Privacy Policy

This is the privacy policy for our site, the UKFR Fireworks Forum. We may from here on refer to our site using general terms such as "we", "us", "our" and "our site".

GENERAL INFORMATION

Please note that our site is a privately owned one, it is not a public agency or public body and is located in the UK.

Unlike most sites we have a robust policy against tracking users for the purposes of marketing. For example:

- We do not use analytics or granular tracking (such as Google Analytics) and have not done so for many years.
- We do not share any profile or private information with third parties for the purposes of marketing.
- We do not use third party advertising services or any kind of advertising scripts (such as Javascript); all adverts on our site are simply image files with a link to the target website. You may verify this by inspecting the web page source. We have a direct relationship with all of our advertisers.
- We do not track the number of advert impressions, who views what advert or who clicks on what advert.
- We do not operate any kind of bulk mailing list, newsletter list or similar.

USING OUR SITE AS A GUEST (OR REGISTERED BUT LOGGED OUT):

Our web host logs all website traffic, such as pages and files accessed and IP address, this is industry standard and collected for all site visitors. We do not access this as a matter of course but wish to make you aware that our web host, like most web hosts, logs and stores basic information about site visitors.

It is not a requirement to register in order to read most of our content but some site areas or features will be restricted for guests.

Third parties may track you via cookies or other technologies and this is beyond our control (and any data gathered is certainly not shared with us). An example would be if you view a YouTube video embedded in a post, YouTube may track your viewing of that.

REGISTERING ON OUR SITE AND ANONYMITY:

The information we ask from you when registering is strictly limited.

We do not ask you for your real name nor to prove your identity. We only ask for an email address, a password of your choice to secure your account, confirmation that you are over 18 years of age and that you agree to our terms and this privacy policy. Therefore, you are effectively anonymous if you choose to register under an alias. However, we must stress that permission to register anonymously is granted as a privilege and not a right; anonymity may be waived under certain circumstances as detailed below (see "SHARING INFORMATION WITH THIRD PARTIES").

You are of course welcome to register under your real name if you so wish and retailers and firework companies may obviously prefer to register under their trading name.

The site will only generate emails to you where you consent to this or opt-in via your profile settings. By default, email notifications of new messages are turned off. We may send you an account confirmation email when you join, and/or an email asking you to verify your email address.

We do not send out bulk emails for marketing purposes nor share your email address with third parties for marketing purposes, but reserve the right to contact you by email if we need to discuss matters relating to your own account, or have important site news that must be directly emailed (this is very rare).

Your email address and IP address are not publicly shown on your profile or your posts but are viewable by the site owner and any appointed admin or moderating staff.

INFORMATION YOU ENTER INTO YOUR PROFILE:

You may enter, at your own discretion, further information into various profile fields provided in your profile settings. This could include your location, your interests, your website address if you are a company and so on. The expectation should be that any additional information you enter is publicly viewable and accessible by any visitor including search engines. Any information entered in this way can be edited or removed by you at any time.

POSTING ON OUR SITE:

When you post, the expectation should be that it will become both publicly viewable (including to search engines) and a permanent part of our site. We do not remove posts on request as per our main site terms. If you post personally identifiable information you are liable for the consequences of this, however, we are willing to edit or remove personal information that you have posted should you subsequently wish us to do so and it is brought to our attention. From time to time we may remove personal information in posts, profiles or profile posts (such as phone numbers or email addresses) if we come across it and if we believe it was posted in error or compromises another person's privacy.

Obviously if you have registered under your real name or company name then any content you post will be attributable to you.

SHARING PRIVATE INFORMATION WITH THIRD PARTIES:

Information we hold about you (if you register) that would be considered private would include your email address, your IP addresses and your real world identity if we know it.

As a matter of course we don't share this information with third parties, however, we clearly have a right to protect our site, protect our reputation from damage, investigate or prevent unlawful activities and to act in the public interest. Therefore, in some (rare and exceptional) cases we reserve the right to share private information with selected third parties.

In short, if your use of our site is lawful and in accordance with our site terms we have no reason to take matters further or to share information about you. However under no circumstances do we allow anonymous use of our site for unlawful or malicious purposes or for conduct that breaks our terms.

To clarify this:

By some cases we mean:

- You are engaging in activities on our site that we believe to be unlawful, such as selling illegal fireworks, making illegal fireworks, selling fireworks illegally for example without a licence, defaming or libelling another member, being the subject of a complaint of libel or defamation, using an anonymous account to endorse your own products or to criticise your competitors, harassing or threatening another member, and any other unlawful activity.
- You are breaking our site terms, for example flaming another member, threatening another member, creating additional accounts for malicious purposes, posting content that is illegal or obscene, or anything else that is in breach of our main site terms.

By private information we mean:

- Your registered email address.
- IP addresses logged on your account.
- Your real world identity if we know it. If you register under your real name or company name then you are already making your real world identity obvious. Similarly, this is the case if you post content or profile information that identifies yourself. If you join under an alias then we may deduce your real world identity in some cases from other sources, for example search engines, public records, linked accounts, third party information given to us, if you tell us this information yourself, and so on.

By third parties we mean:

- The police or other law enforcement agencies if we are reporting what we believe to be a crime or unlawful activity.
- Trading Standards, HSE or similar in cases where they would deal with an issue we want to report.
- The specific third party that is the victim of your conduct that breaks our site terms or we believe to be unlawful, or their legal representatives. We may proactively contact such third parties in cases we consider serious, unlawful, may lead to a crime or where we reasonably believe it is in the public interest to do so.
- Our solicitor or legal representative.
- Administrating and moderating staff who are helping us to deal with the matter.

We would like to reassure our members that cases warranting our sharing of private information are extremely rare and we only do this where we either have no choice, the matter is incredibly serious, we believe it is in the public interest or we are compelled to do so by law (and that includes, ensuring we are not taken as an accomplice to a crime by virtue of NOT reporting it). These policies are in place, sadly, as we have been the victim of malicious individuals using anonymous accounts to attack, libel or harass other people, or to commit crimes.

We also reserve the right to give private account information to the police or other law enforcement agencies if they approach us, irrespective of whether any site rules are broken.

GDPR and Data Protection

We believe that in many aspects that our site falls outside of the remit of GDPR. This is primarily because we do not ask for personally identifiable information when you register (such as your name) nor do we conduct any kind of identity checking of members. An anonymous user is clearly not within the scope of GDPR. We also do not sell goods or services and do not therefore ask for real world information such as shipping addresses.

Clearly our allowing anonymous use could also result in some ludicrous situations if GDPR applied, an example being if a real world person asked for a copy of all their data that we hold, for an account which is itself anonymous. The point here being, if we did not perform any kind of identity checking on the account to start with, how do we prove the person asking for the information is the one who registered the account?

GDPR simply does not apply to anonymous accounts posting information that is not personally identifiable.

All of that said, we do voluntarily abide by the general principles of GDPR even if it does not apply, as well as good practices with regards to data protection as detailed below.

Account information such as email address and IP addresses (which are not publicly viewable):

We do not share this information with any third parties except in the cases described above. For example, we would never share your email address or IP address with another individual, website or Forum just because they asked us to.

Account closure and deletion:

We are happy to close an account on request even if it is anonymous, providing that request is made by private message from the account itself from the logged in user.

In the case where the account was identifiable to an individual (registered in a real name or company name) we are happy to close the account and also to anonymise the posts made under that account. However, as per our main site terms we do not delete posted content on request as this becomes a permanent part of our site. The exception is if you have posted anything that identifies you personally in which case we will remove that specific content at your request providing you provide a link (web page address) to the content in question.

We are happy to provide a copy of data we hold on an account providing we can confirm the person making the request is the same person as the account holder (this might not be possible if the account was registered under an alias or the account holder is no longer able to log in to the site).

Keeping your data secure:

We are committed to ensuring that any information you provide to us is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable measures and procedures to safeguard and secure the information that we collect.

Cookie policy:

Cookies are small text files which are set by us on your computer which allow us to provide certain functionality on our site, such as being able to log in, or remembering certain preferences.

We have a detailed cookie policy and more information about the cookies that we set on this page.

Complaints and enquiries:

If a member has posted information about you that identifies you personally and is factually incorrect please contact us. We take libel and defamation extremely seriously and do not allow our website to be used as a platform for this. However please be aware that content which does not identify you personally or is expressed as an opinion may not fall under the definition of libel or defamation; in these cases we may suggest you seek independent legal advice. There is no standard policy in place for these circumstances as each one is so different in scope.

If you have an enquiry about any specific aspect of your account or how we handle or use your data please contact us using the Contact Us form below. Please be aware that our forum is run as a hobby, we do not have offices or staff, and we may require more time than commercial operations in order to respond.

Acceptance of this policy:

Continued use of our site signifies your acceptance of this policy. If you do not accept the policy then please do not use this site. When registering we will further request your explicit acceptance of the privacy policy.

Changes to this policy:

We may make changes to this policy at any time.