So, here goes nothing!
Let’s start by saying that while I do know what all the technobabble means, who honestly has the time to read technobabble, so you won’t find any in this policy. And when I say I, I really mean me, a lowly writer and freelance editor, seriously underpaid, and the volunteers who actually pick up the slack when my computer blows up and has a complete meltdown.
Short Words (Stolen by Underpaid and Desperate People)
I’m a writer and seriously underpaid freelance editor, working my knuckles to the bone to even break even here. I don’t have the time or energy to do anything nefarious with your data. It’s not that I’m not evil (Have you read any of my stories? It’s body parts flying everywhere.), but I would rather dream up ways to torture characters than think up a malevolent plot to steal your identity.
Any data collected or stored is information that is needed to provide you with a service you buy from me, or to shout out about any news on the writerly front. I might occasionally stalk you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever other social media platform that I feel like using, but that’s about it really.
Seriously, who cares? These little packets of data do so many neat things: like help your browser remember who you are, in case you have a minor brain fart and forget yourself. WordPress and some of the other plugins I use do detect this information and fire it along the line, but bugger me if I can even be bothered to hack into the system for the nitty-gritty details. (Not that I would know how to hack into a computer system, because I don’t.)
If you don’t want the delicious home-baked scripts that come with WordPress (or the internet as a whole), you can block them through your browser, but don’t come crying to me when nothing works and you can’t see anything on my website.
Stalky Visitor Tracking
Look, you’re visiting my website, so the system knows where you are. Just accept it, okay? I use Google Analytics, primarily to stare at pretty little graphs of real-time stats, because who doesn’t like pretty little graphs. I’m a scientist by background. Pretty little graphs are a prerequisite.
I also have a contact form, because how else are you meant to contact me? I suppose you could use social media, but contact forms are more funky. And it’s communication that you need to initiate.
Neither of these things store any super personal data about you, but does nab your IP address, not that I have a clue what one can do with an IP address after that. All I see is that a person, or many people, has interacted with the website in a particular way. You can mess with my head by doing something totally unexpected, skewing the stats. (At which point, I will likely analyse to death what it actually is that you’ve done, so I can work it into yet another novel where the serial killer is out to get people through the internet.)
DATA!! Numbers!! It’s a scientist’s candy store!
A ton of petabytes are whirring around the world and future historians are now laughing at us, as our society slowly collapses into a zombie-filled land with smart devices that very few actually know how they work properly.
(Who will people call when their internet totally craps out? The geeks and nerds who believe in science… That’s who!)
Seriously, though, I’m a data junky, keeping backups on external hard drives, and within the cloud. (Yes, I use the cloud.) I’m obsessed with backing up data, BECAUSE MY COMPUTER HATES ME!
If you insist on me delving into how this data is used, here goes nothing!
Here on this website!
If you register for my newsletter, the system will store your name and email address. If you comment on a post, your name and email address is stored there too—unless you are commenting through Discus or Facebook or Twitter, or some other crazy login method, in which case, the tools used on this site do NOT store your profile information, but your identity on this site will be linked to your profile offsite.
Anything stored locally (and not on the cloud, or on the web-hosting server) is only in website backup zip files. I’m more concerned about losing years of blog posts. The only reason anyone would ever access those files is if my website crashed and the defibrillation paddles were needed to bring it back to life.
I obviously go to the maximum effort to keep all data secure, and only I and my trusted
slaves web assistants have access to it.
Let’s be honest here: I do absolutely nothing unsurprising or radical with your information. I use your interaction history to understand what it is people are actually reading (should I be wasting my time with writing it). Does this make me Evil? (Again, seriously, have you read any of my writing? Body parts are everywhere!)
My Email list on MailerLite!
I don’t sign you up for my newsletter unless you click the link that says “Subscribe” in one of its many variations. In which case, your name and email address fly through the internet to MailerLite, which is the system I use to manage my newsletters and email lists. They are (allegedly) GDPR compliant. But you can unsubscribe from my emails at any time by hitting the unsubscribe link that is present in the bottom of ALL of my mailing list emails.
Yeah, I use email. Yes, I have an email address book. No, you can’t see my address book, because it’s my address book. In fact, the only reason you would ever be in my address book is if you sent me an email first, or used my contact form. However, if you want me to delete your email from my address book, sure… Consider it done.
My Computer and Local Hard Drives
Okay, guys, I said it above… I’m a data freak. I backup data a lot. I use external hard drives and the cloud. But if you have lived through the number of computer crashes that I have, you’d understand why.
The external hard drives never leave the house, and the laptop rarely does, but when it does, it is either under my hands as I type on the keyboard or locked up in the boot of my car (that’s the trunk of the car for you Americans). In the event of a data breach, I will let you know in a timely manner and take full responsibility.
For example, the cat might decide that he’s had enough of lying in the window behind my monitor and for a brief moment saunters past the keyboard (walking on it as he does), I will pick him up and tell him off in a big way. He’s not supposed to be on my desk anyway.
Email Marketing Thingies and Newsletters
If you sign up for my newsletter, you will get an email notification of new blog posts, which happen maybe once every few weeks, assuming I can actually be bothered to write one. And you’ll get a weird newsletter once a month filled with bizarre musings from this writer who is desperate for attention (and really, really wants to get works published so you all can read it). I probably won’t bother sending you anything else, because I have too many other things to do. Regardless, you can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking the unsubscribe links that are included at the bottom of all of my emails. Your name and email address are stored securely in MailerLite.
MailerLite automatically adds tracking things to links, so if you click on a link, I KNOW! If you open an email, I KNOW! If you ignore me, I KNOW THAT TOO! (Okay… Those of you using an Apple product to open my emails, I won’t actually know if you open my emails, because Apple has decided to totally screw around with the open stats by saying that you’ve opened my emails even if you haven’t opened them, but I KNOW who is opening emails on Apple devices, so…)
The most important thing about this is that I neither have the time nor the inclination to actually look at or do anything with the MailerLite stats… except for perhaps celebrate, because my subscriber numbers have increased from four measly followers.
Your Right to be Deleted
Sure. Whatever. If you insist. If you are really that scared of me, then contact me and tell me to F*** off, and I’ll delete all the little packets of information that I can find on you from my system. Then I’ll likely turn you into a dead body into one of my manuscripts, changing your name so you never know the truth… but I’ll know.
Social Media and All That Rubbish
I use social media, a lot! I interact with many other writers (and editors) through social media. It’s my playground of knowledge. If you reach out to me via one of my many social media channels, I’ll gladly have a conversation with you and get to know you. I’m not an internet serial killer, though I do write about them.
Regardless, you are not required to follow any of my social media accounts. I won’t be hurt.
(This policy was last update January 19, 2023.)