latest edit 17 July 2022
A. Whose site is this?
B. What personal data do I collect?
└ B1. Comments
└ B2. Contact form
└ B3. Surveys
└ B4. Cookies (set by WordPress)
└ B5. Google Topics API
└ B6. Email addresses
└ B7. WordPress followers
└ B8. Embedded content from other sites
└ B9. Twitter sidebar widget
└ C1. Why I look at site traffic
└ C2. WordPress
└ C3. Google Analytics
└ C4. Opting out of Google Analytics
└ C5. Cloudflare Analytics
D. With whom do I share data?
A. Whose site is this?
edevere17.com is this site’s name and its address. Shake-Speare’s blog. I am Shake-Speare, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. The internet allows me to ignore the fact that I died in 1604.
I am both the Creative and IT departments. I have no collaborators, neither human nor conjured by the arcane code of hired stylomancers. Marlowe begged me to let him co-write after I guest-posted Ben Jonson’s revised First Folio preface, but I told Kit to sod off (so to speak) and find a Shakspere blog to filch credit from. He’s been trouble enough.
I don’t write this blog as bait to obtain viewer data, advertising clicks, or sales commissions. All its costs come out of my own pocket. I do it because I want to amuse you while I make you think and re-think about Shake-Speare. If you like what I write and you’re so inclined, I have a PayPal link for donations. That’s as close as I get to an advert.
B. What personal data do I collect?
B1. Comments (none)
I can’t collect what isn’t here. No blog comments means no comment data. If you wish to comment or converse, you can easily find me on Twitter. Happy to chat with you there.
B2. Contact form (one)
[17 July 2022] I’ve added a contact form to my Requests page, to enable readers without Twitter accounts to help me find items listed there. Please read section B6 to see how I handle email addresses. For all other purposes contact me via direct message on Twitter. It’s quicker, and as long as you’re polite and not an obvious troll you’ll get a reply.
B3. Surveys (next to none)
Once in a rare while I may put survey questions inside a post using Crowdsignal. Answering questions is always optional. If you respond, I see your answers (as do you), and I get a chart with the responses tallied by country. I don’t see IP addresses, and I can’t tell which response comes from which country, I only see totals. I’ve done this just twice since starting the blog in 2015, so it’s not a common feature.
B4. Cookies (set by WordPress)
Cookies are small bits of code stored on your device as you browse, for a variety of purposes. Some are needed for technical reasons; others enable a personalized visit. Some cookies set when a page loads, or when you take a particular action, such as clicking the Like button on a post. Some cookies set if you’re registered with WordPress, for instance so that you don’t have to log in each time you visit. Others set when you visit any WordPress site, whether or not you have an account.
Cookies are also used to enable the Site Stats functionality in WordPress (see section C2 below). Third-party advertising tracking cookies are not relevant here, since I have no advertising.
B5. Google Topics API
Google has wisely abandoned its plans to introduce Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as its replacement for third-party tracking cookies. A new API-based scheme called Topics is in the works instead. I have more reading to do, but if I can disable edevere17.com from being included in any Topic, I will. If I can’t, I won’t.
B6. Email addresses
If you subscribe to receive email notifications of new posts (see the sidebar), WordPress sends them automatically to the address you subscribe with. I can see a list of subscribers’ addresses, but I don’t do anything else with them. If you unsubscribe, your address disappears from the list.
[17 July 2022] If you send me a message through a contact form, I receive the address you submit, which I need in order to reply. Replies are at my discretion. I do nothing else with the address unless the message is inappropriate or abusive, in which case the address is blocked and the message deleted.
B7. WordPress followers
B8. Embedded content from other sites
Posts and pages on this site may include embedded content from other sources. Embedded items (as opposed to external links) display here but behave as if you visited the source websites. Those sites may collect data about you, set cookies, employ additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with the embedded content, including tracking your interaction with it if you have an account at that site and and are logged into it.
B9. Twitter sidebar widget
Smash Balloon’s Twitter widget appears in the blog’s sidebar. In order to display my tweets in your browser, your IP address is sent to Twitter so that they know where to send the feed. They don’t obtain any other data in this exchange. Twitter’s own policy concerning data shared with embedded applications can be found at https://twitter.com/en/privacy (section 3.2 in the policy version effective 10 June 2022).
The widget includes Reply, Retweet, and Like icons below each tweet in the feed. If you have a Twitter account you can use these icons to interact with the tweets, just as if you were on Twitter’s website. In this case, Twitter may collect additional information such as your browser’s user agent, and set cookies or other tracking to monitor your interaction with the widget. This is how they correlate the actions you take on the widget’s feed with your account at Twitter. If you aren’t logged into your account, clicking one of the icons will pop up a login window first.
C1. Why I look at site traffic
I use analytics to observe how viewers interact with the blog. This indirect feedback helps me to improve what I post. That’s why, and that’s all. Even a deceased playwright likes to know what engages his audience. A blog has no applause to hear, no faces to watch. Now I look at graphs.
WordPress includes built-in Site Stats traffic information in its admin tools, which I’ve used since I started the blog in 2015. The number of page views and visitors per day are counted, their location by country, entry and exit links. It’s pretty low-fi.
C3. Google Analytics
In mid 2019 I added Google’s analytics, to see what searches and referrals bring people to the site, and what pages they view once here – what visitors are looking for, and what they stay for. GA uses an authorised (by me) connection to my site to gather traffic data, except from those viewers who opt out (see below). Google formats the data they gather into graphs, charts, and tables, which I can view. No one else at my end sees these results. They display no personal information, only interactions with the site. I do not look at data beyond the period I choose for the display of trends, typically a month. No visitor can be personally identified or located. I do not save any of this data for other uses.
C4. Opting out of Google Analytics
If you prefer to hide from GA, you can install the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on (extension). The add-on can be installed into Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge. It disables GA tracking on all GA-enabled sites you visit with that browser, and is permanent as long as the extension remains enabled.
C5. Cloudflare Analytics
At the end of 2020 I enabled Cloudflare’s privacy-oriented web analytics. Pros: not as complex as GA, not aimed at commercial sites, not run by an advertising company. Cons: no information on searches, UI needs work.
D. With whom do I share data?
1. WordPress.com hosts my site on their servers. Traffic and viewer data originate there, and as the host WordPress has access to it.
2. Google Analytics has my permission to snag traffic data in order to turn it into useful visual forms.
3. So does Cloudflare.
4. If you donate via my PayPal link, our PayPal accounts connect. Transaction information is exchanged, money is transferred. That’s the nature of PayPal. If you’re a donor, my ever thanks.
This blog, the recreational project of a dead poet endeavouring to entertain readers while correcting four centuries of badly flawed literary history, is not a place where your digital privacy is at appreciable risk. I’m not selling you anything, nor selling you to anyone else. My aim is to open your mind rather than your wallet. What little information I see I take to my grave, wherever that is.
If you have questions, please contact me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Thank you for being here.
- • Cipher key belonging to Mary Stuart (detail) [nationalarchives.gov.uk]
- · circa 1586
- · Seized by Walsingham’s agents after the discovery of the Babington Plot, which led to Mary’s 1586 trial and 1587 execution.
- · Look who’s just to the right of the King of France. My code glyph looks like a little awareness ribbon.