Hello SEQ Legal Advisor,
I have been a scientist for over 45 years. I still collaborate with peers on a voluntary basis. I have been fortunate to be the author of several seminal theories and discoveries in my field of study.
Recently, I have been contacted by a not-for-profit membership organisation that has identified my achievements to be exemplary and have offered me an honorary fellowship of the organisation. They now want to publish my name and photograph alongside some publicly available information about my work on their organisation?s website.
I haven?t yet responded to them. I want to understand if I have the right to refuse their fellowship and ask them not to use my name and details on their website. However, this is an honorary fellowship and it seems people within my field of expertise have nominated me for it. I am asking this as the membership organisation is very new and I personally do not know the individuals involved in running the organisation. Also, I am unaware of the future initiatives, the organisation would be moving towards. As of now it seems the organisation has a noble objective and is felicitating individuals as me like several others do.
Can they publish my details even if I refuse their fellowship for any reason? And if they do so, can i force them to remove those from their website as I may not want to associate with them.
Thank you for going through my request.
Prof. R. G Sharma
Alasdair Taylor's Answer
There may be some legal tools you could use to put pressure on them here. Most obvously, if EU data protection law applies, then some of the standard data subject rights might be of help. For details of the rights, see: