I believe the sites and services we use online should be open about what information is collected and how it is used. In spite of some nonsense having been written about privacy threats, that’s not as creepy as it sounds because some information is needed just to make the internet work. For example, this page mentions your IP address. That’s the way the internet gets pages, music and video to your computer, phone or TV (depending on what you’ve connected). Without that address the internet won’t work so it has to be passed around a little bit.
The internet is also global which means it might not always be obvious where this information is going. For example, although I was born an live in the UK, the machines that hold this site are physically in the United States. I use services from Google which is headquartered there. So, some information passes through them.
So, in the spirit of letting you know what this site does – and doesn’t – do this page aims to explain it all as clearly as possible. If it’s not clear then I want to know. Tell me @curns.
The curnow.org website does not need to collect nor store your personal data in any way. You can use this site without sharing any personal information.
In common with most sites, the web server – which is the machine that sends the pages to you – may collect information from your browser, including your IP address and the page you request which will be logged and used to identify the most popular pages. In addition to information stored by the web-servers of my hosting provider, Dreamhost, I use Google Analytics to help me understand how visitors use my site. It is anonymous and I do not know who you are. You may notice I use MaxMind to identify which country you are coming from (it’s at the bottom of most pages). This looks at your IP address to determine where you may be located. They do not know who you are: it’s just a bit of fun.
If you contact me with your email address it will not be sold or released to anybody else unless the law requires it.
You are able to comment on selected entries within the site or by using the form on the contact page. When you comment then the information you enter (name, email address and website URL) may be stored in cookies on your computer to allow you to easily to comment on other pages (see below).
Your email address is required if you wish to comment or contact me. This is to help authenticate real users and to deliver your message to me. It will never be shared with anybody else (I hate spam too) and you’re not going to get any emails from me except for any automated ones I set up to confirm your comment or contact (unless your contact request asks me to get in touch, of course). For security and to prevent spamming, we collect your IP address from which you made the comment and this is recorded alongside the comment. That data is stored in on my servers which, as I have mentioned, are located with Dreamhost in the US.
In addition, if you comment, I will receive an email which will include some of the details about your comment to allow me to moderate comments on the site. If you use the contact form then I will receive an email containing your message. My email provider is also located in the US. Therefore, if you are from within the EU, you should be aware that these basic details will be sent outside of the European Union but it’s really no different then sending a email to somebody which, I imagine, you do quite a lot anyway.
Please remember that any details you leave in the actual comment on a page will be displayed. Do not enter anything you do not want to be published on the site. Please think before posting any personal details. I will remove all posts containing obvious real world information and I reserve the right to remove any posts. If you use the contact form then your message will not be displayed on the site.
Depending on the amount of comments – or spam – I am getting, I sometimes – but not always – hold them until they have been reviewed. Don’t worry if I don’t publish your comment quickly as it can often take me some time to get round to it. You can always nudge me @curns.
A ‘cookie’ is a small file that is placed in your browser and allows curnow.org to, amongst other things, recognise when you have commented or that you have seen the cookie notification on the top of the page. A number of cookies are set and by using this site you consent to the setting of these cookies.
Specifically, a cookie called cookillian_opt_in is used to show you have seen the cookie message. Once this cookie is set you will not see the message again unless you delete it. A cookie called w3tc_referrer may be set. This helps with speeding up of the site (technically known as caching). It knows nothing about you and is used to help the site function well. You will see cookies with a name like __utma (or similar). These are related to Google Analytics which I use to understand how people use my site. Google have a whole page devoted to explaining these cookies and a mechanism for you to opt-out if you wish. You will find more details at http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/privacy.html. Finally, I store some cookies if you comment on articles (they all have a cookie name that begins comment_) that allows the site to remember the details you have entered so that you may comment on multiple articles without having to keep retyping your details. All of these cookies will stay on your machine until their expiry dates but you may delete them all without causing any problems (they will get set again if you come back or comment again). They fall into the category of ‘very helpful cookies that save you typing’.
I use the Gravatar image service when you comment on the site. curnow.org will contact Gravatar to see if you have a picture that you wish to set with your comments. If you have never set this then it won’t find one. It’s a fun thing to do but if you don’t use that service then it can’t magically put a picture of you there.
Note that I won’t show the cookie warning if you have enabled do not track in your browser settings as the site honours that setting and doesn’t set most cookies (i.e. I won’t set comment cookies). Google Analytics, however, may still set their cookies. You will find more details at http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/privacy.html.
We do not need this information ever, so you do not need to enter it anywhere on this site.
There is no reason to send us any personal details other than as specified above. In addition other Internet sites or services that may be accessible through curnow.org have separate data and privacy practices independent of my site, and therefore I want to let you know that I disclaim any responsibility or liability for their policies or actions.
Please contact those vendors or sites directly if you have any questions about their privacy policies.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if something on the site requires correction or removal. This policy was last revised in September 2014 to try to make it clearer and to add the addition of Gravatar information.