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Privacy Questions and Answers

This notice describes how Merefield Technology collects and uses data about you.

What is Merefield Technology?

Merefield Technology is based in the UK and is a provider of online technology services and is the owner and maintainer of mvertigo.org, an online forum for sufferers of chronic vestibular conditions.

How does Merefield Technology collect data about me?

Merefield Technology collects data about you:

  • when you browse a forum that Merefield Technology hosts

  • when you create and use an account on a forum that Merefield Technology hosts

  • when you post, send private messages, and otherwise participate in a forum that Merefield Technology hosts

Merefield Technology collects data when you use forums that it hosts, whether you use the forums using a web browser on your own computer.

Merefield Technology does not buy or otherwise receive data about you from data brokers.

What data does Merefield Technology collect about me, and why?

Merefield Technology collects data about visits to forums.

When you visit a forum that Merefield Technology hosts, whether you have an account or not, the forum uses cookies, server logs, and other methods to collect data about what pages you visit and when.

Merefield Technology uses data about how you use the website to:

  • optimize the forum, so that it’s quick and easy to use

  • diagnose and debug technical errors

  • defend the forum from abuse and technical attacks

  • compile statistics on forum and topic popularity

  • compile statistics on the kinds of software and computers visitors use

Merefield Technology usually stores data about how you use the forum in identifiable form for just a few weeks. In special circumstances, like extended investigations about technical attacks, Merefield Technology may preserve log data longer, for analysis. Merefield Technology stores aggregate statistics about use of the forum for as long as Merefield Technology hosts the forum, but those statistics don’t include data identifiable to you personally.

Merefield Technology collects account data

Many features of forums that Merefield Technology hosts require a forum account. For example, most forums that Merefield Technology hosts require an account to post and reply to topics.

To sign up for a forum account, Discourse requires your name, a user name, and an e-mail address.

Merefield Technology uses your account data to identify you on the forum, and to create pages specific to you, like your profile page. If the forum is public, Merefield Technology publishes your account data. If the forum is access-restricted, Merefield Technology makes your account data available to everyone who can access the forum, according to the forum administrator’s configuration.

Merefield Technology uses your e-mail address to:

  • notify you about posts and other activity on the forum

  • reset your password and help keep your account secure

  • contact you in special circumstances related to your account

  • contact you about legal requests, like DMCA takedown requests

You may provide additional data for your account, like a short biography, your location, or your birthday, on the profile settings page for your account. Merefield Technology makes that data available to others who can access the forum. You don’t have to provide this additional information, and you can erase it at any time.

Merefield Technology stores your account data as long as your account remains open.

Merefield Technology collects data about posts and other activity on the forum.

Merefield Technology collects the content of your posts, plus data about bookmarks, likes, and links you follow in order to share that data with others, through the forum. If the forum is public, Merefield Technology publishes your activity. If the forum is access-restricted, or access restrictions apply to the specific post, Merefield Technology makes your activity available only to users permitted to see it.

Merefield Technology also collects data about private messages that you send through the forum. Merefield Technology makes private messages available to senders and their recipients, and also to forum administrators.

Merefield Technology stores your posts and other activity as long as your account remains open.

How can I make choices about data collection?

You can make choices about how data about you is used on the settings page for your account. When a forum uses access restrictions that vary by category, you can choose who will see your post by choosing the appropriate category.

Merefield Technology does not respond to the Do Not Track HTTP header.

Where does Merefield Technology store data about me?

Merefield Technology hosts store data in multiple data centers based in the European Union.

Merefield Technology is required to disclose personal information in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements.

Does Merefield Technology comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

Merefield Technology respects privacy rights under Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Information that GDPR requires Merefield Technology to give can be found throughout this privacy notice. So can information about specific rights, like access, rectification, erasure, data portability, and objection to automated decision-making.

Where can I access data about me?

You can see your account data at any time by visiting your account page on the forum. Your account page also lists your posts and other activity on the forum.

Your account activity page also includes a link to download all of your activity in standard comma-separated values format.

How can I change or erase data about me?

You can change your account data at any time by visiting the profile settings page for your account. The settings for a particular forum may also allow you to close your account, on the settings page for your account. Closing your account starts a process of erasing or anonymising Merefield Technology’s records of data you provided for your account. Forum administrators can also erase and anonymize accounts.

Depending on the settings for your particular forum, you may also be able to edit, anonymize, or erase your posts. When you edit posts, Merefield Technology will keep all versions of your posts. Forum administrators can view old versions of posts, and optionally make them visible to other forum visitors.

Does Merefield Technology make automated decisions based on data about me?

Merefield Technology classifies posts as spam automatically.

Merefield Technology uses data about your posts and other activity on many forums to make automated decisions about whether your posts to mvertigo.org and most forums that Merefield Technology hosts are spam. When Akismet decides that a post is likely spam, the forum refuses to accept the post.

If you think a post has been wrongly blocked or removed, contact an administrator of your forum. They can override the decision that a post was spam.

Merefield Technology uses data about posts and activity to set trust levels automatically.
Depending on how administrators of your forum configure the forum, the forum may use data about your posts and activity to award you badges and calculate a trust level for your account. Your trust level may affect how you can participate in the forum, such as whether you can upload images, as well as give you access to moderation and management powers in the forum. Your trust level therefore reflects forum administrators’ confidence in you, and their willingness to delegate community management functions, like moderation.

If you think your trust level has been set incorrectly, contact an administrator of your forum. They can manually adjust the trust level of your account.

Does Merefield Technology share data about me with others?

Merefield Technology shares account data with others as mentioned in the section about account data.

Merefield Technology shares data about your posts and other forum activity with others as mentioned in the section about account data.

Merefield Technology does not sell or give information about you to other companies or services. However, Merefield Technology does use services from other companies on some forums that it hosts. The companies behind those services may collect data about you on their own, for their own purposes. Some of these services may be used to collect information about your online activities across different websites. All of these services are based in the United States.

Service Privacy Notice Description
Akismet https://automattic.com/privacy/ reduces spam posts on some forums
Google Analytics https://www.google.com/analytics/terms/ Compiles visitor statistics on some forums, including meta.discourse.org. You can opt out of Google Analytics using a browser extension.
Amazon Web Services https://aws.amazon.com/privacy/ Provides cloud servers and services, in service regions across the world, to host and back up some forums.
Digital Ocean https://www.digitalocean.com/legal/privacy/ Stores backups for many forums.
Fastly https://www.fastly.com/privacy Provides a content delivery network of servers that host copies of content like images and website files, so that users around the world can download them quickly, from servers close to where they are.
KeyCDN https://www.keycdn.com/privacy Provides a content delivery network.
MaxCDN https://www.maxcdn.com/legal/#pp Provides a content delivery network.
Apple Push Notification Service https://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/ Sends push notifications to users of the Discourse iOS app.
Google Cloud Messaging https://policies.google.com/privacy Sends push notifications to users of the Discourse Android app.

Other individuals and companies may also reuse data about you that Merefield Technology publishes, such as your posts to public forums.

If you use the mvertigo shop or click on affiliated links within posts you will processed with OneTag from Amazon.com.

What personal data does oneTag collect from site users and how is this personal data used?

oneTag receives the following:

  • Full IP address, which is used for fraud detection and traffic quality. For all other internal uses related to oneTag functions, such as OneLink, the IP address is truncated.
  • Pseudonymized identifiers such as Cookie IDs and Mobile Advertising Identifiers. These identifiers are used by Amazon Associate systems for a variety of purposes including to recognize a user pseudonymously: (1) for fraud detection and traffic quality, and (2) to provide oneTag’s services, including OneLink.

How can I contact Merefield Technology about privacy or GDPR compliance?

You can send questions and complaints to:

Merefield Technology
james@mvertigo.org

For complaints under GDPR more generally, European Union users may lodge complaints with their local data protection supervisory authorities.

How can I find out about changes?

This version of Merefield Technology privacy questions and answers took effect Jun 23, 2018.

Merefield Technology will maintain its privacy policy here.

In the meantime, Merefield Technology may update its contact information without announcing a change. Please refer to https://www.mvertigo.org/privacy for the latest contact information at any time.