Most people will know that on 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation becomes active.
This regulation is to give users of websites more security over how their data is held and used.
We need to obtain your consent to hold your information. When you register for an account, users will have to confirm their consent, before being allowed to join the site.
You have a right to be Forgotten. If you want your account / details removed from our website, You can delete your own profile in it's entirety using the links to "Edit my profile" once logged in.
You have a right to see what data we hold on you. All of this data is available to you, by simply logging in to your profile.
We run a fully integrated GDPR module which records the required consents.
Becuase of the GDPR, I need to tell the users of this website what data we hold, where it's held, why we hold it, and what we do with it.
"The Website" will be referred to as "ChaterboxUK", and includes the chatrooms (whether registered or not) and the Sharing Point (registered users).
So what information do we hold?
I'm going to categorise this between whether or not you are a registered user, because the data we hold on each is different.
Non registered users entering the chatrooms
For users who have not made an account with ChatterboxUK, and are accessing the chatroom as a guest, the only information we collect and store is an IP address.
What is an IP address?
Your IP address is an address assigned only to your internet connection, and is given to you by your Internet service provider when you connect to their services.
What is the reason for storing my IP Address?
Because of the nature of chat sites, they often attract abuse in the form of spamming or illegal subjects. To be a responsible website owner, and to ensure our users get the safest possible chat experience, we need to collect this information. This is for two reasons:
An IP address is by far the most effective way we have of banning troublesome users
We need to be able to provide IP addresses to Law Enforcement upon Request
Under what circumstances will it be passed on or shared?
Our server is set up so that other users cannot see your full IP address - it is masked to them to protect your security. Therefore no other user in the chat room can use your IP address to identify you.
Your IP address is only visible to the site owner or the volunteer staff.
Your IP address will only be shared in the following circumstances:
When a user seriously or constantly abuses our site, or one of our users, for example by hate speech, extremism, or similar, we will consider submitting a report to the users Internet Service Provider (ISP).
If approached by a Police Force (UK or International) in the course of a criminal investigation or for the purposes of preventing crime or protecting vulnerable people.
With the latter, we will only release information if the request is from ".pnn.police.uk" address and accompanied by a suitably accurate and endorsed data protection request form known within law enforcement as a "DP1a".
How long is my IP address stored?
IPs for guest users are stored for 30 days from the point of logging in. Every time a user logs in as a guest, their most recent IP is stored for 30 days, from that point. This is standard IRC server configuration, and is considered a reasonable etimeframe for the above purposes.
The information we collect when a user registers an account is:
Name (User can choose whether to enter just first name, surname, or a nickname of their choice)
Username (This is the users "handle" in the chat rooms and on the sharing point) and is the name displayed for them throughout the site.
Email address (Used to confirm the authenticity of the user upon registration, and communicate about changes or upcoming events, such as our quiz). This is also used to protect users accounts - for example, we will not discuss an individual account with any user unless they contact us from the email address from which they registered.
Date of Birth (This is never displayed on the website, but is used for our software to calculate your age. This is for a couple of reasons - mainly to ensure a user is over 18 (we do not allow minors to access the site). In addition, being a small social media site, with member profiles, it enhances the user experience if users can see the ages of others, in order to choose who they may wish to talk (or not talk) to.
Location (When a user registers, the form asks them for their location. For clarity, this is not the users exact street, house, or postcode - the expectation is that users will enter a vague location such as a city, county, or even just their country. This is collected to enhance users experiences, so they can see where other members are from, in order to choose who to message / accept messages from.
IP Address (When a user creates an account, their IP address is stored, for exactly the same reasons as described above for guest users. For registered users, our software collects the IP address used at time of registration. This IP address remains on the users account notes until the account becomes deleted, either by us, or at the users request.
Account Notes (For registered users, there is a "notes" section on each users account. This section is used by the site owner and volunteer staff. For example, if a user has breached the site terms or been abusive, but it's not so serious to warrant banning the user - we will write a summary of the events in the account notes, along with the date and time it took place. The reason we store this, is because it can help identify a pattern of behaviour for a troublesome user, and assists us in order to make the chat experience the most pleasant as possible, for the vast majority who do abide by the rules.
Private Messaging (Both Guests and Registered) - IMPORTANT
In our chat rooms, users have the ability to send private messages between each other, and have conversations that are not visible to other users.
We no longer record, save, or monitor these conversations.
In line with the new GDPR, we have decided that it would be disproportional and wrong to keep copies of private messages, or give the staff the ability to look at them.
Your data is all stored on a collection private servers, which is hosted by OVH Ltd. They are physically located in datacentres in Strasbourg, in Europe, in London, and in Canada.
If in addition to our detailed policies to protect your data, you wish to see how OVH further protect your data, their policies are available on their website:
Although we welcome users to our site and community, I must stress that accessing ChatterboxUK is a privilege, and not a given right. Although anyone can join, it is a private community, and by this, I mean that (whilst very unlikely to ever do so) I retain the right to remove and prevent access to any particular user of my choosing, without having to give reason.
You must understand that this is a public chat site. By nature of this, anyone could be lurking in the rooms, and whilst doing so, logging what is said, and by whom, and potentially passing the information on to anyone. You, and I, have no control over whether or not this takes place. You also do not know who you are talking to in private messages - people are not always who they say they are.
For this reason, we insist that you do not use our website to share any personally identifiable details, or personal conversations, whatsoever.
If you choose to do so regardless, you do so at your own risk.