Category Archives: Feeds

GDPR Compliance for event plugins

This statement is for the wordpress plugins amr-events, amr-ical-events-list  and amr events attendees at

Briefly: the amr-events plugin creates events as wordpress custom posts. No additional user data is created or stored. The post author (display name and email) is assumed to be the event organiser for purposes of complying with the ics feed RFC5545 standard. The plugins do not send or store data on any other servers.

Collecting & storing of user data:

The amr-events plugin creates events as wordpress posts.  As per standard wp processing the author of the post is recorded.  That is the extent of any collecting any personal user data that is within the plugins control – only as per standard wordpress user functioning.   The plugin does not of itself collect and store user data.  Control of that user data rests with the website owner.

Processing or use of user data (email and display name):

In event feeds (ics feed) as per the RFC5545 standard the event organizer must be included in the RFC 5545 ics file.  Refer   – see Organizer

This property MUST be specified in an iCalendar object
      that specifies a group-scheduled calendar entity.  This property
      MUST be specified in an iCalendar object that specifies the
      publication of a calendar user's busy time.

To conform to this, the event post author’s data is then included in the ics file as per the example in the specification :


The plugin uses the wordpress post authors “display name” if it exists, if not then the wordpress users “userlogin”, and then the wordpress users ‘user_email’ to provide the required ORGANIZER details.  The plugin does not have any means to validate this data and simply uses what has been stored the user records by the website.

A web developer can choose to display (or not) the public ics url.  The web developer can also control whether a real user or a dummy user is recorded as the post author.

The plugins can also list events from external public ics files.  These ics files may contain attendee data.  The ics files are cached and refreshed daily or as requested.  The cache purpose is to continue to be able to list events should there be a disruption in access to source url.   If the web designer chooses to use the addon  then the web designer can choose to display that attendee data in the event list.  That list may be displayed in a  public or private page as setup by the web designer.  There is currently no provision to add attendee data to the custom events created inside wordpress.  If this becomes available, a link to the user data such as the user id or email address is what would be stored.

GDPR Summary

The plugins use a minimal amount of user data required to provide event functionality in adherence with the ‘purpose’ and ‘data minimisation’ principles.  With respect to the other GDPR principles, the plugins do not control the accuracy, storage, or security of this user data.   The plugin does not pass user data on to any other parties except as required by the RFC5545 ics specification and as configured by the website developer.

WordPress events plugin with xml output? want it? why?

The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) has just published the RFC (Request for Comment) for xcal (iCalendar in XML).

Given that the ics format works fairly well to give us calendar exchange and interoperability (given the natural constraints of human involvement in import/subscribe to their calendar apps) , does one need an xml format too ?

An argument for the existence of an xml standard is that people have already developed their own xml versions – a standard was required for interchange of data.

If you have thoughts on this and would like to see that this wordpress events plugin produce an xml icalendar feed as well as the ics feed, please add  a comment below.

Try to be as specific as possible as to the reasons and benefits to motivate the addition of the xml format – export (and hmmm maybe import).

Some input to get you going:

I think the biggest software revolution of the future is that the calendar will be the organizing filter for most of the information flowing into your life. You think you are bombarded with too much information every day, but in reality it is just the timing of the information that is wrong. Once the calendar becomes the organizing paradigm and filter, it won’t seem as if there is so much.



hcalendar microformats By the way, did you know this plugin already issues the necessary css classes for the hcalendar microformat?



Custom wordpress feed issue (for ics feed)

For users of amr-events:

If you are:

  • using or offering your users the ics feed (to subscribe to whole calendar) and
  • you have more than 10 (or more accurately, more than your posts_per_rss feed parameter setting) active recent events, then please either
    1. In your wordpress settings> reading increase the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” (aka “post_per_rss”) setting to a number larger enough to cover all the events that you wish to include in the calendar subscription feed ( temporarily until the next larger upgrade – there should be one with additional features before Christmas).  This will also update the number of posts that show in your rss feed.       or
    2. upgrade to amr-events v 1.1.1 or
    3. manually apply the small code change below.

Code Change:

1. In file wp-edit-event.php, right near the bottom around line 604, find function ical_adjust_query. At the top of this function,before the other code  add:

//  if the query is doing the ics feed, then we need to make doubly sure that it will get all feeds, since wp overwrites the post_per_page parameter.

 if (isset ($query->query_vars['feed']) and ($query->query_vars['feed'] == 'ics'))
     add_filter('post_limits','amr_no_limits_for_feed'); // this filter will clear the  limits

2. Then above  function ical_adjust_query, add a new function:

function amr_no_limits_for_feed($limits) { //wordpress overwrites our 'unlimited posts_per_page' parameter if the query is n a feed and imposes the rss feed limit.  This will remove the limit. Only call if it is a ics feed
 return ('') ;


A user of amr-events (Shourin Sen , using the plugin for ip, entertainment and art law events) brought to my attention that the ics feed was not showing all events – it was behaving like an rss feed – only showing the last x events.

This was very puzzling since the ics feed code uses the same functions to get the event posts as the shortcodes and the widgets and they got all the data they needed.   It seemed like the “posts_per_page=-1” argument passed was being ignored when in the feed.

post_per_page = -1 is supposed to fetch all posts.

I dug down into the wordpress code and at line 1687  in wp-includes/query.php found that if the query was in a feed, then wordpress fetched the “posts_per_rss” option and overwrote (without checking) whatever value was in post_per_page.

Is this a wordpress bug?

Maybe? – there may be a case for ignoring the parameter in case plugin or theme developers forget that changes they make to the query may impact the feed to,  although all the other examples do suggest checking whether in a feed or not before applying changes to the query, so arguably the wp code should not just overwrite it.

Certainly the codex needs to highlight this to help developers.  Therefore I have updated the wordpress documentation  in a couple of places, but I have not logged it as a bug in the wp trac.

Feedburner plugins and ical feeds

If you are using feedburner and a ical plugin that generates feeds, then please use the, rather than the feedsmith plugin.

The FD plugin allows for the possibility of some other feed (like an ical feed naturally!) and so will not hijack your ics feed like the feedsmith one does.


  • a simple hack to the google feedsmith plugin to check the global $feed variable and bail if it = ‘ics’ would also do the trick!
  • or if you maintain good coding standards and don’t like editing external plugins (not a good idea generally!), then you could muck around with the wordpress action template_redirect and see if you can remove the feedburner redirect IF it is a ics feed.