Privacy Questions and Answers

This notice describes how Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc., or CDCK for short, collects and uses data about you.

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What is CDCK?

CDCK is the company home and primary developer of Discourse, open source software for hosting Internet discussion forums. As a company, CDCK hosts forums using Discourse for customers, as well as meta.discourse.org, a discussion forum about Discourse itself, and rubytalk.org, a mirror of the Ruby-Talk mailing list for the Ruby programming language.

CDCK sets only its own privacy practices, not the privacy practices of CDCK customers or others who host Discourse forums for themselves or others. You should ask all of those involved in administering and hosting Discourse forums that you use for information about their privacy practices.

How does CDCK collect data about me?

CDCK collects data about you:

  • when you browse a forum that CDCK hosts

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

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

CDCK collects data when you use forums that Discourse hosts, whether you use the forums using a web browser on your own computer, or use CDCK’s Discourse apps for mobile devices.

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

What data does CDCK collect about me, and why?

CDCK collects data about visits to forums.

When you visit a forum that CDCK 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.

CDCK 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

CDCK 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, CDCK may preserve log data longer, for analysis. CDCK stores aggregate statistics about use of the forum for as long as CDCK hosts the forum, but those statistics don’t include data identifiable to you personally.

CDCK collects account data.

Many features of forums that CDCK hosts require a forum account. For example, most forums that CDCK 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.

CDCK 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, CDCK publishes your account data. If the forum is access-restricted, CDCK makes your account data available to everyone who can access the forum, according to the forum administrator’s configuration.

CDCK 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. CDCK 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.

CDCK stores your account data as long as your account remains open.

CDCK collects data about posts and other activity on the forum.

CDCK 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, CDCK publishes your activity. If the forum is access-restricted, or access restrictions apply to the specific post, CDCK makes your activity available only to users permitted to see it.

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

CDCK 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 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.

CDCK does not respond to the Do Not Track HTTP header.

Where does CDCK store data about me?

Most forums that CDCK hosts store all data in CDCK’s data center in San Jose, California, USA. Some forums that CDCK hosts store data in data centers in multiple jurisdictions, such as the United States and the European Union.

Does CDCK comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

CDCK respects privacy rights under Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Information that GDPR requires CDCK 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 anonymizing CDCK’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, CDCK 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 CDCK make automated decisions based on data about me?

CDCK classifies posts as spam automatically.

CDCK uses data about your posts and other activity on many forums to make automated decisions about whether your posts to meta.discourse.org and most forums that CDCK 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.

CDCK 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 CDCK share data about me with others?

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

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

Apart from making data available to the customer that pays CDCK to host a forum, CDCK does not sell or give information about you to other companies or services. However, CDCK 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 Stares.

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 CDCK publishes, such as your posts to public forums.

How can I contact CDCK about privacy?

You can send questions and complaints to:

Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc
team+privacy@discourse.org

European Users with questions or complaints about GDPR compliance should also address CDCK’s representative in the Union:

Régis Hanol
regis.hanol@discourse.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 CDCK’s privacy questions and answers took effect May 1, 2018.

CDCK will post the next version at https://meta.discourse.org/privacy. CDCK may change how it announces changes in future versions.

In the meantime, CDCK may update its contact information without announcing a change. Please refer to https://meta.discourse.org/privacy for the latest contact information at any time.