Privacy Policy

Banner - Mary QofScots cipher with my entry

latest edit 18 August 2023

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
C. Analytics
└ 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?
E. Prohibition on use in Artificial Intelligence software
F. Summary

A. Whose site is this? 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.

B2. Contact form (one)

There is a contact form on my Requests page, to enable readers to help me find items listed there. For other purposes I prefer to be contacted via Mastodon, or by direct message on Xitter if you aren’t in a hurry, as that account is no longer checked regularly. If you have no access to those, use the form. Please read section B6 to see how I handle email addresses.

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

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 enable WordPress’s Site Stats functionality, and Google Analytics traffic data (see section C for more about analytics). YouTube sets some cookies when you interact with YouTube videos embedded in posts. Third-party advertising tracking cookies are not relevant here, since I have no advertising.

Options for the cookies stored by this site can be customised using the buttons in the consent banner.

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 from being included in any Topic, I will. If I can’t, I won’t.

B6. Email addresses

If you send me a message through the 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, in which case the address is blocked and the message deleted.

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.

B7. WordPress followers

If you follow this blog through your own WordPress account, posts display in your Reader. I can see my followers’ WP usernames, and links to their WP blogs. If you unfollow, your entry disappears.

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.

Most of my embeds are videos, and most of them come from YouTube.

C. Analytics

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.

C2. WordPress

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. 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.

E. Prohibition on use in Artificial Intelligence software and datasets (LLM, generative pre-training, etc)

This is not so much a question of user privacy as of the rights I assert to all original work published here. You may not use any of this site’s content for the development of any software program, including, but not limited to, training a machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) system. Full stop. My views on this topic are explained more fully in the post Ill School’d AI, but the prohibition belongs here as well.

F. Summary

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.

I post my words to be read by other humans. No other use is permitted without my express permission.

If you have questions, please ask.

Thank you for being here.
Edward Oxenford crown/coronet signature