A Few Words on Privacy...
We value our privacy and we respect yours!
This website can collect data from you -- but only if you say so! Too many websites assume, just because you visit them, that they have been given some sort of license to collect all sorts of information about you without asking. They may position it as 'marketing' or 'profiling' or some other nice sounding alias, but it is still taking your information without asking. I feel that that is rude, nosey and just plain wrong.
About emails: Please understand that any time you send an email directly to somebody, your email address will show up as the sender in the 'from' spot when the recipient views the message. The 'mailto:' links from this website can only use your locally installed email program, so however you have that set up is how your email will go out - we have no control over that from our end, whatsoever.
About our forms: All of the signup or interest forms, currently or in the future, on this site send themselves as an email message directly from our server to the leader or registrar of the particular activity. In all cases the only data collected and sent along is what you filled in; which is then used by that person to follow up with you about that particular activity. Unless the form was addressed specifically to us, we have no record of it at all. When they are addressed to us, we will get the same email as any other event leader. The emails generated by the forms will all show our server's "webmaster" account as the origin, so that your identity is hidden. This way of doing things preserves both your privacy and the privacy of the activity leader - who are often volunteers, using their personal email accounts.
About rip-offs: We are experimenting with some document and website encryption tools, which will both permit us to lock down the pages to prevent unauthorized downloading - and to hide all email links from web spiders, 'bots, and other spamming tools. We are also working on a way to put digital 'signatures' on all the photos, so that our contributors', and our, works are protected.
About cookies: In plain English, 'cookies' are small text files which are used to hold information on behalf of a web page. This is because the web is 'stateless' (can't remember anything from one moment to the next) and in order to avoid having to re-establish basic pieces of information every time you move between pages, these cookies are used as a sort of scratch pad at your end of the wire. The original concept was to delete cookies at the end of a particular session; but it was only a few seconds later that web programmers realized that they could leave the cookies there and save stuff for the next time you visited their site. This stuff became your 'preferences' for their site. The problems began shortly thereafter when the marketing types began using these to hold info about your last purchases, account numbers, and so on. Now, these cookies could be scanned and updated on each visit to their site. In the end, it is this model of use that can be used to track your activity on-line -- where you go, what you look at, what you buy, how you pay for it -- and not always by the originator of the cookie, a huge invasion of privacy!