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Privacy Policy

Great War Forum (GWF) Privacy Policy


1. Background

This privacy policy sets out how we use and protect any information about you which is obtained via this website. We may change this policy from time to time by updating this page.

If you have any queries about the content of this policy, please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the site’s main page.


When this policy is updated, you will be required to acknowledge the new terms before you can log in again.

This policy is effective from 1st May 2018.


2. Summary of policy

We only ask for sufficient personal information necessary to enable you to log in to the Great War Forum and browse the full site i.e. including areas not available to Guests and post content such as posts or images.

Any external sites linked to from any part of the GWF are not covered by this policy. Should you have concerns or queries about the privacy policies of an external site, please contact them directly.


3. Who manages this policy?

The Data Controllers for the GWF site are the Trustees of Great War Forum Limited, a not for profit Company registered in the United Kingdom.


4. What personal information do we collect and how do we collect it?

Upon registering with GWF, we only require two items of mandatory information – a display name (which does not need to be a real name) and an email address.

All other options o the registration screen and User Profile once registered are optional and can be added or removed by the member.

In addition, we record and retain the IP address used when you log in. This is only accessible to people with Administrator level access to the system and is used by our hosting company (Invisionpower Services) to build up a list of “good” and “bad” IP addresses to prevent spammers and other malicious traffic accessing the site and uploading offensive content or malware.


If you no longer wish to access the Forum, you can request that we delete all your personal information. Contact the Administration Team and we will do so.


5. Cookies

The Cookies we use are as follows:

Session Cookies – we use these when you enter our website and they remain in place whilst you are using our website. A session cookie is stored in temporary memory and is not normally retained after the browser is closed. Session cookies do not collect information from a user’s computer.

User Cookies – these remember your choices when using our website such as login details, what you have viewed and other actions that you perform whilst visiting our website. These cookies are retained after you close your web browser.

Third Party Cookies – generally these are cookies deposited by other websites which may or may not be affiliated with our website. These may be tracking, or analytical cookies. We use Google Analytics to review how the website is being used but mostly to monitor and resolve broken links. It places cookies on your device to collect anonymous information. If you click on the Paypal link (found in the “Make a donation” tab on the main menu) it will plce an additional cookie on your device to identify the GWF account to donate to. Other third party cookies could be related to external links such as YouTube videos that you post or view and other media types for videos or audio.


6. What do we do with this personal information?

We will not pass on (by sale or otherwise) your information to any third party unless required to do so by an appropriate legal instrument such as a court order or police warrant.

The data is retained solely for the purpose of enabling members to log in to the site and allow communications to members (via private messages or email notifications) from the site administrators. Depending on individual account settings, email notifications can be sent to alert members that someone has replied to a topic they have posted on. This has proved useful, particularly in the area of family history research, where some time after the initial thread a previously unknown relative will find the thread and try to contact the original poster.


7. Data retention

Retention of account data is dependant upon the status of the account.


Spammers. Spammers are accounts which sign up purely for the purpose of posting advertising or other unwanted content. Once an account has been flagged as a spammer, all the account’s posts are permanently deleted and the account/email address is blocked from being able to access the site. Given that most spammers are using fictitious email addresses and/or false IP addresses, long term retention of these account in unnecessary and they will only be retained for 6 months to prevent any recurrence of the posting.


Banned Members. These are legitimate accounts which have broken the Forum rules and the Moderating Team have decided are no longer deserving of being able to use the site. This is a rare occurrence though. Once the decision to ban a member has been made, all email notification settings will be disabled and the account is moved to a separate group which has no access to the site but all account information is retained. After allowing for a grace period of 6 months to allow the Moderating Team time to possibly reverse the decision, the email address for the account will be added to a special area of the Administrator Control Panel to prevent it being used to re-register on the site the account will be deleted and the account’s content will be transferred to an anonymous Guest account.


Deceased Members. Legitimate members of the site who have died. These accounts will be moved to the R.I.P. group which has no access to the site so no-one else e.g. friends or family can post under that account. The Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulations do not apply to deceased persons for this level of personal information.


Inactive Members. Accounts which have fewer than 3 content items which have not logged in for 12 months will be deleted at regular intervals. Any content posted will be transferred to the anonymous Guest account.

Unless specifically requested by a member (see Account Deletion below), all other accounts will be retained. This will allow members to contact each other if they have a need e.g. a distant relative as described above or there is niche research posted and not repeated elsewhere on the site.


Account Deletion. If you no longer wish to use the site or be contactable, simply use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the main page of the site or email the Moderating Team at gwfteam (at) greatwarforum (dot) org using the email address your account is linked to and we will delete the account. Content posted will be transferred to an anonymous account to maintain the flow of threads and research on the site.

Third Parties

Spam Defense
The IPS Spam Defense Service passes the email address and IP address of the registering member to the service to determine the likelihood a registering account is a spam source.
We use the hCaptcha anti-bot service (hereinafter "hCaptcha") on our website. This service is provided by Intuition Machines, Inc., a Delaware US Corporation ("IMI"). hCaptcha is used to check whether the data entered on our website (such as on a login page or contact form) has been entered by a human or by an automated program. To do this, hCaptcha analyzes the behavior of the website or mobile app visitor based on various characteristics. This analysis starts automatically as soon as the website or mobile app visitor enters a part of the website or app with hCaptcha enabled. For the analysis, hCaptcha evaluates various information (e.g. IP address, how long the visitor has been on the website or app, or mouse movements made by the user). The data collected during the analysis will be forwarded to IMI. hCaptcha analysis in the "invisible mode" may take place completely in the background. Website or app visitors are not advised that such an analysis is taking place if the user is not shown a challenge. Data processing is based on Art. 6(1)(f) of the GDPR (DSGVO): the website or mobile app operator has a legitimate interest in protecting its site from abusive automated crawling and spam. IMI acts as a "data processor" acting on behalf of its customers as defined under the GDPR, and a "service provider" for the purposes of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). For more information about hCaptcha and IMI's privacy policy and terms of use, please visit the following links: https://www.hcaptcha.com/privacy and https://www.hcaptcha.com/terms.
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