reply back

Privacy Notice


This notice outlines how NS&I and Explain Market Research use your personal data when you sign up to, and participate in, the online NS&I Research Community.


 “Content” means everything contained in, or accessible from, the online Community which has been produced by or on behalf of NS&I. “Content” does not include Postings made by members.

“NS&I Sub-contractors” means any sub-contractor or agency that has been formally tendered to NS&I and NS&I’s partnership company.

“Website” means the website which hosts the Community. These terms and conditions only apply to the website which hosts the Community.

 “You”, “your” and “yours” refers to you, the person using the NS&I Research Community.

NS&I has commissioned Explain Market Research (an independent market research agency to build and manage this Research Community on their behalf.

Explain only collect the minimum amount of personal information that is necessary to fulfill the purpose of managing the Research Community. Explain do not sell it to third parties, and only use it as this Privacy Notice describes. Explain is subject to the UK General Data Protection Regulation which applies to the United Kingdom. NS&I and Explain are regarded as joint data controllers of that personal information for the purposes of those laws.

If you register and create an account, Explain require some basic information at the time of account creation. You will create your own username and password, and Explain will ask you for a valid email address. Explain need this information to create your account, and to be able to identify you on the NS&I Research Community. Explain will also ask for further profiling information such as gender and date of birth etc., this information is completely voluntary, just provide the information you are comfortable sharing. The collection of such data is used for research purposes and to simply inform NS&I about the demographics of their members.

Only your username and self-selected photo will be shared with other users; please do not use your email address and Explain strongly recommend that you choose a username which is not linked to your own name, and that you do not include any personal information in your postings. When selecting your member profile picture, be mindful that this can be seen by all other members in the NS&I Research Community. Please do not use a picture that is identifiable or that goes against the aforementioned standards. Community member profile pictures can be copied (via right clicking on the image and copying). Explain would recommend that when uploading a profile picture, you do not use any personal or current images from different platforms.

Explain will use your email address to communicate with you, in terms of updating you when there is new content on the Community, with opportunities to take part in market research or other topics related to the NS&I Research Community, such as if you are one of Explain’s incentive winners.

Explain have a legitimate interest in processing such personal information for communication purposes. This means Explain do not usually need your consent to send you such information. However, where consent is required Explain will ask for this consent separately and clearly.

In running and maintaining this Community Explain may collect and process the following data which may be shared with NS&I and sub-contractors of NS&I:

  • Information provided voluntarily by you. For example, when you complete your user profile or participate in Community content
  • Information about your use of Explain’s website including details of your visits such as pages viewed and the resources that you access. Such information includes traffic data, location data and other communication data. For more information on Cookies please see the “Cookies section”
  • Your email address and how you use your emails - for example whether you open them and which links you click on. For more information on Cookies please see the “Cookies section”
  • Information that you provide when you communicate with Explain by any means

Use of your information

Data can be viewed by authorised persons within Explain Market Research and NS&I to:

  • Improve the website by monitoring how you use it
  • Gather feedback to improve Explain’s services
  • Respond to any feedback you send Explain, if you’ve asked Explain to
  • Send communication emails to users relating to the NS&I Research Community, including but not exclusive to; new content, Community incentive information, changes to Community terms and conditions and privacy notice, and user account queries.

Any personal data collected by Explain when you join the NS&I Research Community, such as the first half of your post code and email address, cannot be accessed by NS&I. Interactions linked with your username and other profiling information, such as length of time as an NS&I customer, may be shared with NS&I and sub-contractors of NS&I. Any contribution that you make to the Community, such as commenting on posts or creating discussions can be seen with your username attached by other members of the Community, including NS&I staff members. You can use the ‘anonymous’ option to contribute to the Community without your username attached, in which case other members of the Community and NS&I will not be able to view this linked to your username. Please see Help and frequently asked questions for how to comment and use the anonymous setting.

Please see Terms and conditions for more information on how Explain and NS&I will use the information.


A cookie is a small data file that’s stored on your computer. It contains the address of the Website and codes that your browser sends back to the Website each time you visit a page there. Cookies may contain limited personal information, for example to remember your username when you re-visit.

The Website uses four cookies. The first cookie is a 'session' cookie, which is essential for the activation of the page and is deleted when your browser is closed.

The second cookie is for Google Analytics. Google analytics is optional for Explain’s website, if you would like information on Google Analytics cookies and how to update your preferences, please visit:

The third cookie is contained within the ‘cookie banner’ which appears when you visit the Explain website. This cookie is used to remember when you have clicked on the cookie banner to accept the use of cookies on the Website, so that you are not shown the cookie banner the next time you access the Explain website through the same device. This cookie remains active on your device for 12 months.

The fourth cookie is called ‘comm_login’ which becomes active when you select the “keep me logged in” checkbox on any device. The cookie stores a hashed token for 60 days after initially selecting “keep me logged in”, which will keep you logged in on that device for that period. After 60 days from the initial selection of “keep me logged in” you will be required to re-enter your password.



You can unsubscribe from the NS&I Research Community or delete your user account at any time by clicking here and selecting ‘leave the Community’.

Explain will keep your personal information for as long as you are a member of NS&I’s Research Community. Thereafter, Explain will keep your personal information for 3 months:

  • to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;
  • to show you that Explain acted fairly;
  • to keep records required by law.

Explain may request your address and full name in relation to the winner of any additional incentive, whereby Explain will retain the winner’s personal data, including postal address, for one month in case of any difficulties in receiving the prize. Please see Incentives for more information.

Explain will not retain your personal information for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy.

When it is no longer necessary for Explain to retain your personal information Explain will delete it or anonymise it.

Where your data is stored

All data is stored securely at Explain’s head office within the UK (details of which are set out below). Please see Explain’s External Privacy Policy for more information.

If you have any queries or complaints about the way your data is handled please contact Explain using the details below. You can also request a copy of the data held on you using these details.

Your rights

You have a range of data protection rights in relation to the information we hold about you. To find out how to exercise your rights see the section below called ‘Access to personal information’.

Note that not all of the rights are absolute – some of them depend on which lawful basis we are using to process your information.

Right of access - You can ask us to provide you with a copy of the information we hold about you by making a ‘Data Subject Access Request’. For more information, see the following section: “Access to personal information”

Right to data portability - Where we process your personal information by automated means for contractual purposes, or with your consent, you can ask us to provide the information we hold about you in a structured, machine readable format (for example a CSV fi le).

Right to rectification – If the information we hold about you is incorrect, out of date or incomplete, please let us know and we will put it right.

Right to restrict processing - If you think the information we hold about you isn’t accurate, you can ask us not to process it until we have corrected any errors or verified that the information is accurate.

Right to erasure - You can ask us to delete your personal information when:

  • we no longer need it
  • you have given us consent and you later withdraw it
  • you have objected to the processing and we have no lawful basis to continue processing it
  • we are legally obliged to delete it.

Right to object – Where we have a legitimate interest, or, are carrying out a task in the public interest, in processing your personal information, you can object to the processing, based on your particular situation, where it is causing you damage or distress or where it impacts your rights.

Right not to be subject to automated decision-making – Some of our processes are partly or wholly automated, but we don’t make decisions that have a significant or legal effect on you.

You can read more about these rights here –

Access to personal information

Explain tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if Explain hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the General Data Protection Regulation. If Explain does hold information about you Explain will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why Explain are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to Explain for any personal information Explain may hold, you need to put the request in writing addressing it to the address provided below;

Data Protection Lead

The Core

Bath Lane

Newcastle Helix

Newcastle upon Tyne



If Explain do hold information about you, you can ask Explain to correct any mistakes or erase your data by contacting the address above.

Similarly, if you would like to access personal information NS&I hold, you can download and print a data subject access request form or contact NS&I directly with all the information asked for on the form.

Further information on the NS&I privacy notice can be found here