Who we are
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is Edinburgh’s oldest visitor attraction and has five floors with over 100 fascinating hands-on interactive exhibitions, including stunning views of the city from its Rooftop Terrace. The attraction is the only opportunity in Edinburgh to see live panoramas of the city from inside the mysterious Victorian rooftop chamber, as moving images of Edinburgh are projected onto a viewing table through a giant periscope. Hear the history as our guide entertains you with stories from the past and present.
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is owned and operated by Visitor Centres Limited, registered in Edinburgh No 45749. Registered Office Landmark, Carrbridge, Inverness-shire.
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
Any electronic communications will be made in accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)
What is personal information?
Personal information is anything which enables us to identify you in some way such as a name, email address, or an online identifier such as an IP address.
You may be asked to provide personal information through our digital channels such as the Website or via our leaflets and paper forms or by phone call.
Special category data means personal information revealing your racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious or philosophical beliefs; or trade union membership; genetic data; biometric data; data related to your health or data concerning your sex life or sexual orientation; and criminal convictions or involvement in criminal proceedings.
What information do we collect about you?
- The information we collect (personal or not)
- Why we collect it
- How long we store it
- Our legal basis for processing your personal data
- Who if anyone we disclose your personal data to
- Your rights and how you can see, update or delete your personal data
- To make it easy to understand what data we collect about you we have grouped this policy into how you and others get information from us/interact with us
- Our digital services
- Services we use to communicate like social media
- Contact us directly, via email, phone, letter
Website and digital platforms
When you interact with our digital platforms, we do not automatically capture or store personal data from our visitors, but we may automatically capture other information about your visit. This is to help us better understand how visitors use our digital platforms to enable us to create better content and more relevant communications:
- How you have reached our digital platform and the internet protocol (IP) address you have used
- Your browser type, versions and plug-ins, and your operating system
- Your journey through our digital platform, including which links you click on and any searches you made, how long you stayed on a page, and other page interaction information
- Which videos you have watched and for how long
- What content you like or share
- Which adverts you saw and responded to
- Which pop up or push messages you might have seen and responded to
- Your subscription status
- Demographic information such as geographical location and gender if available
- Information collected in any forms you complete
We may also analyse which marketing activity led to your taking specific action on our digital platforms.
Digital analytics tools such as Google Analytics and DoubleClick may be used to record anonymous user's interaction with Camera Obscura and World of Illusions website. This data may then be used to retarget users through advertising on other websites, therefore an individual's behaviour on one of our websites may result in them being retargeted with advertising related to the pages they visited or actions they took on the site.
To use Wi-Fi at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, you need to accept our terms and conditions. We will request your email address and contact you only once after your visit. This information is then deleted in line with our general retention policy unless you have signed up to our email newsletter.
When you use Camera Obscura Wi-Fi we may collect data about:
- Your device
- The volume of data which you use
- The websites and applications which you access
- Your usage by access time, frequency and location
- When you provide personal data
Personal information may be collected such as your name, postal address, email address, telephone number and bank account details to process purchases. This is a legal requirement for the contract we have with you for sale of products or services. If you do not provide the details then we likely cannot provide the Products to you.
Your personal information will be used to administer and provide the products and services you request or have expressed an interest in and / or to communicate with you in the products or services you have purchased or expressed an interest in change or become unavailable.
Request information materials
Occasionally you can request a leaflet or information pack by post. In order to do this, we need your name and postal address and the information requested. Our legal basis for processing is contract and we will retain it for two months after the request.
However, if you consent to future marketing we will continue to process your data on that basis. We store this in a secure database for five years after your last communication with us, unless you withdraw consent. If you withdraw consent it will be deleted within a month.
Request email newsletters
We have a regular email newsletter to share information about Camera Obscura and World of Illusions with those who have opted-in to receive this form of communication.
To provide these newsletters, we request contact details including but not limited to your full name and email address.
We only collect this data when we have your consent and retain it on a secure database. We store this data for five years after your last communication with us, unless you withdraw consent. If you withdraw consent it will be deleted within a month.
Enter a competition
When you enter a competition, we may collect your name, email address and postal address. You are also given the option to consent to future marketing from us and our partners. We process this data as part of our contract to you and we retain it for 2 months after the competition has closed.
However, if you consent to future marketing we will continue to process your data on that basis. We may use this data and other data we hold about you to tailor the communications we send and improve our service to you and others. We store this in a secure database for five years after your last communication with us, unless you withdraw consent. If you withdraw consent it will be deleted within a month.
Give us feedback (unprompted)
You do not need to include your name or contact details in order to provide us with general feedback or information. You will however need to include an email address if you want us to reply to you. For some enquiries, contact details will be required.
We will only use any personal information provided to deal with your request and will not share it with other organisations. This data is stored for six months after we respond to your feedback, in case you ask for more detail or have other feedback you'd like to make.
We reserve, however the right to use non-personal information for business, research and marketing purposes. Uses include:
- An internal report listing technical problems on the website and solutions
- Marketing literature using quotes drawn from feedback about the site
Our legal basis for processing this data is legal obligation.
Give us feedback (when we ask you)
We may ask you for feedback after you have visited the attraction. You need to include an email address for us to contact you with an online feedback form, if you want us to reply to you or you would like to be included in future research.
By giving us your personal data, you consent to us processing it. We will store it securely for a maximum of 14 months.
We may share this data with a research agency who conduct the research on our behalf and destroy the personal data when the research is complete.
When you use other services (like Facebook) to interact with us
When you use a social media platform, details about how your personal information is held, is described within the relevant social media policy, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Forms on social media
If you send us a private or direct message via social media the message will be stored on the relevant platform for one year and then confidentially destroyed. It will not be shared by any other organisations.
Our legal basis for processing this information is contract and we do so to fulfil a service to you.
You can sign up for email newletters via social media, please see the 'request an email newsletter' section and the terms presented in the service at the point of sign-up.
We will hold personal details supplied in the application to work for Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. This will include, but is not limited to, name, postal address, email and telephone number.
We will store your details securely for a maximum of six months after the application deadline and then confidentially destroy it.
When you make a complaint to us, you can do so via an online form, email, telephone, letter or in person. The complaint is logged by our administration team and directed to the appropriate member of the team to respond.
A complaint can be made anonymously. However if you do provide personal data, we will only use the information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide.
By giving us your personal data you consent to us processing it. We retain personal data obtained from complaints for seven years and then confidentially destroy it.
Children aged 13-16 years
Children aged 13-16 years if visiting the attraction without an adult (someone aged 16 or over) will need to complete our confirmation of age declaration. This is to supply emergency contact details should they be required. This includes name, date of birth and telephone number. The legal basis for this information is vital interest. Data is stored for 3 months.
If you or someone you are responsible for has an accident while at the attraction we will ask you some questions to properly asses, offer support and administer appropriate first aid if needed. This includes, but is not limited to name, telephone number, address, accident information, first aid given. Data on accident reports is stored for 3 years.
If you choose to leave personal belongings in our storage cupboard during your visit you will need to complete a luggage storage form. This is to make sure there is a clear understanding to the terms and conditions under which the items are stored and that we have a means to contact you should items be left or forgotten. The data required includes, but is not limited to name, telephone number and date of visit. Data is stored for 2 weeks or until collection of left items.
If you lose a personal item while visiting, we will complete a lost property form. The data required includes, but it not limited to details of item lost, name, telephone number, date of visit. Data is stored for 3 months.
Borrowing Support Items
If you or someone you are responsible for uses one of our supporting items during their visit, such as a baby carrier or sensory backpack, you will need to complete our agreement for use declaration. This is to make sure there is a clear understanding to the use of the supporting items and that they are returned in the condition they were borrowed. The data required includes, but is not limited to name, telephone number and date of visit. Data is stored for 3 months.
When you contact us directly
When you phone us
We do not collect caller line identification information when you call us. We will only collect personal information that you consent to provide to us in order to deliver a service.
When you email us
When you contact us via email, we will retain your email and our response to it for as long as the business issue remains. After this, the information will be confidentially destroyed.
When you write to us
When you contact us via post, we will retain your letter/postal address/personal information and our response to it for as long as the business issue remains. After this, the information will be confidentially destroyed.
When we contact you
We may email you regarding a contract or service or in response to a request, you have made. Your data will be stored for the purpose and time required to fulfil this.
We only send emails to you promoting Camera Obscura and World of Illusions where we have your consent. We store this in a secure database for five years after your last communication with us, unless you withdraw consent. If you withdraw consent, we will delete your data within a month.
Occasionally we send leaflets or information packs by post.
We only communicate to you via post where we have your prior consent. Our legal basis for processing this data is consent.
We store this information for five years after consent has been withdrawn or we no longer believe it in your interest.
We may contact you by telephone regarding a contract or service or in response to a request, you have made. Your data will be stored for the purpose and time required to fulfil this.
We will retain your personal information relating to the correspondence and our response to it for as long as the business issue remains. After this, the information will be confidentially destroyed.
What we do with your information
Depending on your relationship with Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and the preferences you have indicated, data we hold may be used by us for the following purposes:
- To communicate with you about the products or services you have purchased; for example sending you an email admission ticket
- To allow us to process your payment. We do not receive your credit card details when you pay via our Website. Any card information which you provide to us in writing or over the phone will be securely destroyed
- To inform you of any changes which may affect your visit; for example if we were to unexpectedly close to inform you prior to your visiting the attraction
- Send you promotional or marketing information by post, telephone or electronic means. These types of communications can include:
- informing you of other products, services or events related to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, such as exhibitions, events, or retail offers
- news and updates about Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, such as via printed leaflets and guides, and marketing or supporter e-newsletters
- other relevant communications based upon your relationship with Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.
- To send you surveys, and for market research purposes
- Tools may be used to monitor the effectiveness of our communications with you, including email tracking, which records when an e-newsletter from us is opened and/or how many links are clicked within the message. The data from this tracking is used in an aggregated and anonymised form
- CCTV is in operation for your safety and security in public areas of the premises. This information is stored temporarily. CCTV signs are visible at our entrance
You can opt out of any / all of our communications at any point simply by contacting email@example.com
Who we might share your information with?
We do not disclose personal data to any third parties or external organisations, other than data processors carrying out work on our behalf.
Examples of such data processors would be mailing houses for the sending of our information leaflets and bulk email distribution services.
Any such companies are acting as approved data processors for Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and we retain full responsibility for your personal data. Data processors will act only on our instructions.
We may occasionally need to transfer your personal information overseas, for instance to our bulk email distributor, MailChimp. Where this is necessary, this may be to countries or territories around the world.
We may make use of the non-personal information we have collected from you to enable us to identify and target advertisements to a particular target audience. Data such as postcodes (without other identifiers) may be shared with partner agencies or marketing consultants to help aggregate information about our users and customers. We may also make use of aggregated and statistical information with third parties involved in maintaining or developing our websites. Aggregated information is always anonymous.
We are required to ensure any transfers of data will be done securely, in accordance with best practice, and in compliance with current UK data protection legislation including GDPR.
Your data will never be sold or passed to any third party for any other purpose.
How we keep your information secure
We have implemented security procedures, rules and technical measures to protect the personal data that we have under our control from:
- unauthorised access
- improper use or disclosure
- unauthorised modification
All our employees and data processors, who have access to, and are associated with the processing of personal data, are legally obliged to respect the confidentiality of our visitors’ personal data.
We cannot guarantee the security of your home computer or the internet, and any online communications (e.g. information provided by email or our website) are at the user’s own risk.
Please note that our website and other digital platforms may contain links to third party websites / digital platforms which are provided for your convenience.
We are only responsible for the privacy practices and security of our own digital platforms.
We recommend that you check the privacy and security policies and procedures of each and every other website / digital platform that you visit.
General retention periods
We will not hold your personal information for any longer than is necessary, unless we are required to keep your personal data longer to comply with the law and any regulatory requirements.
Depending on how we interact with you we may hold your data for different periods.
If you have visited or have purchased any item as a customer, we will hold your contact information for a period of seven (7) years after your last point of contact. This is so that we can send you information and marketing materials related to goods, services and activities which we feel may be relevant to you.
If you are under 13
When an individual purchases a product or opts to join our mailing list we will ask for confirmation that they are aged 13 and over. We will not contact anyone under the age of 13 years. We will only retain relevant personal data of children who are to receive information relating to requested materials, such as participating in our educational or young person events.
How can I access the information about me, and correction of information?
You can ask us if we are keeping any personal data about you and you can also request to receive a copy of that personal data – this is called a Subject Access Request.
Your rights include:
- the right to access the personal information held about the you by making a subject access request in accordance with the data protection legislation. We may charge a reasonable fee when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive
- the right to have your personal information rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
- the right to request to have your personal information deleted in certain specific circumstances as set out in the data protection legislation
- the right to request to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain specific circumstances as set out in the data protection legislation
- the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes or for purposes based on our legitimate interests (in certain circumstances as set out in the data protection legislation)
- the right to ask us to not undergo automated decision making
- where you have provided consent, to request to withdraw such consent at any time
There are some exemptions to the above rights that are permitted under the data protection legislation. If you have any queries as to what these are then please get in touch.
Please note that if you choose to exercise your rights to have personal data restricted or deleted, then we may not be able to provide you with a full service.
Further details about your rights can be found on the ICO’s website at https://ico.org.uk/
We will need you to provide identification in order to comply with your request to exercise your rights. Once we have received your information request, and your identification, we will respond within the required timescales unless a permitted exemption applies.
Subject Access Requests should be sent to:
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
At any time you may request that we delete or correct your personal information. If you wish to correct any information on you held by Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
We regularly review our privacy notice, and may make changes time to time. Any changes made will be posted to this page, and will apply from the time we post them. This privacy notice was last updated on 18 April 2023.
How to contact us
- by email to email@example.com;
- or write to us at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2ND
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from us or how we handle your personal information, then you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office via https://ico.org.uk/