Privacy policy

This website is built on the commitment to protect your privacy to the furthest extent possible, far beyond what many consider “common practice”. Just browsing around on this site (without explicitly activating embedded third-party content) no personal information is collected or transmitted to third parties; only a tiny amount of visitor statistics are collected in strictly anonymised manner. Once you interact with some site features, limitations may apply – all of this is explained below in more detail.

Data transfer

Data transferred over the internet is by default readable by others (with a varying degree of difficulty; it is particularly easy on many public WiFi networks).
This could potentially expose your browsing behaviour (what pages do you open, what content is transmitted, what do you fill in a form) to unauthorized third parties.

This website transmits all data using HTTPS, a state-of-the-art protocol which encrypts your data between the browser and the server. Hence, your reading habits and the content of the transmissions are protected. You may however want to be aware that, for technical reasons, even with HTTPS encryption, the fact that you are interacting with this server in general cannot be hidden (somehow those data packages need to find their way through the network, so this is a core feature of the internet, not this website).

Scripts and external resources

Websites are often assembled from files that may be loaded from various third-party servers, e.g. scripts for interactive features, media files (images/videos) or fonts. This is commonly invisible to the user by default, unless using specialised means to look “under the hood”.
This potentially enables the parties hosting such files to protocol your file requests, and log your IP address, which could (with great effort, but nonetheless) be traced back to you. At least in theory, they could even track you around the web, if other websites load resources from the same servers.

By default, this website does not load any resources from other servers; everything loaded into your browser comes from this server.

Should any interaction you may engage in make use of external resources (please refer to “Embedded content” below for the most likely case), it carries an according notification text linked to the appropriate section of this document with further details. Once you consent to this website loading such content, the third-party provider may be able to track you, even in an identifiable manner.

Embedded content

It is common practice on the web to “embed” content (e.g. videos, but also slide shows, Twitter messages etc.) from the service they originate from. For this purpose, files have to be loaded from third-party servers.
This potentially enables the provider of the embedded content to register what content you accessed and on what website you found it. Furthermore, if you have previously interacted with that service, its provider could connect this information with a profile (which may be pseudonymous or even personally identifiable, especially if you are a registered user of that service).

By default, this website does not load embedded content from third parties; everything you see in your browser is hosted on and delivered from this server.

In places where embedded media is provided, you will be offered a brief note about the privacy implications and can then choose to either load the content (exposing yourself to the specific implications outlined below on a per-service basis) or follow a simple hyperlink to that site (the external service will still be able to track you, but at least they cannot connect it to your visit on this website).

Currently, this site only makes use of two sources for embedded content.

  • Vimeo: Once you activate an embedded video from Vimeo within this website, that video is loaded into a small frame wihin the web page. At that time, the Vimeo server also receives information of what web page it is being loaded into. All content within that frame is provided by Vimeo and is likely to contain trackers, resources loaded from third parties etc. Please refer to Vimeo’s privacy notice for more details.
  • YouTube: Once you activate an embedded video from YouTube within this website, that video is loaded into a small frame wihin the web page. At that time, the Vimeo server also receives information of what web page it is being loaded into. All content within that frame is provided by YouTube or other Google services and is likely to contain trackers, resources loaded from third parties etc. Please refer to Vimeo’s privacy notice for more details.

Analytics

Websites often use third-party services (such as Google Analytics) to analyse their traffic and commonly set a cookie to assign pseudonymous identifiers to website visitors in order to identify returning readers.
This leads to external services recording data about your reading habits, and in some cases – in theory at least – enables them to follow you around the web if you visit other sites using the same analytics service.

First of all, this website does not even assign pseudonymous identifiers; no cookie is being set for analytics. If you come back here, you’re being counted as yet another visitor. In order to ensure complete anonymity, the IP address of your computer is being anonymized (by removing at least the last octet).

Furthermore, this website does not use a third-party analytics service, but instead a locally run software named Piwik, so none of your data is transferred to an external service. This already grants a great deal of privacy: your identity is anonymised, and the analytics data is collected locally.

If you want to, you even can opt-out from analytics completely, either by setting the checkbox below (which sets a local cookie in your browser, since that is the only way to remember your request; this cookie cannot be used for identifying you, see below under “Cookies”), or by activating the “Do Not Track”-setting in your browser.

Log files

Whenever you load a file from a web server, that server may write a so called log file, containing information about the files requested, along with some more or less identifiable data on who retrieved it.
This leaves a trail of your browsing habits on such website and, unless the IP address is anonymized, could help identify you afterwards.

The log files written by this website do not contain personally identifiable information, as the IP address is being anonymised (by removing at least the last octet). These log files are primarily maintained to trace technical problems in retrospective.

On occasion, analysis software might also be used to extract some aggregated information to learn more about usage patterns of this website; this analysis does not aggregate personally identifiable information, most importantly since the IP addresses were already anonymised during logging.

Cookies and similar techniques

Most websites store small pieces of data in your browser. Sometimes it is just a simple variable to ensure the pages work well in your browser or remembers some preference you set, but often these contain IDs that enable the website owner or a third party to recognise you again later. Some sites store a “fingerprint” of your browser in their servers that does not even require a cookie.
While simple settings cookies are harmless, cookies containing identifying IDs or server-side fingerprinting may enable some party to track you around the web.

This website does not set any cookies by default. Zero. Zilch. You came here to read the content, not for the website to create files in your browser. Naturally the site also does not engage in fingerprinting or similar methods.

Please note that some interactions you may engage in could set a cookie. You will be notified about that beforehand. Most prominently, if you activate embedded third-party content (see explanations above), the services hosting that content will almost certainly set some cookies, including the trackable kind.

“Do Not Track”-settings

The “Do Not Track” flag, to be set in your browser’s preferences dialogue, is intended to tell websites that you do not wish to be tracked by third parties (“opt out of tracking by websites you do not visit”).
Unfortunately ignored by many websites (and by most of the big players anyways), this is a rather toothless means to protect yourself from tracking; you should really use a tracking blocker in your browser instead.

Despite the fact that the “Do Not Track” flag specifically expresses the desire to not be tracked by third parties, this websites respects your wish in regards to all tracking, even the so-called “first-party” tracking. In other words: the minimal tracking that takes place on this website in the first place (see above under “Analytics”) is disabled if you have that flag set in your browser.

Please note, however, that the server still writes its log files with anonymised IP addresses (as said, the “Do Not Track” setting in its original meaning does not apply to any of the practices used on this website in the first place).

E-Mail Newsletter

When subscribing to a website’s newsletter, the website provider needs to store and process some information about you. A lot of newsletters also make use of tracking features that register when you open an e-mail or click on a link. Many newsletters are managed through third-party services.
Once you reveal your identity to a website provider, you make yourself identifiable. The widespread practice to track reads/opens on a personally identifiable level literally allows the sender to watch over your shoulder. If a third-party provider is involved, yet another party has access to that data and (at least in theory) would even allow to connect your profile over several newsletters.

The e-mail newsletter offered on this website is hosted on the same server (no third-party provider) and does never track you.

Obviously, your e-mail address needs to be stored in order to send out the e-mails. To make sure you own the e-mail address provided, the software first sends you a confirmation e-mail; you need to click on the included link, to confirm your request. Unconfirmed e-mail addresses are kept in the database along with the IP address they were signed up from, in order to prevent abuse. In addition, during your sign-up, the following data is stored due to the legal obligation to document this so-called “double-opt-in” process: the time and IP address of you filling in the form and the time of you clicking the confirmation link.

Once subscribed, you’ll receive newsletter e-mails; the opening of the message or clicks on the links are not tracked (though sometimes, the links included may be non-public links, which allows to count overall clicks from the newsletter; such links are the same for all subscribers, hence not connected to your identity).

You can at any time cancel your subscription, in which case you do not receive further e-mail; to resubscribe, you have to go through the described two-step sign-up again.

Comments

On many websites, you have the possibility to leave a comment related to a published piece of content, which will then be displayed publicly. Many websites require you to enter a name (which can be a pseudonym) and e-mail address.
As you submit your comment, some data is inevitably being processed. Privacy issues arise if your comment can be traced back to you as an individual, either based on your name/e-mail or the IP address of your computer, in case of a technical malfunction even publicly.

Based on its “data minimalism” approach, this website does not require any personal information when leaving a comment.

If you however decide to voluntarily enter any personally identifiable information, you are asked to agree to storing that information on this server. The chosen name is displayed publicly, as is the URL of the mentioned website (subject to a review). Your IP address is only stored in anonymised form (the last octet removed).

Webmentions

Webmentions are a mechanism used to notify other websites when you refer to them on your own website. Your server sends a signal to this server, which than verifies that your content indeed links to the web page it claims.
Commonly, received webmentions are displayed as comments on a web page. This means that a copy of your content is displayed on this website.

Webmentions are an explicit feature of your content management system: by sending a webmention to the webmention endpoint of this website, you request the server to take notice of that referral and process it. As long as public content is concerned (i.e. you are not sending a private webmention), such use of this website’s webmention endpoint implies that you are aware of it being published.

In this context, it shall be pointed out that none of the information collected in the context of webmentions is personal data. The metadata and content of a web page referring to this website are publicly available web content at that time.

You can at any time request the removal of one or all webmentions originating from your website.

Questions?

If you have any questions regarding you privacy that this document is not answering, please do not hesitate to contact me (see About/Contact or Impressum). Same applies for any requests for deletion of your personal information.

Version 0.2, 2017-12-23