I hate having to do this, almost as much as you hating having to read it, but if I don’t do it, I could get sued or something and then I’d have to sell my children to fund my legal team, so here goes….
I promise to try and make it entertaining along the way.
Who we are
Official sounding words: Our website address is: https://johnholtwriter.com.
Translation: If that came as a shock to you, you’re probably at the wrong site. Go back to Google and try again.
What personal data we collect and why we collect it
Did I say “Personal data”?
Official sounding words: 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.
Translation: If you visit my site, read my stuff and decide to comment, the internet will quickly check if you’ve got a photo you’ve previously allowed them to use next to your just written words.
And then they’ll use it. So make sure it’s a good one, and not that one of you straddling Gavin, that lovely chap you met while holidaying in Tenerife.
Official sounding words: 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.
Translation: Images contain a lot more information than you think.
You should probably be more scared of this than you are.
When you post a photo somewhere, people far cleverer than I can find out where you were stood, at what time and what your favourite Lionel Richie album was at the time of taking it.
When the machines finally take over the world, this is the kind of shit they’ll use against us.
Here’s a big one for me, so no legal jargon here.
I have a contact form on my website so that you can reach out to me and ask me questions (let’s face it, I’d be silly if I didn’t).
You can send me your name, email and whatever information you have about an event you’d like me to do card tricks at. This form is on an SSL secured website (thank you WordPress!) and I always look over my shoulder when opening my laptop, to make sure no spies or foreign agents are in the vicinity.
When you click the magic button “SEND”, the form is then converted into an email (don’t ask me how, I think it may be the ghost of Steve Jobs that does it) that goes to my gmail account. I don’t add you to a list and I don’t keep your email address forever, just for a couple of weeks, which allows me time to reply to you and then send another “chaser” email later on (as all good marketing books recommend) to check you received my initial reply.
After that, I delete your email and you won’t hear from me again, so you won’t be receiving any “I know you asked me about performing at your 5th birthday party in 1976, so now that you’re 55, I thought I’d let you know that I also do wedding anniversary celebrations too…” emails from me.
The contact form I use on my site is Contact Form 7, and you can read all about it by clicking on it.
Not that kind, the boring kind.
Official sounding words: 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.
Translation: Cookies save you time and effort, but they do nothing for me. It’s a little string of text that remembers certain aspects of how you like to visit websites. For various parts of this site, you can click helpful things like “remember me?” and it will remember your details. You’ll see those as they happen, so you won’t be surprised, and you don’t have to be remembered if you don’t want.
Being memorable is overrated.
Embedded content from other websites
Official sounding words: Articles on this site may 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.
Translation: I occasionally put other people’s stuff on my site, occasionally embedded in order to keep you here, rather than wandering off into cyberspace. Other companies are far more cleverer than I and may collect even more of your data and monitor how you use their service.
I promise to always highlight embedded content and not try and pass it off as my own.
Unless it’s really good.
Official Sounding Words: This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyse how users use the site.
The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.
Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.
Translation: God that was boring!
I need a break. What I could do with to break the monotony of this is some kind of funny image. Maybe like a dancing dog or something…
OK, let’s get back to it.
I use Google Analytics because other, smarter and better looking people are doing it, and smarter, better looking people are rarely wrong.
Google keeps track of who visits my site, what pages they visited, how long they visited for and what colour underwear they happened to be wearing at the time. Only some of this is true.
If you want to read more about how Google safeguards your data, and you have a spare month, you can have a looksie here.
Because I’m not as clued up as I should be, I don’t see much of the data Google collects, only the summary. IP addresses are anonymised and my own technical incompetence prevents me from knowing too much, so you’re pretty safe.
I should use this anonymised data to work smarter and produce a better website, but I don’t. I just tend to look at the data and do this:
You can opt out of all analytics nonsense by changing your cookies settings. I have no idea how to do this, so don’t ask me how.
You could try Googling it, but Google probably have Google Analytics on that site too.
By visiting the site and reading my stuff though, you are consenting to me using Google Analytics, unless you opt out, which sounds very pushy, but I have to write it, because it’s true.
Who we share your data with
Official sounding words: I don’t share your data with anyone, though comments made on blog posts will remain public and freely visible to anybody viewing the site.
Translation: I don’t share your data with anyone, though comments made on blog posts will remain public and freely visible to anybody viewing the site.
Don’t post anything on my site that you don’t want anyone else to see.
How long we retain your data
Official sounding words: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise 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.
Translation: WordPress allows you to register for my site, though god knows why you’d actually want to do this.
I certainly wouldn’t.
If you register, WordPress holds your details in it’s magical system (probably in that “cloud” that I’ve heard so much about).
I can see these too, but, believe me, unless you’re the Dalai Lama or have the secrets to the JFK assassination embedded in there somewhere, I have better things to do.
If you book me for an event, as mentioned above (I really should have looked ahead, so I’m just going to copy and paste this in), I tend to need contact information, which I’ll keep as a record on Giggio until your event. If I deleted it before the event, that would be silly.
I usually keep your details on file for at least a year, so that I can follow up, and check you were happy with everything.
What rights you have over your data
Official sounding words: 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.
Translation: You can ask me to remove your stuff from this site at any point, and I will happily do so. You can also request I send you what information I have and though I’m also happy to do this, it is a lesser happiness, as I would have to work out how to actually do it.
I’d still do it though, but only for you.
It’ll probably be on Google somewhere.
Don’t get up. I’ll check.
Where we send your data
Official Sounding Words: Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Translation: The only data that is ever sent anywhere are comments to the website. If I’m on the ball, I’ve switched my spam detection service filter thingy on.
I use Akismet (wrongly pronounced “askmet” by me. Every single time). It’s fabulous. If you have a site, you should use them too.
I occasionally (usually only when I’ve read something that inspires me to build an email list) send out a newsletter. You can opt in if you’d like.
If you do decide to opt in, I use a form provided by Mailchimp, who manage my email newsletter for me.
I opted for the double opt-in sign up, making a total of three opt-ins!
So when you sign up, you send me your name and email (it can even be that fake email account you set up, just for crappy emails from magicians) and then the lovely man at Mailchimp emails you back (I think his name is Gerald), asking you if you’re sure you want to subscribe (they’re clearly concerned about your mental health, having seen the quality of my emails). If you then agree, again, only THEN are you added to the email list, ready to receive updates when I’m feeling especially motivated.
Mailchimp is good, but, most importantly, it’s free. Use them. Tell Gerald I said “hi!”.
There’s a lot of concern about privacy and data and other words I’m not entirely sure of the meaning of, so let’s sum it up here:
I promise to not be a complete tool with you and your data. Like most people on this planet, I’m basically good and want what’s best for you. I’m not perfect, but I’m also not looking to opportunities to con you out of an email address.
I’m just not that guy.
This chap is though:
Don’t visit his website.
If you have any questions, please ask. I’m happy to help where I can (given my limited knowledge), you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my technical team at email@example.com (that’s still me, but I put on a fake beard and hat and refer to myself as “Marjorie”).
Have a great day!