Privacy Policy for

A Little Background

As you might have surmised from the number of articles on privacy on this site, online privacy is one of the things that concerns me. The current theory is that each site should have a privacy policy and that reading that policy should make you, the visitor, feel reassured. And in fact, privacy policies do have this tendency to be very reassuring.

I'm going to do something a little bit different here because I think that many people don't know what can and can't be known about them on the web. If you want to see what a Web site can learn about you just by visiting it, go to the analyze program which will return everything it knows about you -- just from a single click.

Other information is captured about you in the web server's logs. These logs capture each visit to the site by the address of the machine that visited them. They can tell what page led to your arrival at the site (including the search done on the Internet search engine) and whether you come from a generic "location" (like .com or .net) or from a specific country (like .uk). The log also logs the page that you requested (like p3p.html). A single log entry looks something like: - - [29/Mar/1998:05:45:00 -0800] "GET  /best.html HTTP/1.0" 

One of the most invasive ways that web sites learn about you is through cookies. For more about cookies, and other ways that you may lose your privacy through Internet technology, you might want to begin with my Privacy Primer.

There are also many sites that give you information on Internet Privacy. I particularly recommend:

Finally, the Privacy Policy

There are no cookies set by this site. And because there are no advertisers, there are no banner ads to set cookies, either.

There are no requests for information about you on this site. If you send me e-mail, I tend to answer it and sock it away in my mail program (which is not part of my browser). I can't guarantee that no one else will ever read my mail, although as far as I know it hasn't happened yet.

I presume that my ISP (Earthlink at this time) is relatively honest and runs a reasonably secure site.

My ISP does log visits to my site and gives me nicely-formatted files where I can see statistics about those visits. If you've never seen a web site's stats, I've saved a copy of fairly raw daily file for you to look at. (Each ISP presents these a little differently, by the way.) This ISP now uses a product called Urchin Reports that summarizes information into graphs but gives me less detail. However, the detailed files are available to me under my account for about two months.

Now you know exactly what I know about you. It isn't much, but I hope you feel just a bit uneasy that there is anything at all that I can learn about you from a visit to my site. And remember that most sites on the Internet are gathering much, much more about you than I am.

Karen Coyle, April 17, 2000, updated June 20, 2006

Copyright Karen Coyle 2000, 2006

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