiable analytical data e.g. to understand how long our customers wait in queues when making a purchase or using services within our stores. You cannot be identified by the use of these technologies.

Processing data about children

Boots Opticians and Boots Pharmacy process children's data for appointments and when processing prescriptions. Children under the age of 16 using these services must be accompanied by an adult at all times. If you're a member of the Parenting Club, Boots will also store and process your child's data, such as their date of birth. In order to obtain a Boots Advantage Card or a boots.com account you must be at least 13 years old.

Who to contact

For all questions relating to this policy please contact boots.customercare_team@boots.co.uk

If your query relates to bootsopticiansdirect.com please contact Boots Opticians Customer Care FAQs

Your right to complain to the ICO

Although we hope it never comes to this, you do have the right to complain to the ICO about any of Boots processing activities at casework@ico.org.uk

Changes to this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy was updated in June 2020. We may update it from time to time so we recommend that you check back here occasionally. If we make changes we think may affect you significantly, particularly if they could have an impact on the choices you have made about marketing, we'll provide you with a prominent notice by the most appropriate medium so you know about the changes before they happen.