PortOrleans.org Privacy and Cookies Policy

This page exists to let you know how the PortOrleans.org website handles any personal data which may be collected about you or other visitors to the site. However I do need to point out that I’m not a lawyer, a corporate bigwig, or an overzealous European GDPR bureaucrat with a load of time and other people’s money to spend. I’m just a plain old Port Orleans fan, presumably much like yourself, trying my best to help out fellow guests.

So rather than befuddling you with tens of thousands of words of legalistic gobbledygook, which no one ever reads, let alone understands (for which I refer you back to said General Data Protection Regulation, all 54,866 words, and counting, of it) I’m going to try to keep this as simple and plain-English as possible. Maybe someone, somewhere, might even read it to the end, you never know? Here goes...

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Hosting

First, in case anyone is wondering, this website is hosted online by Midphase Hosting Services, and all the individual pages, photos, documents and other data (such as the forum database and usage logs) are stored on one of their Utah-based servers, and thus this site is governed by data-protection laws applicable in the USA. Given that the focus of this site is information about an American hotel, and around 80% of the site visitors are from the US, it seemed sensible for the website to be hosted in the US too. A disaster-recovery backup of the entire online site (including its databases and logs) is manually generated periodically and kept in a password-protected storage location at my home in the UK.

Cookies

A cookie is a tiny text file (usually just a few bytes in size) that is stored on a user’s own computer for operational or record-keeping purposes in relation to their visits to websites. Just like pretty-much every other website on the internet today, some of the software used here needs to create and access these cookies to help with the running of the site, managing forum activity and logins, etc. The cookies created directly by this site (such as PortOrleansOrg_EU_GDPR_Cookie_Consent, which is used to record your acceptance of this Privacy Policy) do not store or process any personally identifiable information about human users and they are set to expire after a period of inactivity, which means that you may need to Accept this Policy or set the forum “Remember Me” status again if you don’t visit the site for a while. Cookies are also used by other third-party tools such as Google Analytics and Google AdSense, see below for details.

If you wish to completely block cookies via your web browser, or delete them after your visit here is done, you are completely free to do so. However you might then find that some site functionality may not work as intended, and EU-based visitors will be unable to use the site at all because at least one cookie needs to be saved in order to record your consent/permission. By continuing to visit and use this site you are agreeing for Cookies to be saved onto your computer.

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Social Media Buttons

We previously used the “AddThis” tool to manage the interactive social media share/follow/like icon buttons that are shown at the bottom of each page. However since mid-April 2018 all of the social media buttons on our site (for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) now send you directly to pages within that remote social media site without processing anything locally first. This means that unlike some other websites no data will be stored or transferred simply by viewing our pages. If you actively click on one of the social media buttons though, you will temporarily leave the PortOrleans.org website and your subsequent interactions will be bound by the privacy, cookie, and data collection policies of the relevant social media site.

Discussion Forums

Our discussion forums are powered by phpBB software (currently version 3.2.x) which is an open-source bulletin board solution released under the GNU General Public License v2. The full Terms of Use for our forums can be found HERE.

If you just want to browse through the content of our forums as an anonymous (read-only) guest you can do so without setting up an account, and thus without being required to provide any personal information. However the Port Orleans News content, including the summary column on the front page, is generated using the same forum software and thus even browsing through the rest of the site will cause read-only forum access to occur in the background.

If (and ONLY if) you choose to create a registered account on our forums — which for security and spam-prevention purposes is the only way that you can post messages or questions here — some data regarding yourself must necessarily be stored in a phpBB database on our webserver in order to manage your account and content. This data is limited to whatever details you personally decide enter into the site, but as a minimum that would be your email address for account validation, an invented username of your own choosing, the IP address from which you accessed the site, and an encrypted ‘hash code’ used to validate your chosen password (the actual password itself is NOT stored). For extra security you should avoid reusing the same username or password across a number of different websites, and NEVER disclose your password to anyone, including me.

As the sole forum administrator, I alone can see your supplied email address — but there is no way for me to confirm your password (as it is not saved) so I would only able to reset it to a new value for you if you asked me to. I am also able to see the IP address(es) from which you accessed the forums, saved on the server for security and spam-prevention purposes. Your invented username and any forum messages or Profile information that you personally and freely choose to share will be visible to all users and guests as that is the whole point of a public forum.

Therefore (and this should be a golden rule when posting anything on the internet anyway) please do NOT share any information of a personal, confidential or otherwise sensitive nature via your Profile or your forum posts! This would include such things as your full name, physical addresses or phone numbers, email addresses, passwords, or any other information that could be used to identify yourself or your family. I would also caution against being too specific when posting upcoming vacation details (especially the dates when you will be away from your home) to any public forum.

Cookies (see above) used by the phpBB software include: PortOrleansOrg**_u (an anonymous user ID number, or 1 for a guest); PortOrleansOrg**_sid (current session identifier, which will change from time to time); PortOrleansOrg**_k (used for the ”Remember Me“ feature). Others may be created for registered users to remember which topics you have read so far, etc.

Note: your email address will NEVER be used by this site for marketing, spam messages, or otherwise sold or passed on to third-parties for any reason other than if it becomes legally required for me to do so. You may get very occasional account administration messages, or receive post/reply Notifications if you have opted into them, and these can be controlled from your User Control Panel.

You can change your registered email address and/or password, and edit the contents of your Profile or your public posts, at any time. Please remember that any content which you chose to share on your Profile, or chose to post on the forums, will have immediately been made publicly available for viewing by other users and guests, and thus your posted content may already have been copied or shared elsewhere.

Should you wish to change your unique username, or even have your entire account completely deleted, please get in touch with me via the Contact page and I can arrange that for you. If any of your existing forum posts (not including any personal information) are deemed to still be useful to other visitors then they may, for archival purposes and at my sole discretion, be retained on the forums in an anonymised form rather than being physically removed. Note: After a personal account has been deleted you will no longer have the ability to re-edit any anonymised posts, so please review and/or edit your existing posts before requesting the removal of your account using the “Show your posts” link on your User Control Panel.

Google Products

PortOrleans.org is a fan-run website which exists solely to help past, present and future guests of Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans Resorts, or anyone else interested in this subject, while they plan, discuss and enjoy their Disney visits. It is not a commercially funded or sponsored operation, and was not set up to make money, merely to provide a single resource for all the information I could gather together about Port Orleans.

Unfortunately there are many costs involved with running and updating even a small amateur site like this one, and the initial facility to allow users to donate a small sum by PayPal towards the running costs wasn’t even coming close to solving the problem. Thus I decided a few years ago that since the site already used Google Analytics to provide me with basic statistics about how the site was being used, adding some (hopefully fairly unobtrusive) advertising banners — as supplied by Google AdSense — would help to cover the financial costs. These two common Google products are also used on a vast number of other websites all over the internet, and more details can be found in Google’s Privacy Policy.

Google Analytics

When you visit this site, certain information has for a long time been shared with the Google Analytics system. I use Google Analytics to provide me with an overview (using bulk aggregated data, not everyone’s name and address!) of how this site is being used, which browsers/devices are most common, from which counties traffic originates, and which pages on the site are proving to be the most popular.

What I mostly see are graphs of aggregated data such as the fact that 78% of visitors are from the USA, 14% from the UK, 4% from Canada, and a few dozen a week from other EU countries; or the percentage of people using Windows computers versus mobile devices (which is actually very close to 50/50 between mobile phones and desktops/tablets these days). None of this data is ever used by me for marketing purposes, but it does help me maintain the site in a manner that works well for the way visitors want to use it.

Google, however, needs to store some information in order to track and monitor patterns of activity, and also to tailor their own products, services and advertising (see Google AdSense below). In addition to adding some local Cookies on your own computer or device, information that may be stored by Google themselves includes:

The individual data retention period is set to Google’s lowest available option, which means that 14 months after your last access any linked data will be automatically removed. Also, all of Google’s additional data sharing options are turned off, and only I as admin of this site have access to the statistics.

If you do not want this sort of data shared to help me improve the site, you can opt out from the Google Analytics system on this site at any time by clicking HERE. This will create a local Cookie which acts like an invisibility cloak and prevents information on any further visits to PortOrleans.org which you make on this device from being logged (this is a per-device/per-browser option).

Google AdSense

Rather than accepting specific sponsorship deals from named travel agents, or becoming in any way beholden to other industry bodies, I decided to keep the site as neutral and impartial as possible and have thus implemented Google’s “AdSense” system of banner adverts. This system generates a small amount of revenue whenever adverts issued remotely by Google are viewed or clicked, but otherwise I have no involvement with the advertisers whatsoever. Nor is any personal information passed to them by this site, other than the fact that you arrived via an advert which was displayed here. Of course what you do after you reach the advertiser’s website is not something I can control, nor be responsible for.

Google will store and process some information in order to provide this service, including adding Cookies onto your own computer or device. They also amalgamate information about your visits here with similar visits which you may make to other websites that use their services in order to operate their service and help tailor what advertising is offered to you. For more information on the Google AdSense system and how it works, please visit their website or see Google’s Privacy Policy.

Although some commercial sites frown on the use of ad-blockers, and some even go as far as to prevent such users from accessing their sites, I have no objections whatsoever if you prefer to keep your web browsing experience ad-free — as do I, in fact — so please feel free to block adverts via your browser if you so wish.

Other

This site uses the Cloudflare web optimisation service to speed up page delivery, cache regularly-accessed graphics, etc. It also provides secure ‘SSL’ page encryption, which is why you may now see a little padlock on your browser address bar and the website address starts with ‘https:’ instead of the old ‘http:’. Temporary Note: There are some technical issues with the SSL system at the moment which I am trying to resolve. Pages are only encrypted if you see the padlock symbol in your browser bar.

A useful tool if you want to remove any other accumulated advertising/marking tracking information that is being stored about you, or on your computer, by other websites (and believe me, there will normally be a ton of it!) is the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Consumer Choice Tool. CLICK HERE to scan and optionally clean your device (this is a per-device/per-browser option).

 

 

Phew. So, if you actually managed to read this far, thank you! I was trying to keep it brief and simple to read, but it has still come in at around 2,200 words — I’d better stop now I think! Please feel free to email me via the Contact Page if you have any further questions or comments.

Many thanks for popping by anyway — and regardless of whether or not you decide to hang around and use the site, I hope you have a magical day!

--- André Willey (site owner/administrator)