In order to manage the Philosophy of Physics Society’s membership, we collect some data about our visitors and securely store it on our website during the period of your membership. We do not share this data with any third parties except to provide services to you that are essential to our mission, such as secure credit card transactions and maintaining a secure membership database..

We maintain an area of the website for logged-in members only, where your university affiliation, membership level, start date, and (optionally) your website in a membership directory. But, apart from this, your data is only shared with our credit card transaction services for the purpose of processing payments, and with our private MailChimp account ensure sure you’re added to our email lists.

We describe our use of data and cookies on the Society’s website in more detail below.

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Personal Data

When you register for a Philosophy of Physics Society membership, we save your name, email address, university affiliation, country of residence, username, and password. Optionally, if you add your website url or upload an avatar image to your user account, then we save that too.

This information is used to:

  • Set up your membership account, which provides access your private member area.
  • Add your name and email address to our mailing list through MailChimp. You can independently unsubscribe from MailChimp by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any of our emails.
  • Display a Membership Directory to all logged in members, which includes your name, membership subscription level, date of registration, and university affiliation, as well as your website or avatar if you choose to upload one.
  • Report required information about our membership to the UK Charity Commission, which regulates all charities in the UK.

Payment Data


If you decide to pay for your membership through PayPal, you will be redirected to a secure offsite payment gateway to complete your payment. We store some information about this temporarily on our website to make sure your account gets set up when you return to our site, after which that data is deleted. PayPal may also collect your billing address and phone number to confirm your credit card. You can read more about PayPal’s privacy policy on their website.


If you instead decide to pay directly through a credit card on our website, we will temporarily and securely collect your credit card number, as well as its expiration date and security code. This information is then passed to the popular payment gateway Stripe to process your purchase. You can read more about Stripe’s privacy privacy policy on their website. We will also save the last 4 digits of your credit card number and the expiration date securely on our site, in order to send you a notification email if your credit card will expire before the next recurring payment.

Collection of cookies

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer that allows websites to identify certain facts about you. We use cookies on the Philosophy of Physics Society website for three purposes.

First, our Essential Cookies allow the content of the site to be correctly displayed on your browser, such as by remembering when you are logged in. They also provide essential security services: keeping our membership data secure, deterring hackers, and preventing fraudulent transaction attempts. For example, we use Google’s reCAPTCHA service on our checkout pages to help prevent bot attacks. This service functions through the placement of several cookies.

Second, our (logged-in) User Preference Cookies cookies allow us to set preferences when you are logged in to our site. For example, if our membership software has already shown you a member message or notification, the cookie tells it that it does not need to show you again.

Finally, our Analytics Cookies are set by Google Analytics to collect anonymised data about the Philosophy of Physics Society website traffic. This helps us monitor our reach as a charity, ensure that we are reaching an appropriately international community of philosophers of physics, and detect and avoid further security issues on our site.

Complete details about all the cookies used on our site can be found in the table below.

Essential Functionality Cookies

Cookie Description
wordpress_test_cookie, wordpress_sec_*, wordpress_logged_in_* Placed by WordPress to check whether it is possible to store cookies on your browser, provide protection against hackers, store account details, and store whether a user has logged in.
wfwaf-authcookie-*, wf_loginalerted_* Placed by our security service to check whether or not a user is logged in and to protect against hackers.
SIDCC, SAPISID, __Secure-1PSID, SID, SSID, APISD, __Secure-*, HSID, 1P_JAR, NID, SEARCH_SAMESITE, CONSENT, AEC (payment page) Placed by Google’s reCAPTCHA v3 service to help prevent malicious activity by identifying whether or not you are a human.
__stripe_mid (payment page) If you purchase a membership via credit card, this cookie is placed by Stripe, a popular credit card transaction service, in order to help prevent fraudulent activity and allow for secure payment processing.
ts, ts_c, l7_az, enfore_policy, x-pp-s, tsrce, LANG (payment page) If you purchase a membership via PayPal, this cookie is placed by PayPal, a popular web transaction service, in order to help prevent fraudulent transactions and allow for secure payment processing.

(Logged-In) User Preference Cookies

Cookies Description
wp-settings-*, wp-settings-time-* Placed by WordPress to allow users to set preferences.
pmpro_visit Placed by our membership software to check whether or not a logged-in member has already been shown a message or notification or not.

Analytics Cookies

Cookies Description
_ga, _ga_* Placed by Google Analytics to store and count pageviews.

Removal and rights over your data

We only hold your data only during the period that you have an active membership with the Society. If you let your membership expire, we will delete all your membership and credit card data automatically. You can do this at any time by visiting your Membership Account > My Memberships > Cancel, and clicking the appropriate link to cancel your membership.

If you have a membership account with us, then you can also request to receive an export of the personal data we hold about you, described above.