Lately, your email inbox has probably been flooded with people and companies talking about privacy and a thing called GDPR. Now, if I wasn’t a writer and just a consumer, I’d probably send all those emails to spam. And in case you’ve done that very same thing, I’ll explain in simple terms what everyone’s been talking about.
The boring stuff: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of rules governing the privacy and security of personal data laid down by the European Commission and it went into effect on May 25th, 2018. The intent is to give European citizens back control over their personal data, and how that data is processed and used. Under these new rules, individuals have the right “to be forgotten,” which means EU citizens can request that businesses delete your personal data if it’s no longer necessary or accurate.
Companies can be fined huge amounts if they’re not GDPR compliant, even if they’re not based in the EU. If a company holds data for anyone living in the EU, they must be GDPR compliant.
What does this mean for you, my readers? Because I care about the privacy of my readers everywhere, not just those in the EU, I want to reassure you that your information is safe with me (to the best of my ability). Websites do store SOME data—don’t ask me to explain how because it goes way over my head, which means I couldn’t explain it even if you really wanted to hear it. My site is protected by SSL which makes sure that everything sent to or from my server is encrypted. I also use very powerful security software to maintain security on my site.
Most of the information stored on my site is what you have given me freely—by signing up for my email/newsletter list via the form on this website, the link in the back matter of my books, links on FB or Twitter, or a contest you entered.
Here’s where your information is used…
I use MailChimp and MailerLite for my newsletters. When you subscribe, I collect your first name, IP address (the address of your computer), and email address so that I can send you infrequent updates about what is going on in my writing life. Want to be removed from this list? Simply click unsubscribe at the bottom of any newsletter or send me an email.
In addition, my newsletters do send a message back to MailChimp and MailerLite when they are opened. This helps me to better design my future content. I view and store the statistics about whether you’ve opened the newsletters or not.
I love it when people comment on my blog posts. The information collected includes your name, email address, IP address, and your comments. If you ever wish to have your comments removed, send me an email and I’ll remove them.
While I love comments, I don’t like spam – those unsolicited junk comments you’ll occasionally see on blogs you visit. These are sent by bots to thousands of people, and I’m pretty sure they’re main intent is to annoy the crap out of humans.
To protect my site from spam, commenters’ information is collected by a company called WordFence. I don’t do anything with this data and it is purged after a few days.
So to summarize—any information you give me stays with me. Only me (and the companies I mentioned above, which value your privacy as much as I do). I won’t send you any emails you didn’t actually sign up for, and I won’t use your information in any way other than how it was intended. I don’t sell or give your information to anyone else (other than the companies that host my newsletter list—see above).
And if you ever get tired of seeing me in your inbox, you can unsubscribe at any time.
If you actually took the time to read all of this boring and legal mumbo jumbo, I’d like to reward you with a free book. Just click here. And thank you for listening.