We love data privacy

Photo credit: RaphaelJeanneret at pixabay.com

We love data privacy and take regular steps to ensure our own, such as using DuckDuckGo as a search engine and Telegram as a messaging service. We believe in data privacy as a human right, not just a legal obligation, and we welcomed the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data you submit to us will not be shared with third parties except as outlined below for the safe and smooth running of our websites and mailings. We are a micro-enterprise (formerly known as a ‘One Woman Band’) , but we use some of the most well known and respected service providers in website development and management. We therefore also provide links to their privacy policies.

We are based in Switzerland and operate under Swiss law.

The following overview applies to all websites currently created, owned and nurtured by Beatrice Otto, namely:

Signing up to our mailing list/s

 

We invite you to subscribe (or ‘sign up’) to our websites. In doing so, we ask for your name and email address which we use to send you news and updates from or regarding the specific site for which you sign up.

You are able to unsubscribe from any or all mailing lists at any time, either by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of any emails we send you, or by sending a message to the contact email in those messages.

If you unsubscribe, it is our policy to remove your details from our MailChimp database, to respect the rarely remembered ‘right to be forgotten’.  Naturally, we hope that sooner or later you will consider signing up again, but in the meantime, we will not keep your data.

You may also ask us at any time which of your data we hold, and request that we remove it.

We use MailChimp as our automated mailing platform. By clicking to submit a sign up form, you acknowledge that the data you submit is transferred to MailChimp to process our mailings.

For information, here is MailChimp’s privacy policy.

 

Using our contact or comments forms

 

Our sites allow you to submit comments or to contact us directly via online forms. In both cases we ask for your name and email address. We only use these relating to the comment or message you have submitted – you will not be added to any mailing list as a result.

(Similarly, we do not believe that giving us a business card at a meeting amounts to tacit permission to sign you up.)

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 anonymised 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.

When we feature a comment you have submitted, we will give only the name you provided and not your email address.  After approval of your comment, your Gravatar profile picture – if you have one – may be visible to the public in the context of your comment.

If instead we feature your comment in a quotation box, we may provide your name.

Visitor comments are checked through the Akismet spam detection service. See the summary provided by Akismet:

‘We collect information about visitors who comment on sites that use our Akismet anti-spam service. The information we collect depends on how the user sets up Akismet for the site, but typically includes the commenter’s IP address, user agent, referrer, and site URL (along with other information directly provided by the commenter such as their name, username, email address, and the comment itself).’

 

Website / blogging platform and related tools

 

We use WordPress and related products, such as Jetpack, Akismet, Vaultpress, and Gravatar.  The organisation behind these is Automattic – here is how they summarize their business and principles:

‘We are the people behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, VaultPress, Akismet, Gravatar, Crowdsignal, Cloudup, and more. We believe in making the web a better place. Learn more about us.

We’re a distributed company with over 875 Automatticians in more than 67 countries speaking at least 83 different languages. Our common goal is to democratise publishing so that anyone with a story can tell it, regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world.

We believe in Open Source and the vast majority of our work is available under the GPL.

We strive to live by the Automattic Creed.’

And here is the Automattic privacy policy.

Themes and plugins

 

Our sites are built using Elegant Themes’ Divi Builder and related plugins by the same company, namely Bloom (sign up forms) and Monarch (social media share and follow).

Elegant Themes’ Privacy Policy can be viewed here.

Cookies

 

We use cookies on our websites. Insofar as they are not strictly necessary for the provision of our website and services, we will ask you to consent to our use of cookies when you first visit our website.

Cookies are a complex topic.  We have taken the following text from the Jetpack support site, as a relatively clear summary.

‘What are cookies?   Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to ‘remember’ you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a ’session cookie’) or for multiple repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as ‘first party cookies’), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (‘third party cookies’).

Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as ‘web beacons’, or ‘pixels’. These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, the web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.

For information on the cookies set by Jetpack.com, or for visitors to sites with the Jetpack plugin installed, please see the cookie policy at automattic.com/cookies.’

Can the spam

 

Spam brings on headaches and other inconveniences.  We use the anti-spam service provided by Akismet, whose privacy policy can be seen here.

E-commerce and related services

 

We do not currently use any e-commerce services for our websites.  However, we may do so in future, together with allowing visitors the means to make donations.  We will update this policy accordingly.

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