Privacy Policy

This policy describes how AudioCircle uses and processes your data. It is effective from May 24, 2018, 6:18 am.

Information provided by you

What is it

When you register an account on AudioCircle, you are required to provide a username and an email address. The username does not have to be your real name. You must also provide a password that enables you to log in.

After registering, you can optionally provide additional information such as your location, your birthdate, and your gender. None of this information is required to use this site and you can delete it at any time by going to your user profile.

How AudioCircle uses information provided by you

Your username and password are necessary to provide you with an account that enables you to create content on this site. Your email address is necessary to confirm that you are a legitimate user, to enable you to recover your password, and to send you notifications that you request, such as updates to threads. Your password is immediately one-way encrypted when you enter it and before it is stored in the database.

Information sent to third parties

AudioCircle does not currently send any of your information to third parties, as current on-site tools are keeping spam registrations at a low level. If the spambots get smarter, then we may need to start sending your email address (and IP address) to a cloud-based anti-spam service, in which case this policy will be updated.

Cookies

What is it

A cookie is a small text file that is stored on your computer in response to a request from a web server. Every time you make a request back to the server, the cookie or cookies for that server are sent with the request. Without cookies, the server has no way to know that two consecutive requests that you make are by the same person.

Cookies set by the AudioCircle server

The AudioCircle server sets a session cookie that is used to detect when users are online. This is used, for example, to generate the data that shows how many members and guests are browsing the site.

When you are logged into the site, the session cookie is used to identify you so that your username, browsing history (viewed/unread posts, for example), and so on work as expected.

The AudioCircle server may also set cookies that are used to detect and prevent spam attacks. These are "session cookies," meaning that they are deleted when you quit your browser.

By using this site, you agree to having the above cookies set in your browser.

Cookies set by third parties

On pages that display Google Adsense advertisements ("ads"), cookies are set by the Google server that serves these ads. These cookies are also known as the "DoubleClick" cookie. Google may allow other advertisers to set cookies in your browser via the Adsense ads. These cookies are used to track your activity across your Google searches and the websites that you browse so they can decide what ads to show you. If you have a Google account, you can use Google Ad Settings to control how Google displays ads to you.

All discussion pages may set cookies served by a company named Skimlinks or one of its "affiliate networks." These are used to track you across other websites that you visit that also use Skimlinks or their affiliate networks. For more information, see the Skimlinks User Cookies page.

To maximize the privacy and data security of AudioCircle members, Adsense and Skimlinks are disabled when a user is logged in. Therefore, to prevent Adsense, Skimlinks and their affiliate networks from tracking you while using AudioCircle, register an account and log in.

Many browsers have an option to disable third-party cookies. You can use this option to prevent third-party advertisers from setting cookies in your browser.

By using this site, you agree to having the above cookies set in your browser.

How to manage cookies

Most web browsers allow you to view and delete the cookies set in the browser. Since this varies with the browser, please refer to the help documentation for the browser you are using.

Some browsers allow you to block ads and third-party cookies. You can use these at your discretion.

Adsense and Skimlinks are deactivated for logged in users. To prevent Adsense, Skimlinks and their affiliate networks from tracking you while using AudioCircle, register an account and log in.

If you do not wish to have cookies set in your browser at all, use your browser's "private browsing" mode. This will prevent all cookies being set. However, you will not be able to log into AudioCircle.

IP Address

What is it

Every computer on the Internet has a numerical address, called its IP Address. ("IP" stands for "Internet Protocol.") When you browse the web, every request that your browser sends to any website includes the IP address of your computer. IP addresses can potentially be used to track you across all the websites that you browse.

How AudioCircle uses IP Addresses

Every access that you make to AudioCircle is recorded in the Apache web server logs. This is a normal part of the operation of any web server. This data includes your IP address, the page or image you requested, the size of data sent to you, and information about your browser. It does not include your user name or email address. The web server logs are kept for 14 days. They are also analyzed to generate statistics on website traffic. These statistics are kept indefinitely but are anonymized -- that is, country of access and browser type statistics are kept but IP addresses and the details of browser type are removed.

IP addresses are also stored in the firewall logs, which helps prevents denial-of-service attacks and to lock out access from computers detected trying to hack into the server or website. These logs are retained for a period of between 7 and 60 days.

When you are logged in, your most recent IP address is recorded in the database. In addition, your IP address is recorded with every post that you make. This information is used to detect and prevent malicious use of the site. In some cases, it is used to help enforce a ban. IP addresses are currently stored indefinitely.

How third parties use IP Addresses

AudioCircle does not currently send your IP address data to third parties, as current on-site tools are keeping spam registrations at a low level. If the spambots get smarter, then we may need to start sending IP addresses to a cloud-based anti-spam service, in which case this policy will be updated.

However, ad serving and affiliate networks such as Google Adsense and Skimlinks may be tracking your IP address via their ads and Javascript. To disable IP address tracking from these networks, do one of the following:

  • Log into AudioCircle, or
  • Use an ad blocking browser or ad blocking extension to your browser.

Browser fingerprinting

What is it

Browser fingerprinting is a technique used to track users across the web without using cookies or IP addresses. It uses information gathered from the browser such as its type and version, your computer operating system and display resolution, and so on. It is an insidious technique that should never be used by a reputable website because you (the user) do not have the ability to turn it off.

AudioCircle does not use browser fingerprinting

AudioCircle does not use browser fingerprinting.

We are not aware of the third-party advertising that AudioCircle displays using browser fingerprinting. If you have information to the contrary, please let us know and we will disable that service.

How to manage browser fingerprinting

There is little that be done to prevent this technique from being used, other than only visiting websites that state in their privacy policy that they do not use fingerprinting. The Brave web browser is able to detect and prevent at least some types of fingerprinting.

External links

External links to other sites are processed by a company called Skimlinks, which provides a small commission to AudioCircle if you subsequently make a purchase on the site you went to. Skimlinks may track your usage of these links. For more information, see the Skimlinks Privacy Policy.

Note: Skimlinks is disabled for logged in users.

International data transfer

By using this site, your data as described above (email address, IP addresses, and cookies) will be transmitted across international boundaries for the purpose of delivering content to you, for redundant backups and security, and email notifications. It may be stored and transmitted through countries other than your own, including but not necessarily limited to the United States, Canada, Norway, Japan and Australia.

Your data

Downloading your data

To download the personal data that AudioCircle has stored about you, go to your profile and click on "Export Data" at the left. You will be able to download two files that contain (a) the personally identifying data that is stored in your user account and (b) the record of all IP addresses that you have posted from.

Erasing your data

To erase information such as your location, birthdate and gender, go to your profile and delete the information you have provided.

To erase information that you have voluntarily posted on this website, go to your post history, locate any posts that contain data that you wish to erase, click on the title, click Modify, delete the data, then click Save.

To erase images that you have voluntarily posted on this website, go to your manage gallery page, select any images that you wish to delete and click the Delete button, then Really Delete.

Exercising your "right to be forgotten"

To erase all of your data including your username and email address, your user account will need to be deleted. The procedure is below.

NOTE 1: since this is a manual procedure, it is currently available only to citizens and residents of the European Union.

NOTE 2: This procedure does not remove posts and images that you have voluntarily placed on this website. Since this is a discussion forum, removing all data will destroy the thread of conversations, so it is anonymized prior to deleting your account. You will therefore need to manually remove any personally-identifying posts or images you have placed on this site.

1. Erase any personally identifying data from your posts or images (see "Erasing your data" above).

2. Send a message to the Data Protection Officer with the following:
  • A statement that you are a citizen or resident of the European Union.
  • A statement that you have manually deleted all personally-identifying data from your posts and images.
  • A list of URLs to specific posts that have quoted you and as a result include personally identifying information.
  • A statement that you wish to have all of your account and your personal data deleted, that you do not intend to register another account on AudioCircle ever again, that you understand that this action is irreversible, and that you absolve AudioCircle and its owner, operators, volunteers and members of any consequences of such deletion.

3. Provided that you have provided all of the above information, your request will be processed within 14 days. You will not be notified as we will no longer be able to contact you.

Note: Erased data will still be present in the backups of the website. It is not technically possible to remove your data from the backups immediately. As the backups are rotated, your data will gradually be removed, with removal complete after 6 to 9 months.