Data Protection & Security
- User account passwords are stored in the database in encrypted form, from which they cannot be decrypted. Passwords are not visible by the programming team nor anyone at any railway. For this reason passwords can never be revealed even to the user to whom they belong. If a password is forgotten it can only be reset to a new random password.
- Records are kept of all users' activity on the site.
- HOPS maintains a response plan for any breach of data security.
All data we hold is secured to the full extent required by the Data Protection Act. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Running a secure operating system (Debian Linux), with operating system and application security updates applied in a timely manner.
- Maintaining a firewall to prevent unwanted access to the server.
- Providing secure access to the website over HTTPS, to prevent snooping of data or man-in-the-middle attacks.
- A permissions system to prevent unauthorised access, modification and deletion of data through the website itself.
- Offsite backups to prevent loss of data through hardware failure or accidental damage.
- Hosting the server in a secure third-party physical location.
- Limiting login to the server itself to the administrators of HOPS.
- HOPS is exempt from registration with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), however, we have elected to voluntarily register (ZA096228).
- Our track record: In the five years we have been running HOPS, we have not had a single problem related to unauthorised access to data. In that time we have been trusted by over 50 railways to store data for over 7000 users.
- When a user is archived from HOPS some data is retained indefinitely for recording purposes, ie, names on rosters. Other data, including contact information, etc, is removed after a suitable period. The period is currently two years, but is shortly to be reviewed.
- Users may request disclosure of all information held about them in HOPS. Requests of this nature, if they cannot be settled by the user's home railway, should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. A fee may be payable.
- HOPS will only change the point of contact at a railway (and hence the person from whom we will take instruction on the use or release of the railways data) following a reasonable corroboration of the validity of the request for the change, and reserves the right to refused such requests if we suspect they are not legitmate.