I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography and time lapse.

Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Effective April 21, 2018

This is the privacy policy and terms of use for ithoughthecamewithyou.com and for software published by Robert Ellison (also known as Catfood Software), collectively referred to as ‘site’. Material changes to this policy will be made known through a blog post on ithoughthecamewithyou.com.

I am a person, not a corporation. This is more of a confession than a legal document.

Age

Do not use the site if you are under 18 years of age. I swear sometimes.

Google Analytics

The site uses Google Analytics to track pageviews and events (such as clicking a download link or sharing a post on social media). The display features of Google Analytics are enabled which means I also know things like your age, gender and interests and can potentially target advertising to you based on your having visited the site.

Google says:

Because laws across countries and territories vary, and because Google Analytics can be used in many ways, Google is unable to provide the exact language you need to include in your privacy policy.

Which is a nice cop out. Because the Google Analytics Javascript is served by Google I have no idea what it does. Even if I took the time to download and reverse engineer it they could ship a new version tomorrow. I assume that they are basically good actors (do no evil) but it’s really out of my hands. Anything bad that Javascript could do to you could happen as result of my including Google Analytics on the site. Use at your own risk.

Having read this if you want to stick it to the man you can do so here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/.

Other Third Party Javascript

In addition to Google Analytics I currently use revoice.me and Mouseflow.

Revoice.me allows you to subscribe to updates in Facebook Messenger.

Mouseflow records a percentage of sessions - like not only the pages you visit but what you do with your mouse and keyboard while you’re on the page. Sadly they don’t record from the webcam and microphone yet but beyond that it’s a pretty good window into what people do when they visit the site. I use this to find out where visitors struggle and then try to make the experience better.

Everything I said about Google Analytics Javascript applies here too, only more so. Companies that provide free tools to webmasters are often collecting data for their own purposes and likely aggressively adding cookies to sell what they know about you for remarketing purposes. Even as you read this you’re probably being bundled into some ‘reads unfocused blogs’ bucket which probably correlates with likelihood to buy something or other.

Worse than remarketing these vendors sometimes pivot to a different business model and it’s hard to keep track of the changes. I used to use Disqus until they started injecting ads for instance.

Personal Information / PII

The site collects your email address when you leave a comment or sign up to the mailing list.

When leaving a comment your email address is stored by the site. It will be used to display a Gravatar icon (if you have one). Your will receive an email from the system if your comment is approved. If you opt in you will also receive an email when another comment is added to the same post. Finally if you opt in when leaving a comment you will be added to the site mailing list. Your email will never be resold or used for any purpose other than supporting the commenting system.

When you sign up to the mailing list your email address is sent to Mailchimp. The site does not retain your email address unless you sign up when leaving a comment. If you have second thoughts there is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every newsletter.

If you would like your email address and any other PII removed you can request this by emailing me at [email protected].

The comment system accepts arbitrary text so I guess you could put your social security number in a comment. Please don’t do this.

Cookies

The site sets first-party cookies.

Javascript libraries included on the site set both first and third-party cookies (i.e. Google Analytics, revoice.me and Mouseflow).

There is no such thing as a second-party cookie.

If you think cookies are invasive please read If You Give a Browser a Cookie.