Privacy

I hope my data collection practices on this website show that I have a genuine committment to protecting your privacy. I am very concerned about the widespread exploitation of our personal data, and I go to great lengths to ensure my privacy online. My goal is to safeguard your privacy as proactively as I do my own.

Privacy is a fundamental human right that must be protected. Yet we all live and work in a digital age that runs on our personal data. I strive to navigate this dilemma with respect for you and sensible approaches to data collection. I aim to protect your privacy to my utmost ability while collecting the bare minimum of data necessary for a writer to succeed in the current publishing industry.

If you would like to block online tracking and other invasions of your privacy, many user-friendly tools are available for your browser at the links below.

Learn more about how to protect your privacy online:

This privacy policy applies to fivethorns.com (this website) owned and operated by Vela Roth (me).

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I control and process personal information about you electronically when you use this website.

I am exempt from registration in the ICO Data Protection Register because I only collect and process information for core business purposes.

If you have any questions or concerns about this privacy policy, you can find my contact information here.

  • This website does not use cookies.
  • I do not use third-party web statistics services, such as Google Analytics, Awstats or Webalizer, on this website.
  • There are no social media widgets or share buttons on this website that contain tracking code, only a basic link to my Twitter profile.
  • There are no affiliate links on this website.

My web hosting provider, Geek Storage, keeps server logs that record the IP address of each visitor to my website. Visitor IP addresses from the last twenty-four hours are made available to me, after which time I no longer have access to this data. I do not utilise this data except when necessary for the legitimate interest of website security.

I use Matomo, a self-hosted and privacy-respecting analytics platform, to track visits to my website. This gives me the ability to limit what data is collected about you, delete that data anytime, and deny large corporations like Google the opportunity to collect more data about what you do online.

Matomo respects the Do Not Track setting you choose in your browser and will only collect information about you if you have not enabled Do Not Track. I have configured my Matomo installation to collect no personal data as detailed in this guide. Only I have access to the data Matomo collects, and I never share it with any third party. I retain this data for six months.

When a visitor arrives at my website, Matomo collects the following information about that visitor:

  • Anonymized user IP address
  • Date and time of the request
  • Title of the page being viewed (Page Title)
  • URL of the page being viewed (Page URL)
  • URL of the page that was viewed prior to the current page (Referrer URL)
  • Screen resolution being used
  • Time in local user’s timezone
  • Files that were clicked and downloaded (Download)
  • Links to an outside domain that were clicked (Outlink)
  • Pages generation time (the time it takes for webpages to be generated by the webserver and then downloaded by the user: Page speed)
  • Main Language of the browser being used (Accept-Language header)
  • Location of the user (country only, guessed based on user's language)
  • User Agent of the browser being used (User-Agent header). From the User-Agent, Matomo uses its Universal Device Detection library to detect:
    • browser
    • operating system
    • device used (desktop, tablet, mobile, tv, cars, console, etc.), brand and model
  • Campaigns (whether user arrived via a campaign, i.e. a Matomo link in ebook back matter, email newsletter or banner ad)

I use a third-party service, MailerLite, for email marketing. As detailed in their privacy policy, MailerLite collects certain personal and non-personal information about each subscriber and makes some of that data available to me, their customer. By entering your email address in the Diplomatic Dispatches newsletter sign up form, you, the subscriber, consent to this data collection.

Neither I nor MailerLite will ever share, sell, or rent your data to any other party for any reason. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of one of my emails or by contacting me directly. After you unsubscribe, MailerLite retains the data collected about you. If you would like this data to be deleted, simply contact me, and I will be happy to use MailerLite's forget feature, which will permanently erase all your data from the system after a period of 30 days.

I ensure the safety of your personal data by using secure data storage technologies provided by:

Geek Storage utilizes enterprise-grade security to protect all hardware at their data centers. They also offer a robust set of software security tools built on industry standards such as ModSecurity.

MailerLite's data storage center has information storage security certificate (ISO 27001), as well as the certificate of IT service management (ISO 20000).

Updated October 2018