Who we are

Our website address is: https://ataokennel.com. We are a small sled dog kennel trying to provide interesting content about the journey of training for and running Iditarod! Part of our website is about fundraising (and also about commenting and interacting as a community!). In the course of website usage, some data is collected. We really value both your privacy and your ownership of data, so we wanted to share how data is collected by us and by the tools we use to run our site.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly by emailing will@ataokennel.com.

What personal data we collect and why we collect it

The only personal data we collect is data entered when subscribing to blog updates, paying for goods, or filling out forms. We retain email addresses for payments or forms in order to contact you in case of any issue with your order or submission. Please read more about comments below.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.


If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. A primary tool we use for embedding is Facebook (which includes instagram). Please read Facebook’s privacy policy here.

We embed from other websites as well. These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website. If you feel concerned about this, please contact us at will@ataokennel.com.


Data Used: When sharing content via email, the following information is used: sharing party’s name and email address (if the user is logged in, this information will be pulled directly from their account), IP address (for spam checking), user agent (for spam checking), and email body/content. This content will be sent to Akismet (also owned by Automattic) so that a spam check can be performed. Additionally, if reCAPTCHA (by Google) is enabled by the site owner, the sharing party’s IP address will be shared with that service. You can find Google’s privacy policy here.

When sharing content via Facebook or Twitter, the privacy policy of those companies applies to each. Please visit their privacy policies at Facebook at Twitter.


At ATAO we use WordPress.com Stats to measure how many visitors see our site. Below is more about how WordPress.com Stats works.

WordPress.com Stats

Data Used: IP address, WordPress.com user ID (if logged in), WordPress.com username (if logged in), user agent, visiting URL, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, country code. Important: We (ATAO Kennel) do not have access to any of this information via this feature. For example, a site owner can see that a specific post has 285 views, but he/she cannot see which specific users/accounts viewed that post. Stats logs — containing visitor IP addresses and WordPress.com usernames (if available) — are retained by Automattic for 28 days and are used for the sole purpose of powering this feature.

Activity Tracked: Post and page views, video plays (if videos are hosted by WordPress.com), outbound link clicks, referring URLs and search engine terms, and country. When this module is enabled, Jetpack also tracks performance on each page load that includes the Javascript file used for tracking stats. This is exclusively for aggregate performance tracking across Jetpack sites in order to make sure that our plugin and code is not causing performance issues. This includes the tracking of page load times and resource loading duration (image files, Javascript files, CSS files, etc.).

Who we share your data with

We will share your name publicly via posts about sponsor lists, thank yous, and other posts *with your permission.* In any form where you submit your name, we try to ask what you would like to be called by and use only that term in publication, or if you would prefer to be listed anonymously. Otherwise, ataokennel.com does not share any personal data with anyone.

At ATAO Kennel, you may enter information through specific third party applications, such as PayPal, WordPress, Patreon, or others. Please note the privacy policies of these companies.




How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service. If you use our Patreon integration, your data is subject to the Patreon privacy policy, which can be detailed here.

Your contact information

Your contact information is used on a product by product or form by form basis in case we need to touch base with you about an issue with your product or form submission. You will not be added to mailing lists without your permission. We will often reply to donations with a personal thank you email.

Additional information

How we protect your data

Your data is only retained on a project by project basis, unless you sign up for a long term email subscription list, or create a user on WordPress or Patreon, or log on with PayPal. Please visit their privacy policies here to learn about how they protect your data: Patreon, WordPress, PayPal. Email and contact information used by ATAO for the purposes of specific projects (like Sponsor a Monster, or Be a Buddy) are kept in a secure, two-factor authenticated information repository. ATAO does not have access to any passwords you might use to log into the site. All password information is handled by third party companies.

What data breach procedures we have in place

In the unlikely case of a security breach, we will contact you to let you know your contact information, mailing address, and/or email address may have been accessed, and provide you with advice about anything you should do on your end to ensure your own security. We will take necessary steps to re-secure the information repository, such as changing the applicable login information. If necessary, we will remove any stored information we have and/or discontinue whatever program may have been affected.

What third parties we receive data from

We receive data from WordPress about how many visits to the site we receive. We are not able to see who is visiting the site, only the number of times our links have been clicked from these locations. See “WordPress.com Stats” above for more information.

We receive information from Patreon that is more fully covered in the Patreon privacy policy, here.

We receive limited information from OpinionStage, whose privacy policy is here. OpinionStage is what runs our polls. We do not get any specific, personal data from this interaction– We are only able to see votes cast or surveys submitted.

What automated decision making and/or profiling we do with user data

Based on the information from WordPress.com stats, we decide where best to share our posts. We also decide what type of posts to make more of, based on surveys, polls, and success of posts and programs. We decide when to post content based on this information. The only demographic of visitors we are able to see is location based, and we may post at times when our most popular time zones are active.