While using this site, there will be information collected about you by myself, Google, and other various 3rd parties.
Short version is that…
On my end, the server collects typical server stuff via standard server logs. Visitor IP addresses, pages visited, referring pages, etc. As unexciting as that data is, it could be sold/distributed/etc at some point. Because I use other visitor statistic stuff, it’s generally only used to troubleshoot and tune things on the server. It may be passed to law enforcement agencies upon request.
WordPress loves placing cookies on your computer. I disabled as many as I could so that the website loads more quickly for visitors. The happy side effect is that it usually won’t place cookies on your computer. However, if you leave a comment on a post, a cookie will usually make it’s way through. To be on the safe side, assume that cookies will always make their way onto your computer though. Note that while the mattgadient.com domain itself goes to lengths to avoid placing cookies, 3rd party services used by this site (analytics, comments, ad systems, CDN providers) often utilize cookies. If you have software (browser extensions) installed that blocks cookies, you should be able to continue browse this site just fine.
This site usually handles “noscript” browsing fairly well: this is a viable option if you want to heavily reduce the chance of being tracked by 3rd parties.
I usually try to make it as easy and non-intrusive as possible for those who want to leave comments.
Depending on how the server is currently set up, comments may be “self hosted”, or a 3rd party provider may be utilized.
When I’m self-hosting comments…
When you submit a comment, you’re free to use a fake name, or leave it blank to show up as “Anonymous”. Usually I have the email address set to “optional” so that you can leave it blank, but you’re free to use a fake one there too. This site makes use of “Gravatars”, so all emails are hashed and sent to the gravatar servers to look for avatars. If you have a gravatar set up and want it to show up as your comment picture, be sure to use the same email address you used to register your gravatar. Note that the Akismet WordPress plugin (spam filtering) collects IP addresses for each comment.
Email addresses are not posted publicly. However, if you leave a comment and accidentally enter your email address as your name (or as your website or comment), it may show up. Usually I catch those little mistakes and fix them, but sometimes I’m mass-approving comments and one slips by. While I have no current plans to sell the information on this site, to be on the safe side I recommend using a fake email address (or leave it blank) if you’re at all concerned.
If you choose to fill in the optional “website” field, it will be publicly linked to the name you entered (like this: Matt Gadient). The notion is that if someone really finds your comment insightful, they might want to visit your site to see what else you have to say. Feel free to link to your blog/facebook/twitter/website/etc if you’d like. Note that because automated spam bots *always* try to use the “website” field, I generally check out any website that has been entered before approving the comment to make sure it looks legitimate. If the comment and/or website look iffy, I may either remove the website link, or deny the comment at my discretion.
All names/sites/comments/etc submitted are subject to being edited/deleted at my own discretion.
When a 3rd party provider is utilized…
I normally enable anonymous/guest posting where possible. If you want to use fake/throwaway names/emails that’s perfectly fine with me. Note that while 3rd party systems generally let me tweak a few things, the handling of bulk data is ultimately out of my control.
I do moderate all comments to reduce spam. All names/sites/comments/etc submitted are subject to being edited/deleted at my own discretion.
Google Adsense, Analytics, and other 3rd parties
You can adjust some of Google’s Ad stuff here:
You can install a browser plugin to disable Analytics tracking here:
Most of the analytics data is used by me to see which pages are the most popular, how much daily traffic exists, etc. However, there is a large amount of data made available to me via analytics including but not limited to: Age, Interests, Gender, referrer, time spent on site, etc.
When using this site, lots of data about you is collected by myself, Google, and other 3rd parties, and it could be used for various purposes, may be sold, may be distributed, and so on. By using this site you acknowledge that information about your visit will likely be collected and used in ways that are probably beyond your control.