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03-12-2018, 13:13   #1 Mark Employee Mark's Avatar
Updated GDPR policy and new Terms of Use

Hi all,

Since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 came into effect on May 25th we have been keeping an eye on its impact on Boards, and for any new information and legal guidance that comes to light.

Boards, as a service, needs content in order to be useful, and the negative impact of our current policy of deletion in response to erasure requests has been quite significant. Just look at the original GDPR thread in Feedback, for example, which is completely illegible and has been rendered completely worthless to any future reader.

Of course, protecting users' rights to control over their personal data is of utmost importance to us. To balance these two elements, we will be changing how we handle erasure requests from this point onwards.

When we receive an erasure request, we will anonymise all of that user's personal data which is known to us. This anonymisation will render the data incapable of identifying the user, either on its own or in combination with other data we hold, meaning it is no longer “personal data”. This means that we will replace a user's username with a randomised character string within each thread. This character string will be replaced by an alternative string in a different thread. In this way, it will not be possible to use breadcrumbs of information to identify a user.

As is the case now, if you have included personal data such as your name, e-mail address or other personal data in a post, please contact us at with the link to the post to request this data be redacted. We will delete personal data in posts if it is notified to us in this manner.

We will also delete personal data from your user profile in the database, which will result in the closing of your account, as Boards needs certain pieces of personal data in order to be able to provide a service.

Approaching Boards' 21st birthday, we have delved into some threads from down through the years and it would be a tragedy to lose content that provides some insight into Irish society, thinking, and outlooks at those points in time. I'm sure many would agree that we love archived footage thanks to Reeling in the Years, and threads of old can provide a similar snapshot. Just look at the threads created in response to 9/11; the 8th Amendment Referendum; the Grenfell fire; the moment Johnny Sexton knocked over a drop goal against France to set us on our way to winning a Grand Slam; heavy snowfalls; and ongoing threads such as the Brexit Discussions; those regarding Donald Trump; and many more historic threads.

Taking these steps in relation to GDPR will allow us to ensure users' rights are protected, while enabling us to preserve content and continue to provide content, information, and discussions to users. Mark is offline  
03-12-2018, 13:14   #2 Mark Employee Mark's Avatar
In addition to this review, we have updated our Terms of Use, Privacy Notice, and Cookie Policy, which you can see on the dedicated pages.

Terms of Use:
Privacy Notice:
Cookie Policy: Mark is offline  
03-12-2018, 13:21   #3
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I'm sure some will moan about this decision but personally i think it's a great work around, no more "blank spaces" where once there were posts. It was getting to a point where some threads would be unreadable anymore due to full deletion of a user's posting history.
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03-12-2018, 16:11   #4
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If the Catholic Church is allowed to claim that their Baptismal records are a matter of historic significance and are therefore exempt from deletion requests (as they told me when I asked for them to remove me from their records), then the same must be said for's long list of conversations about the every day and the extraordinary of Irish life over the last 20+ years.
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03-12-2018, 16:34   #5
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This is a great step tbh. Well done lads. The amount of large threads ruined by mass deletion is significant.
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03-12-2018, 16:53   #6
pleas advice
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Ironic that these issues were discussed in that original thread, and the current solution suggested, I wonder was someone reading over a cached copy of the thread...
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03-12-2018, 16:56   #7
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What is the plan for posts that have been quoted?
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03-12-2018, 17:16   #8 Niamh Community Manager Niamh's Avatar
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The username in a quoted post will also be anonymised with the same random string of characters as the users posts in that same thread. Niamh is offline  
03-12-2018, 17:19   #9
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Are currently deleted posts going to be resurrected?
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03-12-2018, 17:22   #10 Mark Employee Mark's Avatar
No, those are gone for good. Mark is offline  
03-12-2018, 17:34   #11
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Mark, 56 was the answer when I last asked you for figures for the number of users that had requested deletion. I wonder has this number increased greatly for this change in policy?
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03-12-2018, 18:26   #12
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Originally Posted by Philip Enough Omelette View Post
Mark, 56 was the answer when I last asked you for figures for the number of users that had requested deletion. I wonder has this number increased greatly for this change in policy?
Without being privy to the details, I think it needs to be recognised there was lack of clarity over exactly what GDPR meant when it was introduced, and I am guessing a lot more thought has ben given to it once people were seeing real life examples (I'm talking generally rather than Boards-specific here).

Bearing in mind Boards does not have a legal budget (certainly nothing that could cope with a challenge to new EU wide legislation) I suspect it was a case of discretion over valour

Equally now we've seen these laws start to bed in, and the behaviour of other organisations (many of whom could afford expensive legal opinions and court cases to protect their business models), I suspect it's a bit easier to get a positive legal view, certainly than it was 6-7 months ago.
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03-12-2018, 19:03   #13
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Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Understand all that but the banner "our terms of use etc keeps popping up each time I access boards

Last edited by hullaballoo; 03-12-2018 at 22:14. Reason: Quote wall.
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03-12-2018, 19:05   #14
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Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Yes got that,but I have agreed umpteen time's,but the banner keeps popping up

Last edited by hullaballoo; 03-12-2018 at 22:13. Reason: Quote wall.
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03-12-2018, 19:55   #15
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Your "solution" was suggested years and years ago and you said it wasn't possible.
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