The Alumni Assocation's Data Protection Statement

Data Protection Statement
for the University of Helsinki Alumni Association

This statement explains how the University of Helsinki Alumni Association (“we” and “our”) handles and uses the personal data we collect about our alumni members and our past, current and future supporters, whether donors, volunteers or participants in membership groups that we run (“you” and “your”). This document is subordinated to the by laws and member terms of the University of Helsinki Alumni Association, that every member has approved when joining the Association.

The Alumni Association is a strategic partner of the University of Helsinki. “The University” in this context means the central University, our individual schools, faculties, departments and research institutes, and the museums, libraries and other cultural and recreational facilities of the same. Developing a better understanding of our members as well as other alumni of the University of Helsinki allows us and the University to keep in touch with you, in order to keep you informed of our activities and developments, to provide services to you, and to identify ways in which you can support us, through financial and non-financial support.

We are committed to protecting your personal information and being transparent about what information we hold. The following statement sets out how we use your personal data for alumni relations and alumni engagement purposes.

Personal data held by the Association

We may hold information relating to you from a number of sources. A significant proportion of the information we hold on alumni is that which you provide to us. For example, you may give us information by filling in our member registration forms, or by corresponding with us by telephone, email or otherwise. If you are a student or studied at University of Helsinki, some of your personal data may be updated manually based on your student record to the the Alumni Association database (e.g. birth date, graduation year). We also record, in some cases, publicly available information and information from our partners, such as public company pages and LinkedIn.

Our records contain:

  • details of your education (e.g. your faculty, the courses you have completed, dates of study)
  • unique personal identifiers and biographical information (e.g. date of birth and former last name)
  • your contact details (and we update these whenever you let us know that they have changed or based on regular updates that we have commissioned from the Population Register Centre each year in April for persons who have not paid their membership fee for the current year
  • details of your interactions with the Alumni Association, including:
    • your membership in the Association and its clubs and groups and independent alumni groups that we have a double membership contract with
    • your attendance at our events and events arranged in co-operation with our partners
    • other contact with us or our partners
    • details of benefits and services provided to you that are presented on our webpage
    • your activity in the our working groups, delegation and board, your volunteering history and other forms of engagement such as mentoring, advocating or sharing
    • your relationships with other alumni or supporters of the University
  • details about your family (e.g. the name of your partner or spouse)
  • personal data provided by you for a specific purposes (e.g. disability and dietary preferences for event management purposes)
  • your communication preferences, to help us provide tailored and relevant communications
  • your career highlights and other life achievements
  • information about your areas of interest and extra-curricular activities

We use targeted internet searches and may search websites (either directly or using search engines), where relevant in order to obtain and maintain the accuracy of the data listed above.

How your data is used by the Association

Your data is used by us for a number of interdependent purposes in support of alumni relations and alumni engagement. These include:

  • sending you publications (e.g. alumni magazines, the magazine Yliopisto, event invitations and updates about the University and its campaigns)
  • providing services, including access to University facilities and alumni email address
  • sending you tailored proposals, appeals and requests for alumni engagement
  • sending you details of volunteering opportunities
  • inviting you to alumni and other University events
  • the promotion of other opportunities and services available to you (e.g. offers and opportunities available through the University's network of alumni groups)
  • research in order to improve our understanding of our alumni and supporters, inform our fundraising strategy and target our communications more effectively
  • internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints
  • recording alumni engagement for each individual
  • conducting surveys, including research on when and whether particular donations or funding appeals may be of interest to you
  • administrative purposes (e.g. in order to administer an event you have registered for or attended)

Before accepting volunteers we in some cases are required to conduct due diligence, including reviewing publicly available personal data relating to the donor's criminal convictions and offences.

Communications to you may be sent by post, telephone or electronic means (principally by email), depending on the contact details we hold and the preferences expressed by you about the types of communications you wish to receive.

If you have concerns or queries about any of these purposes, or how we communicate with you, please contact us using the details listed below.

We may use automated or manual analyses to link data together to help us provide you with an improved experience, to send you communications which are relevant and timely, to identify volunteering opportunities or opportunities for providing support which may be of interest to you, and to avoid approaching you with opportunities which are not of interest. All of this enables us to engage you more cost-effectively, in support of the Alumni Association’s and the University’s strategic objectives. We always seek to ensure that any opportunities we present are aligned with your interests, based on the research we conduct.

We will always respect a request by you to stop processing your personal data, and in addition your statutory rights are set out below.

When the Association shares your data with others (our partners)

We share the above categories of data with the University when there is sufficient reasons to do so, and always case by case. We work closely with the University to provide our shared alumni and supporters with a coordinated approach. Therefore, the University’s alumni contact persons have viewing rights to the Alumni Association’s database. The head of public relations and the main user of Salesforce have full viewing rights to all fields in the Associations database to avoid double profiles in the register. Other register users are able to see that a person is a member of the association, but no further information, to avoid confusion in communication.

Any transmission of data to or from the University is managed through agreed processes which comply with relevant data protection legislation. The University of Helsinki has its own data protection statement and procedures.

Additionally, we share data on a considered and confidential basis, where appropriate, with:

  • affiliated organisations and individuals which support and provide services to alumni and supporters, such as:
    • Alumni Association clubs and groups
    • volunteer partners closely related to us (e.g. development and advisory board members, alumni societies and alumni group representatives)
  • third parties engaged by the Association to provide alumni engagement related services, such as other contractors providing services to you on our behalf or services to us
  • selected companies who provide Association or University-branded or Association or University-endorsed products and services (no personal data, only as a segmented non-personalized information)

How we protect your data

We ensure we have appropriate data sharing agreements in place before sharing your personal data.

We do not sell your personal data to third parties under any circumstances, or permit third parties to sell on the data we have shared with them.

We also facilitate communication between individual alumni, but in doing so we do not release personal contact details without prior permission.


Information about our members is registered mainly in Salesforce, but also in MailChimp and Lyyti. The programs are provided to the Association by the University of Helsinki. We have made sure that the agreement between the University and providers mentioned above are GDPR compliant and data is safely stored in Europe.

Any transfers of your data overseas (outside of the European Economic Area), for example to an international alumni organisation, as set out above, are protected either by an 'adequacy decision' by the European Commission (declaring the recipient country as a 'safe' territory for personal data) or by standard contractual clauses adopted by the European Commission (which give obligations for the recipient to safeguard the data) or, before 25 May 2018, based on the University's self-assessment of the risks involved with the transfer and its determination that the data will be adequately protected during and after the transfer.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • ask us for access to, or rectification or erasure of your data
  • restrict processing (pending correction or deletion)
  • object to communications or direct marketing
  • ask for the complete content of your data in printed form when providing your identification in the Alumni office and when scheduling a meeting three weeks in advance. Please contact us at
  • You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Tietosuojavaltuutetun toimisto at

Further information

The legal basis for processing your personal data for the interdependent purposes set out above is your membership in the Alumni Association and it is necessary for the pursuit of our legitimate interests, or the carrying out of a task in the public interest, or in the exercise of our official authority. We always handle your personal data securely and minimise its use, and there is no overriding prejudice to you by using your personal information for these purposes. In addition, there is no statutory or contractual requirement for you to provide us with any personal data.

The controller for your personal data is the University of Helsinki Alumni Assocation (Helsingin yliopiston alumni ry), and we can be contacted at Our office is responsible for monitoring compliance with relevant legislation in relation to the protection of personal data.

Please contact us at if you have any concerns or questions about the above information or you wish to ask us not to process your personal data for particular purposes. Where you have specific requests relating to how we manage your data, we will endeavour to resolve these, but please note that there may be circumstances where we cannot comply with specific requests.

We will retain your data indefinitely in support of your lifelong relationship with the University or until you request us to do otherwise. We will publish on our website any changes we make to this data protection statement and notify you by other communication channels where appropriate.

Where you exercise your right to erasure, we will continue to maintain a core set of personal data (name, subject(s), matriculation and graduation details, unique University identification number and date of birth) to ensure we do not contact you inadvertently in future, and to maintain your Alumni Association record for archive purposes. We may also need to retain some financial records about you for statutory purposes (e.g. anti-fraud and accounting matters).

If you have any concerns about your personal data held by any independent Alumni Association affiliated with us through a shared membership, you will need to contact them separately.