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Privacy policy

This policy explains the way that we collect, use and protect your data as well as your choices with regard to your data.

We’ve tried to be as clear as we can be and to avoid unnecessary jargon, while including all the relevant information - but please do contactus@gransnet.com if anything doesn’t make sense or needs expanding on. Because by necessity this is a long document and because we’re all pressed for time, we've summarised the key points - you can click on each one to get more detailed information. Please do read the whole thing if you can.

Our aims and duty of care

We recognise our duty of care with regards to your data and will always endeavour do the right thing with the personal data you choose to share with us, including: not compromising your anonymity; protecting your privacy; storing your data securely; and giving you control over your own data. Read more...

Your data - what we store and why

We store, or may in future store, IP address, cookies, your device’s unique ID, page browsing history, ads you’ve viewed and clicked, searches you’ve made on site, approximate location, and any enquiries you’ve made. For registered members we also store username, password and email address; discussions you may have with Gransnet site moderators; and a summary of decisions we’ve taken about you if we’ve reviewed your use of the Gransnet forums for any reason. Registered members may also have given us more data on sign up, such as the age of their grandchildren.

We store your email address to register you and contact you (if you have asked for email newsletters) and we store things such as IP address, cookies and device ID so that our systems recognise you if you return to Gransnet. We store things such as your device’s reading habits to show you things we think may be of interest to you (e.g. content or ads). When we look at this information across large numbers of users, it helps us see which parts of Gransnet are well-used and which aren’t, and this helps us to decide what sort of content and features might be useful to develop. Read more...

Posting on the Gransnet forums 

Of your registration data, only your Gransnet username is displayed on screen for other Gransnet users to see - but posts on the Gransnet forums are visible to anyone on the Internet. So when posting, you should bear in mind that any personally identifying details you include in the text or pictures you post could be seen by anyone.

We may also provide an anonymised copy of all Talk posts to a handful of carefully chosen organisations so that they can analyse social trends. None of your personal information is ever shared and we remove Gransnet usernames before sharing this information. Read more...

Your permissions and choices

You can change your registration data and your email preferences on Gransnet at any time on your My Gransnet page. You can also choose to disable cookies - click on this section for how to do this, but remember this site and others may not work as well. You can delete your account by going to My Gransnet. Read more...

How long is your data held?

Any personal data you give us, or that we collect when you use Gransnet, will be retained by us for as long as it’s needed to perform its function. Registration data is held permanently unless you deregister. There’s no one-size-fits-all time limit, but we regularly review the data we hold to ensure it is still necessary. Read more...

Signing in with Facebook or Google

You can choose to log in to Gransnet using Facebook or Google. When you do this, Facebook or Google will know you’ve logged in to Gransnet. By logging in via Facebook or Google you grant us access to your Facebook or Google registered email address. We do not use (and cannot obtain) your Friends list and we do not ask for or receive any data that Facebook holds on you. Read more...

Where your data is stored

Your data is stored by our web hosting company DSC, and by Amazon Web Services. Unless you have turned cookies off, some data technology companies (such as Google and Lotame) store your cookies; they do not have access to any personal information about you beyond your browsing habits. Read more...

Exceptional circumstances - safeguarding and official investigations

If there are obvious safeguarding reasons, or if we are contacted by the police about a possible breach of the law, we may share your personal information with public authorities without your permission. If we are compelled to do so by a court order, we will share your personal data to the extent specified in the order. Read more...

Complying with the law and best practice around data

The way we store and process data is compliant with the UK 1998 Data Protection Act, the 2018 EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and other relevant pieces of legislation. We always aim to comply both with the spirit as well as the letter of the law and to be responsible with your data. Read more...

If our data is compromised

If our security is breached, our data is compromised or if we fail to comply with the law, we will tell affected users as soon as we become aware of the failure. We will report any data breach to the Information Commissioner and, if appropriate, the police, in a timely fashion. Read more...

 

Our policy in full

Our aims and duty of care

Our mission at Gransnet is to help make life easier. We believe that securing your data, preserving your anonymity, protecting your privacy, and giving you control over your data are an important aspect of that mission.

We believe that employing data and data analytics appropriately can improve the user experience on Gransnet. Data you give us when filling in forms (when joining, for example, or when using the site or our apps) helps us show you more relevant things. It also allows us to see which aspects of the site are popular and well-used, meaning we can improve Gransnet for everyone.

Your data - what we store and why

We don’t require your name or address when you view Gransnet content or register with the site, and you can use Gransnet fully without providing it.

Subject to your permissions and choices (as explained later) we collect, store and process the data listed in this section. We believe we provide a useful service, and therefore have a legitimate interest in processing your data which benefits both Gransnet and you as a Gransnet user.

We store the following data for all users, whether registered or not:

  • IP address, cookies, device ID - to identify your web browser and device.
  • Page browsing information - to enable us to show you more relevant things and to understand how people use Gransnet, so we can improve it.

- Within our user database, we assign your internet browser and device a unique “Gransnet Identity Number”. Against this identity number we record the topic of the content that your device is viewing or creating - in other words, your device’s “reading habits”. This helps us understand what you may be interested in so that we can show you things we think may be relevant to you (such as ads or other Gransnet content). When we look at this information from all users, we can see what is popular and less popular, helping us to develop Gransnet over time.

- We also use Google Analytics to report on page views in aggregate to help us understand usage trends. We do not pass your personal data to Google and your IP address is anonymised before we share this information with Google Analytics. Google uses cookies and can learn about your browsing on Gransnet to inform Google ads and other Google services, as explained here: https://policies.google.com/privacy/partners

  • Ads viewed and clicked and searches you’ve made on site - to show you more relevant ads and content in future.
  • Enquiries you make; we may sometimes give you the option of using Gransnet to enquire about a product or service (such as getting a quote to repair your boiler). This is optional and we only give users this option if we trust the company and think the service might be helpful to you. We will always explicitly ask for your permission before recording or passing this information to that company or to anyone else.

We store the following information for registered members:

  • Username, password, email address - so that you can log in. If you choose to join Gransnet we ask for your email address so that we can create an account for you and check you’re a real person (to prevent ‘bots’ signing up). We won’t send you newsletters or mass email communications that you haven’t asked for, and we don’t sell your email address to anyone else.
  • Discussions that take place over email or via Private Messages between you and Gransnet moderators - so that we have a record.
  • A summary of any actions we may have taken with regard to your use of the Gransnet forums (usually in response to reported posts) - so that we have a record and can moderate fairly.

We also store the following optional data for registered members:

  • Registration data: facts about you that you choose to provide in the sign-up process, such as your date of birth, gender, whether you have grandchildren, their ages and genders, and which email newsletters from us you would like to receive. If you give us this data it helps us to show you more relevant things. We do not share this information with anyone else. Provision of this data is optional; you can skip this stage.
  • Permissions to email you, to send you newsletters that you have chosen to receive from Gransnet
  • Private Messages that you choose to send other users
  • Data that you provide when taking part in surveys, panels, product tests, quizzes or competitions. For these things, we sometimes ask for your name and address (for example to send you a product to test or a prize) or other data requested by the competition provider (such as your email address). Before recording or passing this information to another organisation, we will provide the organisation’s data policy and clearly ask for your permission each time.

Posting on the Gransnet forums

Registered members of Gransnet can start discussions and add comments, pictures and videos to existing discussions within the Gransnet forums under Gransnet’s Terms of Use. This is optional in the sense that it’s up to you whether you post on Gransnet or not; if you do post we always store the contents of those posts. These posts are public, but of your registration data, only your Gransnet username is displayed on screen. Your Gransnet username is picked by you when you join Gransnet; you can change it in My Gransnet.

Gransnet’s forums are visible to search engines. This means that any personal information users choose to share in their posts on Gransnet can be seen widely. We cannot control who sees these posts. However, wherever appropriate we remind users that Gransnet’s forums are highly visible and can be read by anyone, anywhere.

In all your posts on the Gransnet forums, in personal messages to other users, and in choosing your username, you should be mindful about the possibility that information you choose to disclose could lead to someone working out who you are in ‘real life’. For example, anything that references your real life name, your children/grandchildren’s real names, where you live or your date of birth could make it easy for someone to work out who you are. Other personal information in your posts - how many children/grandchildren you have, what job you do, that you work from home on Thursdays, that your spouse is a mountain bike enthusiast - might also allow people reading Gransnet to work out who you are (through ‘jigsaw identification’).

Gransnet is a site for grown-ups and we believe that our users are adults who can decide for themselves what information they choose to share on the Gransnet forums. That said, if you’re ever worried that you’ve said too much, hit ‘report’ on one of your posts and explain the problem to our site moderation team; they will be happy to help if they can.

You should be aware that the moderation team and a small number of other members of staff at Gransnet have access to your forum posts and can see that content in combination with your registration data. We restrict to the minimum the number of staff who have access to this data and we constantly review this. You can check your registration data in My Gransnet.

We provide a copy of all forum posts to a small number of organisations for analysis or to create software analysis tools to analyse brands and sentiment towards topics. Your personal data and username is not included in the copies of posts that we provide to these organisations.

Your permissions and choices

Your registration data

You may choose at any time to change the information that you provided when you registered, including your email address. There is also the facility to change your Gransnet username. You can do both of these things by going to My Gransnet.

If you have signed in using Facebook or Google, you can stop access at any time via your Facebook or Google account settings. If you still wish to post on Gransnet you would then need to register a Gransnet username and password via our Registration page.

Your email preferences

You can change which newsletters you receive, or ensure that you do not receive any newsletters from Gransnet, by going to My Gransnet.

Your forum posts

If you’re ever worried that you’ve said too much, hit ‘report’ on one of your posts and explain the problem to our site Moderation team; they will be happy to help if they can. 

Your cookies

Most web browsers automatically accept cookies. A cookie is a small, temporary file which a web server sends to your web browser to be stored. Cookies allow Gransnet to identify your web browser and device if we see it again.

Cookies do not contain your name or other personal details and there are some benefits to you and Gransnet:

  • “Necessary” cookies allow you to perform certain functions like logging into Gransnet.
  • Cookies improve your experience of the site. For example, they allow you to log in and post, and allow us to show you discussions you've already read in a different colour, and to display them top-down or bottom-up according to your preference.
  • Cookies help us to show you more relevant content and ads. As an example: if we know you’ve read our grandparenting content, we can show you further grandparenting-related Gransnet content and ads from brands that might be particularly relevant. We get paid to show ads to people who might be interested in them - which helps keep Gransnet running - and relevant ads are more likely to be clicked on, and command a higher price. The technology companies that Gransnet allows to place cookies (known as third party cookies) on your device are listed in the section in this Privacy Policy called “Where your data is stored”. Some of these technology companies deliver advertising and, as well as delivering ads on Gransnet, may use your cookies to deliver ads to you on other sites (which is called “retargeting”).
  • Cookies allow us to gather information about how many people visit Gransnet, how often, and what they look at while on the site (a process called ‘analytics’). If you visit multiple pages or come back to Gransnet after a break, cookies mean we do not count you as a new visitor. Using cookies like this allows us to compile aggregate statistics about how many users Gransnet has and how long people use the site for, on average. We share this anonymous information with advertisers. Understanding what’s well-used on Gransnet means we can create more of what users find useful and less of what they don’t.
  • If you have cookies turned on within your web browser, we do not specifically ask your permission to use them in the ways we’ve described above, but you can turn cookies off yourself if you’d like to. Here’s how:

To turn off cookies:

  1. Analytics cookies. Details of how to decline Google Analytics cookies are here.
  2. Advertising cookies. There are three main associations that allow you to visit their websites to opt out of all cookies served by their advertising members. Typically, they will scan your device for a few seconds to see what cookies are currently set and then provide you with the facility to opt out on an individual basis or completely from all cookies. In opting out, a cookie will be set to let advertisers know not to use your cookies for targeted advertising purposes. You will still see adverts; they just won't be tailored to your interests or browsing habits. If you clear your cookies via your browser you will need to go through the opt-out process again.

Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)

European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDDA)

Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)

Turning off all cookies. You can usually modify your browser settings to decline all cookies if you prefer. Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences. Instructions for the most common browsers are provided here. If you choose to do this, please bear in mind that the Gransnet website may not function properly or you may not be able to log in, depending on your browser. Changes that you make in your web browser may apply across all the websites you visit.

Deleting your Gransnet Account

You can delete your account by going to My Gransnet. Your Gransnet posts won’t be deleted, but there will no longer be any personal information associated with them.

Data requests

If you’d like you can ask us to provide details of the personal information we hold about you, under the Data Protection Act 1998.

To request this information, please email us at dataenquiry@gransnet.com or write to Gransnet Limited, Studios 13-16, Deane House Studios, 27 Greenwood Place, London NW5 1LB.

How long your data is stored?

Any personal data that you give us will be retained by us for as long as it's needed to perform its function.

There's no one-size-fits-all time limit, but to give some examples: data provided by members of our Insight panel for that specific purpose is retained for as long as the user remains a member of the panel. Information provided when entering competitions is held for a maximum of three months. Information you give us when you sign up is stored permanently unless you choose to delete it or unless you delete your Gransnet account.

Private Messages are stored until you delete them. If you delete your account, your messages will also be deleted.

We regularly review the data held by Gransnet’s different teams and delete information that is no longer needed. All the data we hold is stored securely and only accessible to authorised staff members, who have regular data training.

Signing in with Facebook or Google

If you choose to join Gransnet you are asked to create a username and password. If you prefer, you can log in using Facebook or Google instead, meaning you don’t have to create and remember another password.

If you log in via Facebook or Google you will grant us access to your Facebook or Google registered email address only. We do not use (and cannot obtain) your Friends list and we do not ask for or receive other Facebook data. By default, the Facebook login process says it requires access to your Public Profile, but we do not store or use that data. However, if you choose this option, Facebook and Google will know that you have logged into Gransnet. We do not know whether Facebook or Google use this data (for example to make ads more relevant).

You may stop access at any time via your Facebook or Google account settings. If you want to carry on being able to post on Gransnet you will then need to register a Gransnet username and password.

Where your data is stored

Your data is stored by our web server hosting providers: DSC Limited , Amazon Web Services, and our email service providers: Campaign Monitor and Email Center UK.

The following companies store your cookies on our behalf. We do not share personal data (such as your name or email address) with these companies.

Tag Management

Tags are lines of code that run in sites and apps. Gransnet uses tag management software to run code that connects to third party technology company, Google Tag Manager. This third party technology company delivers Social Log-In, Advertising and Analytics.


Social Log-In


These companies allow you to use your social media account to log in to Gransnet. This is optional when you join Gransnet. If you choose to log in via Google or Facebook, those companies will know that you have logged in to Gransnet.

Facebook Connect
Google

Advertising

These companies deliver advertising on Gransnet.

Lotame
DoubleClick
Rubicon
AppNexus
PubMatic
SkimLinks
Captify
Google Publisher Tags

Analytics

These companies help Gransnet understand our users

Google Analytics
GA Audience
Treasure Data

This company helps Gransnet understand how our site and apps are performing (for example, reporting on the speed that pages take to load).

New Relic  

Exceptional circumstances: safeguarding and official investigations

If there are compelling safeguarding considerations, we may share your data with public authorities without your permission. We understand ‘compelling safeguarding considerations’ to mean credible evidence of imminent risk of serious harm, especially to a child or vulnerable person.

In such circumstances, on the judgement of a senior person within Gransnet and in consultation with the Data Protection Officer, we may proactively contact relevant authorities (the police or ambulance service, for example) and share any relevant data we have, such as location data, relevant posts, Private Messages, details of any children who might be at risk, and descriptions of the situation.

If contacted by the police about possible breaches of the law disclosed in posts, we may sometimes - on the judgement of a senior person within Gransnet and in consultation with the Data Protection Officer - share your personal information with them. We will share your personal information if compelled to do so by a court order, for example under Section 5 of the 2013 Defamation Act.

Complying with the law and best practice around data

The way that we store and process data is compliant with the following legislation:

UK Data Protection Act 1988 (DPA)
EU Data Protection Directive 1995 (DPD)
EU General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR)
ePrivacy Directive 2002 (amended 2009)

As well as keeping up-to-date with laws about data, we aim to take sensible decisions based on common sense, listening to users’ views and industry best practices.  

If our data is compromised

If via human error, or via a breach of our security or we fail to comply with the law, we will let affected users know as soon as we are aware of it. We will report any data breach to the Information Commissioner in UK and, depending on the circumstances, the Police.

Gransnet uses best practice, multi-tier web application security for our servers including Denial of Service protection and Web Application Firewall at the network edge. For staff access to all administrative systems, we enforce 2 step verification and IP based access restrictions. Regular security updates keep Gransnet staff informed of the latest security threats.

Updates

This Privacy Policy was last updated on 8 May 2018.

22 May 2018: deletion policy on Private Messages updated. Any subsequent updates will be recorded here.