Throughout this document, there are a few terms you’ll see used often:
- “we”, “us”, “our” refers to the author/owner/maintainer of this site.
- “this site”, “our site” refers to the site located at the URL https://mytechiethoughts.com including all subdomains, URIs and sub-URIs.
- “you”, “user”, “visitor” refers to anyone using this site for it’s intended purpose as a blog-type website.
We DO NOT collect any personally identifiable information about you unless you have explicitly chosen to provide that information. All non-security related information we collect is anonymized so that individual identification is no longer possible. Also, it is our sincere and honest belief that all external services used by this site to make it functional also adhere to strict anonymization of all personal data.
We store aggregated anonymized data only as long as necessary to facilitate the purposes outlined in the “How we use the anonymized analytical data we collect” section of this document. We keep this information for a maximum duration of 14 months and then it is permanently discarded. The information is NEVER sold, rented, shared or used for any purposes other than described in this document.
Information directly collected by this site
In general, no information of any kind is collected directly by this site. The vast majority of this site is pre-compiled static content. There are two notable exceptions, both of which only collect information explicitly and voluntarily provided by the user. These exceptions are:
A) Comment form and comments section
We use the open-source software isso to run our comment system. The program is completely self-hosted on our private web server and stores all of its data in a local database. That database only ever leaves our private web server as part of our daily encrypted backup.
The comment form collects only information the user chooses to provide and their IP address for security reasons. It consists of three (3) sections:
Comment box: The contents of this box are generated verbatim solely by the user through their direct input. While moderated, the responsibility for not disclosing personally identifiable information in this section rests with the user. Please be aware that anything submitted in this box may be posted publicly on the corresponding page of this site. The user is provided with a 60-minute grace period within which s/he may delete all record of their comment and any associated personal information. After that point, a request must be made to the webmaster of this site to have said comment and associated information removed. Please see the “Questions? Concerns? Want your data deleted?” section of this document for more information on having your comments/information removed.
Name box: This field is optional. Whatever name is submitted, if any, shall appear as the ‘author’ of your submitted comment. You may choose whether or not to use your actual name since we do not verify this information. Anything submitted here will be stored in our comment database.
Email address box: This field is optional. Whatever address is submitted, if any, will be associated with your comment. We do NOT verify the provided address in any way. The provided address is NOT publicly posted along with your comment and only exists in our comment database. We do NOT disclose these email addresses, except where required by law. We use them only for contacting you specifically about the comment you have submitted and only if necessary or by your request.
Should you choose to submit a comment, regardless of submitting any personal information, your non-anonymized IP address is collected and stored along with your comment in our database. This is done for the following reasons:
Allows the comment script to track whether you are the author of the comment so you can edit/delete your comment during the 60-minute grace period.
Prevents you from up-voting your comment from the device you used to post it.
Most important, we use this IP address to track and report spammers and other malicious actors. Unless you choose to supply a name and/or email address, we do not attempt to tie any other identifiable information to this IP address and only look up this information in our database when needed to combat malicious activity against our site. Because this information is being used for security reasons, it cannot be anonymized.
If you visit our site at some arbitrary time after posting a comment where you filled something out for ‘name’ and/or ‘email address’, you may notice those fields are pre-populated on your next visit. That information is drawn from YOUR local browser storage and is NOT stored on our systems or accessed from our database.
B) Email contact form
If you use our contact form to send us an email, you must necessarily provide a valid email ‘from’ address which will be disclosed to us due to the nature of email communication. It is assumed you consent to us using the email address you have supplied when replying to you. Any addresses collected via the email submission form are only used to respond to the issue(s) specifically related to messages received via that form and are then purged from our contact lists thereafter. Addresses are never disclosed to third parties, except as required by law.
Information collected by other companies/sites as part of the services they provide to us and/or on our behalf
We use Cloudflare’s content-delivery-network (CDN) and acceleration/caching services to deliver our content quickly and reliably to our readers and to ease the burden on our web server.
Cloudflare places a cookie on your device when you access any site within their network. This cookie anonymizes your IP address and then uses it to help determine your location so you can be routed to the fastest server to retrieve the content of this site. This location information is also available to us for analysis purposes and we use it as outlined in the “How we use the anonymized analytical data we collect” section.
We use jsDelivr’s content-delivery-network (CDN) to provide our cookie notice popup (Cookie Consent) and various ‘polyfills’. ‘Polyfills’ are pieces of code that provide features found in newer browsers for those still using older browsers such as Internet Explorer and some versions of Opera.
Information we collect and share with other sites
With one exception, we DO NOT share any information with other sites. That exception comes into play if, and only if, you choose to submit an email address while leaving a comment using our comment system. In that case, the supplied email address is one-way MD5 hashed using a unique salt and submitted to Gravatar. This allows us to display your Gravatar next to your comments on our site or, if you do not have a Gravatar, a unique random avatar will be generated for you.
Note that only a hash of the email address you provide is submitted to Gravatar to determine if you are in their database and then retrieve your Gravatar. If you do not supply an email address (again, completely optional) then nothing is submitted to Gravatar.
How we use the anonymized analytical data we collect
Anonymized collected data, primarily via Google Analytics, is used only for us to:
See which pages are being visited and better understand what information our readers are interested in;
Determine the general geographic area from which users are visiting our site so we can better determine how to optimize content delivery speed;
Understand possible ways to enhance our search engine rankings, social media engagement and reciprocal link relationships;
Analyze visitor navigation of our site so we can optimize this over time to make information easier to find for visitors;
Determine how our visitors are finding our site and how long they are spending browsing various parts of our site;
Better understand aggregate visitor traffic to assist in capacity planning such as upgrading servers, service plans, bandwidth, et cetera; and
Rank and tally what types of devices and browsers visitors are using to view our site so we can enhance our website coding and design.
How we use any personal information you choose to submit via forms or comments
In short, we don’t use submitted personal information at all except to contact you as per your request via the contact form or comments section. After that has happened, we purge the data wherever possible or practical. In the case of email addresses from the contact form, we purge them from our contact lists after we deem interactions complete. In the case of comments, the structure of the comment database makes removal of some personally identifiable information without affecting the comment itself technically complex and will only be undertaken following an explicit user request. See the “Questions? Concerns? Want your data deleted?” section of this document for more information.
Questions? Concerns? Want your data deleted?
If you have any questions about this policy or have concerns regarding personally identifiable information we may have about you, please reach out to us using our contact form and let us know. Depending on what you request, we can supply you with a copy of any data we have about you and/or delete all records mentioning you.