Privacy Notice (Updated)

(Last Updated 05 May 2018)

Your personal data - what is it?
Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller's possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data within the United Kingdom is governed by the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR").

1. Who are we?
Aspie Village UK is a hobby website established in 2004 and run by a small group of autistic adults living in the United Kingdom, offering a free-to-use message board enabling other UK-based autistic adults to chat with one another.

The Administrators of Aspie Village UK ("we", "us", "our", "The Administrators") are the data controller. This means that we decide how your personal data is processed and for what purposes. Our contact details are listed under Section 8 below.

We are supported by a small team of moderators (the "Global Moderators"), whose role it is to ensure the suitability of material posted on the message board in accordance with the Terms of use. The Global Moderators do not have access to user account data.

The message board is powered by phpBB bulletin board software released by phpBB Limited under the “GNU General Public Licence v2” and can be downloaded for free from www.phpbb.com. The phpBB software only facilitates internet based discussions; phpBB Limited is not responsible for what we allow and/or disallow as permissible content and/or conduct. The phpBB installation used by Aspie Village UK is hosted on cloud servers in the United Kingdom.

2. How do we process your personal data?
Your Aspie Village UK account will, at a bare minimum, contain the following mandatory data: a uniquely identifiable username, a personal, valid email address, a personal password used for logging into your account, your country of residence and an explanation of why you want to join us.

Furthermore we will store all of the IP addresses that you use to post with. Depending on your preferences we may send you occasional emails to your registered email address, but you are able to change these preferences from your User Control Panel (UCP) at any time should you wish to stop receiving them. Furthermore, you have the option to opt-in or opt-out of various automatically generated email notifications.

Any information beyond the mandatory data required during the registration process is optional. In all cases, you have the option of what information in your account is displayed to other users of Aspie Village UK. In order to read and post on the Aspie Village UK message board, you need to register an account and log in, therefore messages are not visible to non-account holders, nor indexed by search engines.

We comply with our obligations under the GDPR by enabling you to directly manage your personal data and communication preferences through your User Control Panel, including the ability to delete your own account and all your posts, and to view all data held by us. We ensure that data is stored and deleted securely; that we do not collect or retain excessive amounts of data; that we protect personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and we ensure that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.

The personal details that you gave us when you signed up will be used solely for the purposes of Aspie Village UK message board functionality and, prior to your account being approved by one of The Administrators, for reviewing your eligibility to join Aspie Village UK. You can check, at any time, the personal details we hold about you from the Profile section of your User Control Panel.
  • Eligibility criteria for joining Aspie Village UK
    The purpose of Aspie Village UK is to offer a friendly, online environment for United Kingdom-based adults with diagnosed or suspected Asperger syndrome/Autistic Spectrum Disorder and/or similar conditions. We also organise occasional UK meet-ups for message board users and have been doing so since 2004.

    When you first register with Aspie Village UK, a member of The Administrators will check the geographical location of the IP address automatically recorded at the time of your registration, along with your stated 'Reason for joining'. Applicants with UK IP addresses, who state that they are diagnosed with, or suspect they may have Asperger syndrome or a similar condition, will be approved without any further verification.

    We recognise that some people may be accessing Aspie Village UK from within the United Kingdom, but through a foreign IP address for various reasons, therefore you will receive an email from one of The Administrators asking for confirmation that you are based in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, if in your 'Reason for joining' you indicate that you are not an adult with diagnosed or suspected Asperger syndrome or a similar condition, then your application will not be approved. For instance, Aspie Village UK is not aimed as a discussion board for parents of autistic children, nor as an international autism-related forum. For alternative services, which offer a broader remit, please visit www.wrongplanet.net or www.autism.org.uk.

    You will receive an automatic notification when your registration is approved, after which you can log in to Aspie Village UK. If your account is not approved, a member of The Administrators will email you to explain the reason(s) why and recommend other resources that you may find useful. Registration details relating to non-approved accounts will be deleted following notification. Note, where we believe an application to be spam, you may not receive a notification. We apologise if we inadvertently judge a genuine application to be spam, however in the vast majority of cases, it is obvious.
Aspie Village UK also organises occasional meet-ups for message board users in which case users may choose to send additional personal data such as real names, mobile phone numbers or photographs to one or more of The Administrators to enable communication and identification when meeting in real life. Such additional data may be temporarily stored by an Administrator on their personal mobile device or computer and will be protected by a secure password or PIN.

3. What is the legal basis for our processing of your personal data?
To check your eligibility to join Aspie Village UK and enable your on-going use of the message board, including receiving optional notifications relating to message board activity and to enable you to reset your password.

4. Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared amongst The Administrators. No personal data will be shared with the Global Moderators, other users of Aspie Village UK or with third parties without your explicit consent.

5. How long do we keep your personal data?
We will only keep your personal data for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which we are processing it. However, where possible we will anonymise this data so that you cannot be identified. Where we do not need to continue to process your personal data, it will be securely destroyed.

On an annual basis in May, The Administrators will delete all user accounts and posts where a user has not logged in to Aspie Village UK for 12 months or more. This ensures that personal data is only retained for active users of the message board, whilst offering users a reasonable timeframe between visits. If your account is deleted and you wish to return to Aspie Village UK, you will need to re-register. Note that you are under no obligation to contribute any posts to the message board. Your account will only be deleted if you do not log in to Aspie Village UK at all in 12 months or more.

6. Your rights and your personal data
You have the following rights with respect to your personal data:
  • The right to know who has access to your data and how it is used (as outlined in this Privacy Notice);
  • The right to request that we provide you with a copy of the personal data that we hold about you (you can view this under "Privacy Details" on the "Profile" tab of your User Control Panel);
  • The right to correct any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date (you can amend your details in your User Control Panel);
  • The right to erase your personal data where it is no longer necessary for us to retain such data (you can amend or delete your details in your User Control Panel);
  • You have the right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time (you can delete your account and all of your posts in your User Control Panel);
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing (you can delete your account and all of your posts in your User Control Panel);
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office.
7. Further processing
If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing before it takes place.

8. Contact Details
To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance access your User Control Panel to view, amend or delete the data that we hold about you.

If, as a registered user, you need to contact The Administrators of Aspie Village UK, please do so by sending a Private Message (login required).

If having exhausted the complaint process you are not content that your request or review has been dealt with correctly, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office: