Big Issue Vendor

Privacy Policy

The Big Issue is committed to safeguarding and preserving the privacy of our visitors. This Privacy Policy explains what happens to any personal data that you provide to us, or that we collect from you whilst you visit our site. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it. By visiting our site you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy. We do update this Policy from time to time so please do review this Policy regularly. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is The Big Issue.

Information we collect

In running and maintaining our website we may collect and process the following data about you: Information about your use of our site including details of your visits such as pages viewed, length of visits and the resources that you access. Such information includes traffic data, location data and other communication data.

We will automatically collect technical information including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform, information about your visit including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time), page response times, download errors.

Information provided voluntarily by you

For example, when you register for information, fill in forms on our site, report a problem with our site or make a purchase. Information that you provide when you communicate with us by any means. The information you give us may include your name, address, e-mail address and phone number and your financial and credit card information.

Use of cookies

Cookies are small files that are sent to your browser and stored on your computers hard drive. We use cookies where appropriate to gather information about your viewing activities and interaction with our site. Such information will not identify you personally. It is statistical data. This statistical data does not identify any personal details whatsoever.

How we use Cookies

We use cookies in the following ways,

  • Understanding how you use the site
  • Show you Big Issue products and services that are relevant to you
  • Serving you advertisements that maybe relevant to you

What cookies we use

  • Essential:
    • Remember your cookie permission setting
    • Gather information you input into a contact forms, newsletter and other forms across all pages
  • Analytics:
    • Keep track of your visited pages and interaction taken
    • Keep track about your location and region based on your IP number
    • Analytics: Keep track of the time spent on each page
    • Analytics: Increase the data quality of the statistics functions
  • Advertising:
    • Collect information about your visit
    • Collect information about the content you have viewed
    • Collect information about the links you have followed
    • Collect information about your browser, device and IP address

Managing cookies

Outlined below are some ways to disable or opt out of the cookies set by us and our partners.

Advertising Cookies

You can disable some advertising cookies by the information provided by our partners below;

Google Adwords Opt Out
Google Analytics Opt Out
Google Double Click Opt Out
Twitter Opt Out

You can also switch some cookies off through the Your Online Choices site.

Other ways to manage Cookies

Another way to manage cookies is via the settings in your browser. You can usually find the cookie settings in the “options” or “preferences” menu of your browser. The following links provide some helpful instructions on how to manage cookies within various browsers.

Use of your information

We use the information that we collect from you to provide our services to you.  In addition to this we may use the information for one or more of the following purposes:

To provide information to you that you request from us relating to our products or services.

To provide information to you relating to other products that may be of interest to you. Such additional information will only be provided where you have consented to receive such information.

To inform you of any changes to our website, services or goods and products. If you have previously purchased goods or services from us we may provide to you details of similar goods or services, or other goods and services, that you may be interested in. Where your consent has been provided in advance we may allow selected third parties to use your data to enable them to provide you with information regarding unrelated goods and services which we believe may interest you.  Where such consent has been provided it can be withdrawn by you at any time.

Storing Your Personal Data: In operating our website it may become necessary to transfer data that we collect from you to locations outside of the European Union for processing and storing. By providing your personal data to us, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We do our upmost to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to make sure that your data is treated stored securely. Unfortunately the sending of information via the internet is not totally secure and on occasion such information can be intercepted. We cannot guarantee the security of data that you choose to send us electronically, sending such information is entirely at your own risk.

Disclosing Your Information: We will not disclose your personal information to any other party other than in accordance with this Privacy Policy and in the circumstances detailed below:

  • In the event that we sell any or all of our business to the buyer. Where we are legally required by law to disclose your personal information.
  • To further fraud protection and reduce the risk of fraud.
  • Third Party Links – On occasion we include links to third parties on this website. Where we provide a link it does not mean that we endorse or approve that site’s policy towards visitor privacy. You should review their privacy policy before sending them any personal data.
  • To fulfil the delivery of competition prizes.

Access to information

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 you have the right to access any information that we hold relating to you. Please note that we reserve the right to charge a fee of £10 to cover costs incurred by us in providing you with the information.

Contacting Us: Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding any matter relating to this Privacy Policy at

You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by contacting us as detailed above.

Coronavirus pandemic

In this time of crisis, we need to work closely with The Big Issue Foundation and other support providers to meet vendor needs as they present themselves in as flexible and speedy manner as possible, within the resources available.

Please read the following Privacy Notice and refer any questions to your usual Big Issue contact.

Privacy Notice for Vendors

We take the safeguarding of personal data very seriously. “The Big Issue”, “we”, “us” and “our” means The Big Issue Company Limited and The Big Issue In Scotland and we are committed to respecting your privacy. The Big Issue Company Ltd and The Big Issue In Scotland Ltd are registered companies in the UK at 3rd Floor, 113-115 Fonthill Road, London N4 3HH. The company registration number of The Big Issue Company Ltd is 3049322 and the company registration number of The Big Issue In Scotland Ltd is SC144546.

You are a vendor if you have been accepted by us to sell The Big Issue magazine. This usually entails going through a brief induction to vending and the issue to you by us of a badge identifying you as a vendor. For the purposes of you selling the magazine, our relationship is wholesaler-retailer. However, we may also provide services to you in the form of signposting you to specialist agencies in your local area and to The Big Issue Foundation, our sister charity.

What this privacy notice is about

For the purposes of data protection law, we are a data controller in respect of your personal data. The Big Issue may need to collect and hold certain personal information relating to you in connection with your relationship with us as one of our vendors. We are responsible for ensuring that we use your personal data in compliance with data protection law. This privacy notice applies to any information you provide us when you contact us in person, by email and/or by phone. This consent form sets out the basis on which any personal data about you that you provide to us, that we create, or that we obtain about you from other sources, will be processed by us. Please take the time to read and understand this privacy notice.

How we collect information about you

If you are buying The Big Issue or receiving advice, guidance or support from us, we will need to process your data because of your specific relationship with us. We may collect and process the following personal information or data (information that can be uniquely identified with you) about you:

  • Information required to become and operate as a vendor including your name and contact details;
  • Details of any services you access via us;
  • A record of any correspondence between you and us;
  • Your replies to any surveys or questionnaires that we may use for research purposes;
  • Information we may require from you when you report a problem or complaint.

We may also collect your personal data where we receive information about you from third parties; for example, housing agencies and referrals agencies. Third parties should only provide us with this information where you have given them permission to share your information. When you call and speak to us, any personal or sensitive information may be used for training purposes, quality assurance, complaint investigations, and to make further improvements to the way we interact with you. These calls are not recorded.

Why we collect your data

We collect personal data for many reasons, including to communicate with you and, if you choose to do this, to provide you with services or provide you information you have requested. Depending on how you interact with us, we may process data for the following reasons:

  • to recognise you as a Big Issue vendor with a current badge so that our staff know they are able to sell the magazine to you;
  • to signpost you to advice, support or legal services that you have requested;
  • so that you can access the Foundations Vendor Support Fund or any other funds thatare available to you as a vendor;
  • to record personal details shared during conversations with our front line teams;
  • for our own internal administrative purposes, and to keep a record of your relationshipwith us;
  • to manage your communication preferences;
  • to conduct surveys, research and gather feedback;
  • to obtain information to improve our offering;
  • to carry out research to find out more information about our vendors and prospectivevendors’ backgrounds; and
  • to comply with applicable laws and regulations, and requests from statutory agencies.

What personal information we collect

We may collect personal data about you if you contact us or in other ways (i.e. in relation to the services we provide to you (e.g. support and signposting services) or from authorised third parties). The personal data that we may collect or process about you is information that you provide to us: this includes information about you that you give us by communicating with us, whether face-to-face, by phone, e-mail or otherwise. This information may include, but may not be limited to:

  • Your full name;
  • contact details – including telephone number(s), and email address;
  • date of birth;
  • gender;
  • details of your current housing situation;
  • details of any identification details (ID) such as birth certificate, passport, driverslicense;
  • details of your financial situation such as having a bank account, post office account,credit union account and your account details – N.B. we will only collect your account details if these are necessary for you to access a grant from the Foundation’s Vendor Support Fund or some other source of grant finance;
  • details of any criminal convictions or release from prison on licence;
  • records of your correspondence and engagement with us;
  • images of you in CCTV in some of our offices and photographs for your badge andother purposes;
  • biographical information;
  • other information you share with us; and
  • Information we collect about you.

We may collect information from you in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • any paper forms you complete;
  • telephone conversations;
  • face-to-face interactions;
  • digital forms completed via our website;
  • online surveys;
  • third-party companies and websites;
  • publicly available sources;
  • communication via social media; and
  • other information you share with us.

Sensitive personal information.

We may collective sensitive personal information from you, in order to signpost you to support services and so that we interact with you appropriately. This personal information may include, but is not limited to:

  • your ethic origin and nationality;
  • physical or mental health;
  • details of any addictions you may have;
  • details of any substance misuse you may have; and
  • other sensitive personal information you share with us.

We will only process this data where we have your explicit consent unless we are permitted to do so in other circumstances under data protection law.

How we use your information

Your personal data may be stored and processed by The Big Issue in the following ways and for the following purposes:

  • providing you with information about us and to help coordinate support and services provided by The Foundation and/or external organisations, and managing our relationship with you;
  • to obtain further information about you, such as regarding your health (including mental health), housing situation, financial circumstances, education, training, qualifications and previous employment;
  • to protect your health interests (e.g. disclosing medical history so that we make any reasonable adjustments if you have a disability);
  • reporting to the appropriate legal and regulatory authorities;
  • and for awareness-raising and fundraising activities, for example we write and provide case studies to explain our work and give examples of how we can help other individuals who may have similar circumstances to you. No personal identifiable information is used without your signed consent.

We may use your data for statistical reports. These statistics will not include any information that could be used to identify any individual. We may use your data for profiling to enable us to communicate with you effectively, e.g. we may sometimes use your data for analysis purposes, based on information that you have provided to us such as location. We use anonymised data in all our profiling activities.

You have the right to object to our lawful processing of your information at any time, and can do so by contacting us in accordance with the “Contacting Us” section below.

Legal basis on which we process personal data

Personal data we hold about you will be processed for one or more of the following reasons:

  • we have obtained your consent to do so;
  • we need to so in order to connect you with support and services;
  • we have legal and regulatory obligations that we have to discharge; and/or
  • the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests (or the legitimate interests of a third party) unless your interests in data privacy and security override our legitimate interests.

You have the right to withdraw and/or object to our lawful processing of your information at any time and can do so by contacting us in accordance with the “Contacting Us” section below.

Disclosure of your information to third parties

We may share your personal data with our affiliates (for example, The Big Issue Foundation) and other third parties. We will take steps to ensure that the personal data is only accessed by employees of such companies that have a need to do so for the purposes described in this privacy notice. We may also share your personal data outside of The Big Issue:

  • where you have provided us with your data so that you may access the Foundation’s Vendor Support Fund or other fund, we will need to share this data with the Foundation or other funder for their own accounting, administrative and other processes;
  • where you instruct us to share your personal information with a third party, you authorise us to deliver that content via email, SMS or other electronic messaging or communication system;
  • to third parties and external organisations to help coordinate support so that you can get the most out of your relationship with The Big Issue and so we can signpost you to services provided by third parties;
  • to third parties where there is a serious risk of harm to you and/or others;
  • if our legal structure or status changes, in which case personal data held by us aboutyou will be disclosed to the new legal structure;
  • to third party agents or contractors (for example, the providers of our electronic datastorage services) for the purposes of providing services to us. These third parties will be subject to confidentiality requirements and they will only use your personal data as described in this form;
  • to the extent required by law, for example if we are under a duty to disclose your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, establish, exercise or defend our legal rights;
  • to our professional advisors and banks for the purpose of providing services to us, where we are required to disclose your identity for regulatory and legal purposes;
  • to third party agents or contractors for the purposes of providing services to us. These third parties will be subject to confidentiality requirements and they will only use your personal data as described in this privacy notice;
  • and, we will take steps to ensure that the personal data is accessed only by employees of such companies that have a need to process your data for the purposes described in this notice.

We will never pass on your information to third party organisations without your explicit and informed consent other than for the purposes as described above. We do not sell or share personal details to third parties for the purposes of marketing.

How we keep your data safe and who has access

We take appropriate physical, electronic and managerial measures to ensure that we keep your information secure, accurate and up to date. For example, the data transmission between our server and database is always encrypted and our network is protected and routinely monitored. We will keep all your information, including notes, letters and information given to us about you, in a confidential record that is specific to you.

We use a customer relationship management CRM) database. This means that we can keep the information you provide us, so we are able to see your history and relevant details. It ensures that we provide appropriate and accurate advice or support. We take information security very seriously. No one is allowed access to this system or our files unless for one of the other purposes discussed in this notice. Where we use third party companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf (as detailed above), we do comprehensive checks on these companies before we work with them, and put a contract in place that sets out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage the personal data they collect or have access to.

Our staff have all been trained in the principles of data protection and apply these when working in their office bases or when working from home. When working from home, data is not stored locally but remains on our server and is therefore protected by the same encryption and other security arrangements as when staff are office-based.

Retention of personal data

How long we hold your personal data for will vary. The retention period will be determined by various criteria including:

  • the purpose for which we are using it: we will need to keep the data for as long as is necessary for that purpose; and,
  • legal obligations: laws or regulation may set a minimum period for which we have to keep your personal data.

We only keep your information for as long as we need to, to be able to use it for the reasons given in this privacy policy. In general terms we remove identifiable personal information from our electronic records 3 years after the last date on which you have interacted with us, we remove identifiable personal information from our paper records 1 year after the last date on which you have interacted with us. We will retain the banking information you provided to us until the end of 2021 or 3 months after the end of a service provided by us (i.e. online subscriptions).

You have the right to object to your data being processed by us and can do so by contacting us in accordance with the “Contacting Us” section below.

You can request a copy of the personal information that we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. If you would like to do so, please send a description of the information you would like as well as approved proof of identity to your local Sales & Operations Manager.

Your rights

You have a number of legal rights in relation to the personal data that we hold about you. These rights include:

  • the right to obtain information regarding the processing of your personal data and access to the personal data which we hold about you;
  • the right to withdraw your consent to our processing of your personal data at any time. Please note, however, we may still be entitled to process your personal data if we have another legitimate reason (other than consent) for doing so.
  • in some circumstances, the right to receive some personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or request that we transmit that data to a third party where this is technically feasible. Please note that this right only applies to personal data which you have provided to us;
  • the right to request that we rectify your personal data if it is inaccurate or incomplete;
  • the right to request that we erase your personal data in certain circumstances. Please note that there may be circumstances where you ask us to erase your personal databut we are legally entitled to retain it;
  • the right to request that we restrict our processing of your personal data in certaincircumstances. Again, there may be circumstances where you ask us to restrict our processing of your personal data but we are legally entitled to refuse that request;
  • and, the right to lodge a complaint with the data protection regulator (details of which are provided below) if you think that any of your rights have been infringed by us. 

You can exercise your rights by contacting us using the details set out in the “Contacting us” section below. You can find out more information about your rights, or if you would like to make a complaint, you can do so by contacting the Information Commissioner, or by searching their website at

Your consent

By using our services, social media pages, or providing your information you give your consent for all the information you provide to be shared with other relevant organisations working on our behalf and understand that it may be necessary to contact them in order to help coordinate support so that you get the most out of your relationship with The Big Issue.

You understand that your personal information may be shared with other agencies if it is believed that there is a serious risk of harm to yourself and/or others.

You also consent to our collection and use of the information you provide in the way(s) set out in this policy.

If you do not agree to this policy please do not use our social media pages or services.

Withdrawing consent

You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time (see your rights section above). You may withdraw our authority to process your personal data (or request that we restrict our processing) at any time. All requests to withdraw consent can be done at any time by contacting your local Sales & Operations Team in person, by phone, by post, and online by email.

We will endeavour to comply with such requests as soon as possible but in any event, we will comply within one month of receipt (unless a longer period of time to respond is reasonable by virtue of the complexity or number of your requests).


Vending is not intended for and should not be carried out by individuals under 18. Our policy is not to intentionally or knowingly collect, process, maintain or use personal information from any individual under the age of 18.

Keeping your information up to date

If your personal details change, please help us to keep your information up to date by notifying your office in person, by phone, by post, and online by email.

Changes to this policy

We may make changes to this policy from time to time. If we do so, we will post the changes on this page and they will apply from the time we post them. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know by contacting us in accordance with the “Contacting Us” section below

This policy was last changed on 24 March 2020.

Contacting us

If you would like further information on the collection, use, disclosure, transfer or processing of your personal data or the exercise of any of the rights listed above, please address questions, comments and requests to your local office. If you are not sure how to do this, please contact our National Sales Manager, Derek Sharples, at 17, Summer Lane, New Town, Birmingham B19 3RZ.