Let’s talk about privacy - We've updated our Privacy Policy

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 information, whether you’re shopping on boots.ie, using the Boots app or Advantage Card, using our healthcare services or having a prescription made up at your local Boots pharmacy. 

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What's changed?

European data protection will change on 25 May 2018. Like all organisations that use your personal information, Boots have to provide more information about why and how we use your personal information, the rights you have over it and what that means in practice. So, as a result of this, we’ve taken this opportunity to update our Privacy Policy. Don’t worry - the way we use your data hasn’t changed, and we still give it the same level of care and protection. We hope we’ve explained it clearly and simply, but if you want to find out more detail about the new Data Protection Regulation if you’re in Republic of Ireland, go to the Data Protection Commission (DPC) website.  

We’ve made one or two other tweaks while we’re at it, just to bring our policy up to date.


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. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact our Customer Care Team.

Who's in control of your information?

Throughout this Privacy Policy, ‘we’ or ‘Boots’ means companies within the Walgreens Boots Alliance Group, including subsidiaries, affiliates, joint ventures and franchises acting as data controller. 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’s your personal information and we’ll only send you marketing material if you’ve agreed that we can do so. You can find out more about the companies in Walgreen Boots Alliance on our website.

How we collect personal information about you

Information we get from you

Boots collects personal information about you whenever you shop with us or use our services. Some of this information you give us directly when, for example, you place an order on boots.ie, sign up for a Boots Advantage Card, use our app or post comments on our Facebook page. If you have a prescription dispensed in one of our pharmacies, other information is collected indirectly. Please see below for examples of the data we collect from you.

What you do with us

Browse boots.ie

Sign up and use your Boots Advantage Card

Use a service or product from Boots pharmacies

Personal information we collect

Browsing history and purchases

Name, address, contact details and purchases

Your contact details and prescription information

Browse boots.ie

Browsing history and purchases

Sign up and use your Boots Advantage Card

Name, address, contact details and purchases

Use a service or product from Boots pharmacies

Your contact details and prescription information

Mobile app privacy

Information we get from the Boots 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 set out below. Rest assured that we only use the permission you give 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’s 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’ve agreed that we may do so.

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 enable 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.

Wi-Fi, 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 doesn’t capture any personal information, only anonymised app usage information. To find out more about Crashlytics you can click here to read the Crashlytics Privacy Policy.

Information we get from other companies in the Walgreens Boots Alliance Group

If you’re a customer of our other brands, such as Liz Earle, 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. 

We also use your information across our brands to keep the records we hold about you accurate and up to date. For example, if you’ve updated your address in Boots and you’re also a customer of Liz Earle, we’ll update your information there, too.

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 you. 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 a new pharmacy

If you’re a customer of a pharmacy business that’s 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, please speak to the store manager.   

Information we get from your GP or healthcare professional  

Boots provides a range of clinical and healthcare services which are private services or are provided on behalf of the Health Services Executive (HSE). Where these require information to be obtained from or transmitted to your GP, we’ll tell you that this is necessary before providing you with the service. We’ll only share information to meet our regulatory obligations.

Information we 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. We do this in a way that doesn’t always identify individual customers. For example, we may look at which groups of customers that are more likely to talk to us via social media or use social media to talk about Boots products. 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.

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 it. 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 for a number of different purposes. 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, and some enable us to provide you with more relevant and personalised offers and information. 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.

How

Consent

Contractual

Legal obligation

Legitimate interest

Why

When you freely and voluntarily give your personal information to Boots, you give us your permission to process your personal information. All of the details such as: 


•    How and why Boots processes your personal information (including information concerning your health, such as your prescriptions or illnesses) 
•    How it will be used 
•    If your personal information will be shared, it’ll be provided at the time you provide such personal information


Where Boots are processing your personal information for the above reasons, you’ll see a consent tick box. 


Important: you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time if you no longer want to be part of the Boots processing activity. However, please note that any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent will remain valid. We may be unable to provide a certain number of our services to you if you withdraw your consent.

Processing personal information for the purposes of providing a service or product to you.


Important: if you don’t provide your personal information to Boots so that we can provide services or products to you, Boots will not be able to offer you the service or product.

Boots will on occasion be under a legal obligation pursuant to European Union Member State or European Union law to obtain and disclose your personal information.


Where possible, Boots will notify you when processing your data due to such a legal obligation. However, this may not always be possible (see examples).

Boots may also hold personal information 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 European Union Member State and European Union data protection laws. 


It can also apply to processing that’s in your interests as well.


Our legitimate business interests don’t automatically override your interests – we’ll not use your personal information 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 member state or European Union law.


IMPORTANT: if you have any concerns about the processing, you have the right to object to processing that’s based on our legitimate interests. For more information on your rights, please see "Your Rights" under section 5 below.

Examples

When you choose to use certain Boots services, such as administering your prescriptions or booking an appointment with a healthcare professional, by providing your personal information voluntarily you consent to us using your personal information to provide that service to you.


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.


You may also be asked to give your consent when you’re entering any sort of competition.

When you use our prescription services in-store.


When you use your Boots Advantage Card to pay for products. 


To set up and run your Boots account.


See, "Things we need to do to provide you with the services you’ve requested" under section 3.1 below.

Boots provides a range of clinical and healthcare services. As part of this, Boots are required to share certain amounts of personal information with the HSE in order to meet legal obligations. 

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


As a healthcare provider, we’re regulated by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), all of which may set out standards and codes of practice with which we need to comply. Where we provide pharmacy services in our pharmacies on behalf of the HSE, we also have to comply with HSE information governance requirements.


We may process your information to protect you against fraud when transacting on our website, and to ensure our websites and systems are secure.


The use of CCTV in our stores to prevent and detect crime.


See "Things we do to provide you with a better service" under section 3.2 below.

Consent

When you freely and voluntarily give your personal information to Boots, you give us your permission to process your personal information. All of the details such as: 


•    How and why Boots processes your personal information (including information concerning your health, such as your prescriptions or illnesses) 
•    How it will be used 
•    If your personal information will be shared, it’ll be provided at the time you provide such personal information


Where Boots are processing your personal information for the above reasons, you’ll see a consent tick box. 


Important: you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time if you no longer want to be part of the Boots processing activity. However, please note that any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent will remain valid. We may be unable to provide a certain number of our services to you if you withdraw your consent.

When you choose to use certain Boots services, such as administering your prescriptions or booking an appointment with a healthcare professional, by providing your personal information voluntarily you consent to us using your personal information to provide that service to you.


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.


You may also be asked to give your consent when you’re entering any sort of competition.

Contractual

Processing personal information for the purposes of providing a service or product to you.


Important: if you don’t provide your personal information to Boots so that we can provide services or products to you, Boots will not be able to offer you the service or product.

When you use our prescription services in-store.


When you use your Boots Advantage Card to pay for products. 


To set up and run your Boots account.


See, "Things we need to do to provide you with the services you’ve requested" under section 3.1 below.

Legal obligation

Boots will on occasion be under a legal obligation pursuant to European Union Member State or European Union law to obtain and disclose your personal information.


Where possible, Boots will notify you when processing your data due to such a legal obligation. However, this may not always be possible (see examples).

Boots provides a range of clinical and healthcare services. As part of this, Boots are required to share certain amounts of personal information with the HSE in order to meet legal obligations. 

Legitimate interest

Boots may also hold personal information 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 European Union Member State and European Union data protection laws. 


It can also apply to processing that’s in your interests as well.


Our legitimate business interests don’t automatically override your interests – we’ll not use your personal information 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 member state or European Union law.


IMPORTANT: if you have any concerns about the processing, you have the right to object to processing that’s based on our legitimate interests. For more information on your rights, please see "Your Rights" under section 5 below.

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


As a healthcare provider, we’re regulated by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), all of which may set out standards and codes of practice with which we need to comply. Where we provide pharmacy services in our pharmacies on behalf of the HSE, we also have to comply with HSE information governance requirements.


We may process your information to protect you against fraud when transacting on our website, and to ensure our websites and systems are secure.


The use of CCTV in our stores to prevent and detect crime.


See "Things we do to provide you with a better service" under section 3.2 below.

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 also use it to contact you about orders you’ve placed, 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 object to having my data used for this?

No, this covers the many procedures 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.

Keeping our records up to date

We have a legal obligation to keep the personal information we hold accurate and up to date so we share your personal information across our group companies in order to do this. This also makes life simpler for you.

We also 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, 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.ie account or Advantage Card, aren’t applied to information held on this system. 

Can I object to 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. 

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 website we carry out identity verification, fraud prevention and anti-money laundering checks, validating the personal information you give against appropriate third party databases.

In our stores, we use CCTV to prevent and detect crime. Where we do this we display clear signage, and have internal processes in place to minimise the impact on your privacy.    

Can I object to this?

Yes, however there may be legal and regulatory reasons that these activities need to be carried out as mentioned above. Therefore, we may not be able to prevent processing your data for this reason as it’s essential to protect our customers, our colleagues and our business.

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 basic 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. This type of basic analysis is important in enabling Boots (like all major retailers) to operate efficiently. As we carry it out in a way that doesn’t identify individuals, we believe it has no impact on your privacy.  If you do wish to object, you’ll not receive all of the offers and benefits available on boots.ie or Advantage Card accounts.

Recognising you when you use our services

Whichever Boots services you use, and wherever and however you interact with us, we want to give you the same level of service to make things simple and straightforward. We use your details across our services so we can recognise you as a customer and provide consistent care - 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 for us to recognise you across our services, the following services will be affected and may not work to their full potential: 

•    .com/.ie account 
•    Boots Advantage Card
•    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
•    Boots pharmacy services  
•    Placing an order on boots.com/ie as a guest customer. You’ll not be able to sign up for an account

How do I object to this?

If you’re a new customer on boots.ie, you should use the guest checkout rather than setting up a boots.com/ie account.  

If you’re an existing customer, you’ll need to email in 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.

Personalising your online experience 

We use your personal information 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. 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’ve previously shown an interest in. This doesn’t affect the marketing material we send you.

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 your marketing options you’ve selected, it’s to offer you a service personalised to you needs.     

How do I object?

Please view the Cookies section or contact us at the contact details below. 

Running our Advantage Card scheme

The Boots 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 includ