Privacy Policy - Balance

Privacy Policy

1. About ‘What’s the Harm?’

‘What’s the Harm?’ is a campaign website developed and facilitated by Balance.

Balance is the dedicated alcohol office for the North East of England. We are hosted by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned by eleven North East local authorities.

In line with *General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we have a duty to protect personal information we collect about you via this campaign website and this privacy statement explains how we do this.

For any queries about Balance or this privacy statement, please contact us at:

Fresh and Balance
Salvus House
Aykley Heads

2. What information do we collect?

We may collect the following personal information:

  • Online identifiers – identifying you ‘pseudonymously’ online – by, for example, obtaining your IP address or the operating system of your device, through cookies. Cookies are text files that are placed on your computer to collect internet log and visitor behaviour information, if you agree to them. This enables us to track how people are using our website, disseminate our health campaign advertisements and improve functionality.
  • Photographs/media/PR. Personal information, such as a person’s photograph or a short film showing their name and job title are featured on the ‘What’s the Harm?’ website, but only after explicit consent is obtained from the persons involved. Consent is requested and obtained through a media consent form issued by us or our approved **media agencies.

We don’t seek to collect or process sensitive personal information (known as ‘special category information’). This includes information about someone’s health or religious beliefs for example.

However, if a person voluntarily chooses to provide us with such sensitive details by, for example, describing the status of their health in a film on our website or PR, we will ensure this information is edited and used appropriately and only if we have obtained explicit consent from the person to do so.

3. How we use your information

We will only obtain and store personal information and contact you for the purposes as described in section 2.

From time to time, and only when relevant and with consent, we share personal information of people who contact us with our approved **media agencies to help us develop and deliver campaigns and media services on our behalf. An example would be when someone contacts us by email to share their personal story around alcohol and we include this information as part of a PR piece or feature the person and their story in a short film. In these instances, we would request explicit consent from the person before exchanging their information with our media agencies and it will only be used for the purposes explained to them.

We collect cookies on campaigns because they enable us to track how people are using our website and therefore they help us to improve its functionality, as aforementioned in section 2. We also use cookies to serve you our health campaign advertisements on social media sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We will never sell or trade personal information to third parties.

4. Hyperlinks to other sites

Our website may contain hyperlinks to other third party or affiliated websites.

This privacy statement covers this website only so if you link to other websites, you should read the website’s own privacy statement.

5. Communications

If you receive any other communications from Balance, or in relation to this website, but would not like to, you can opt out of this by emailing

Alternatively, if you don’t currently receive communications from us but would like to, please email

6. How do we keep your personal information safe?

We look after personal information carefully and undertake several robust security measures:

  • We prevent unauthorised access to, or use or disclosure of it, by restricting who has access to it
  • Our staff receives regular data protection training
  • We have a set of detailed data protection procedures which staff are required to follow when handling personal data
  • We only store personal information so long as it is required for the purpose(s) we collected it for and we regularly review what information we store and appropriately dispose of that which is no longer necessary
  • We regularly update our computers and electronic systems with appropriate fire-wall protection and anti-virus software

We cannot absolutely guarantee the security of the internet or external networks of a user’s own device.

7. Your rights

We want our website users to remain in control of their personal information and to ensure this is accurate and up to date.

You can inform us if the information we have for you is incorrect or incomplete and you also have the right to request a copy of your information at any time.

You also have the right for your information to be deleted.

You can request any of the above by contacting us via the contact details provided in section one.

For further details about data protection or privacy rights, you can view the following websites or contact the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which oversees data protection compliance in the UK:

8. Updates to this statement

We regularly review this privacy statement. When we do, we will revise the date shown. We encourage users to check this page regularly to stay informed of any changes and how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect.

This policy was last updated on 30th October 2018.

*From 25 May 2018, GDPR replaces the former EU data protection law. For further details please see

** Gardiner Richardson is an approved and contracted media agency to Balance. They provide media and campaigns services on our behalf and in doing so, we will from time to time share personal data with them in order for us to carry out our business and provide services. However, we will only do so with your consent.

Gardiner Richardson
Generator Studios,
Trafalgar Street,
Newcastle upon Tyne