Hurrah for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (often known as GDPR)! It does put you in better control of online information about you.
This document outlines the types of personal information that could be received and collected when you use Calligraphy-Skills.com, as well as some of the steps I take to safeguard information, so you can make an informed decision about sharing personal information with me or on the site. I (Katharine Scarfe Beckett) operate this site as an individual, so I am the data controller under GDPR. You may contact me via the Calligraphy-Skills.com contact form.
I want Calligraphy-Skills.com to work in a decent, fair, and open way. A major part of that is making sure I protect my online visitors' privacy so far as possible on my website, and let you know what I do. It is not a very simple topic so please forgive the length of the document below. I have adapted quite complicated policy to make it relevant to Calligraphy-Skills.com and to try to make it more readable.
My most important principle is that personal information received from you will be used only for internal purposes. I will not sell it or provide it to third parties (unless separately agreed with you).
Personally identifiable information
Personally identifiable information is information that points to you as a unique individual: it could include name, address, etc. but also pictures of you, certain purchases made at certain times in certain places, etc.
The only personally identifiable information that Calligraphy-Skills.com collects from its visitors is name and email address if you choose to get in touch via the contact form. It is on a voluntary basis at your discretion. You can write anything you like for your name, but bear in mind that if you want a response, I need a real email address!
The contact form also automatically takes a note of your IP address so I can see (roughly) whether form submissions are from unique users, and also which locations my visitors come from, which helps me provide the right kind of content. An IP address can be looked up to provide a rough location (around postcode level) of where a message came from. By itself, an IP address is not personally identifiable information – lots of people live around a postcode. But! In association with your name or other personally identifiable information, an IP address can be counted as personal data too under GDPR. You should know that if I really wanted to, by typing your individual IP address into a website that locates them, I could find a rough (postcode level) location for where you wrote the email from. If you want to contact me but you don't want me to be able to associate your IP address with the name and email address you give on the contact form, then I suggest you use some easy way to prevent your IP address from showing up, such as by using VPN, public/free wifi (as in an internet cafe), a proxy server, or Tor. (Please do not write to me for advice about how to use any of those methods. You need to google a proper privacy geek instead. I'm just letting you know, if you didn't already.)
If you do write to me via the contact form without obscuring your IP address, please know that I will treat it the same as personally identifiable information: I won’t pass it on or sell it, and will store it only as long as I keep your email and in the same places (see below for data storage).
Any personally identifiable information other than a name and your email address which you might choose to give me is at your discretion; I do not ask for it. In any case, none of your information will be passed on by me to any third parties without your consent.
Currently no sales are handled via Calligraphy-Skills.com. If at some point that were to change and you were to purchase a product or service from me, I would collect your name, email address, billing address and credit card number and would store your billing address and credit card number securely only as long as needed to enable the transaction and would not pass any of it on to any third party. Your name and email address would be kept on file so that I could correspond with you about your purchase, and would be treated as personal information, ie kept for internal use only and not passed on to any third party (unless agreed with you).
Once any personally identifiable information you send in has been used for its proper intended purpose, it is discarded or stored on file for internal reference only and not made available to others.
Now: I have to tell you about Calligraphy-Skills.com’s data storage period, too. My plan, really, is to keep most of the emails that calligraphers worldwide have sent in to me until I’m dead or I transfer the site. Apart from the fact that I’ve enjoyed some great correspondence with like-minded people over the years, I also want to be able to refer back to questions that I’ve been asked in order to keep improving the site. If you would like me to delete any emails or information you’ve sent in, please contact me as described in the Your Rights section below.
Calligraphy-Skills.com may collect non-personally identifiable information about you whenever you interact with the site. Non-personally identifiable information may include the browser name, the type of computer and technical information about your method of connecting to our site, such as the operating system and the Internet service provider you used, and other similar information. This information will not be associated with your name or email address, if you provide those to me.
Cookies and web beacons are used on Calligraphy-Skills.com. A cookie is a string of information that is stored on your computer, which your browser then provides each time you return to the same site. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the Web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize a website page that you visit, or register with website services, a cookie enables the site to recall your specific information on subsequent visits.
A web beacon is a transparent image file used to monitor your journey around a single website or collection of sites. They are also referred to as web bugs and are commonly used by sites that hire third-party services to monitor traffic. They may be used in association with cookies to understand how visitors interact with the pages and content on the pages of a web site.
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying your Web browser (searching in your favourite search engine for “how to delete cookies” will show you how to do this). Sometimes, if you decline cookies, you can lose interactive features of a site – but Calligraphy-Skills doesn't have much in the way of interactive features (I think I am the only such feature, through the contact form), so feel free to decline cookies. Browsers can also be set to notify you when a cookie is being sent. Privacy software can be used to override web beacons. You can also accept cookies and then clear them subsequently from your computer cache using a free tool such as Cache Cleaner by Piriform. (I'm not their affiliate; it's just the tool I use myself.) Taking any of these actions shouldn't cause a problem with this site, should you so choose.
Google Analytics I use Google Analytics cookies to help find out what kind of visitors visit, what they want, and their website access preferences. For example, Google Analytics cookies on Calligraphy-Skills.com can show me how many people are visiting via a desktop and how many via a mobile device so I know how to arrange content for different screen sizes. Google Analytics collects demographic and interest data, and generates statistical and other information about website use, by means of cookies which are kept on your computer. Remember this is all NON-personally identifiable info. We share this information with Google, which stores and uses this information on its servers.
IMPORTANT: the information available from Google Analytics is anonymous. I can't find out who is using mobile, or (made-up example) which eighty Sri Lankans visited the site, just the numbers. Believe me, I would love to know exactly who (made-up example) in Annapolis was reading my site for fifteen hours straight on a Tuesday night just so I could email them some book suggestions. But (thankfully) Google Analytics doesn't know.
If you do not wish your data to be collected via Google Analytics, you can install its opt-out browser extension or add-on from this link.
Amazon I receive an affiliate commission for products you buy from Amazon after visiting Calligraphy-Skills.com, through Amazon cookies placed on your computer. The way they work is: if you, as my visitor, go and make a purchase from Amazon while the Calligraphy-Skills Amazon cookie is still on your computer, then I get a commission on that sale. But the cookie runs out after a short time, after which I get no commission; and if you then visit someone else's site who has the same kind of sales cookie, then when you make a purchase it is the someone else who gets the commission. Then that cookie expires, and so on. Basically, by clicking on an Amazon link on Calligraphy-Skills.com, you agree for Amazon cookies to come onto your computer. Note as above that you can clean them off again easily!
Because I hate personalised ads (the ones that follow you around showing you what you've just bought in the hope you'll buy another one), I've told Google they can't put personalised ads on Calligraphy-Skills.com anyway. Apparently this means I earn less, but there you go. I just don't like them and don't see why anyone else should put up with them. If you prefer personalised ads, I'm sorry. If, like me, you loathe them, you might like to know that you can now opt out of Google personalized ads for over 125 different ad networks. Click here to do that.
Information about children This website is directed to adults; it is not directed to children under the age of 16. We operate our site in compliance with GDPR and the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, and will not knowingly collect or use personal information from anyone under 16 years of age.
Data storage Personally identifiable information and non-personally identifiable information collected by this site is stored on our host's servers. That host is SiteSell Inc., located at 1000 Saint-Jean Boulevard, Suite 702, Pointe-Claire, QC H9R 5P1 Canada.
Release of information If Calligraphy-Skills.com is sold or transferred (which is not the plan at the moment), then information obtained from you through your voluntary participation in this site may transfer to the new owner or operator in order that the service being provided to you may continue. In that event, you will receive notice through the Calligraphy Skills website of that change in control and practices, and I will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the purchaser honours our privacy policies (including any requests you might make in connection with the sale).
Your rights – including to access, correct or remove information If you have submitted personal information through our website (or otherwise to Calligraphy-Skills.com), you may request access to the personal information that we hold about you, or ask us to delete, update or correct that information. You also have rights under GDPR to request restriction of processing of your information and portability to other service providers – but given our limited use of your personal data, I can’t quite see why you would need to ask for either of these. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please use the contact page.
Contacts and complaints You may contact me via the Calligraphy-Skills.com contact page with any questions or concerns. If there is a privacy concern that I cannot resolve, you may have the right to complain to data protection authorities in your country.
Last updated: 23 June 2018
Thank you for taking the time to read this document. And respect to you for reading to the end. Not many people pay attention to the small print, and I think we all should.
Happy calligraphy to you!