Hello site visitor.
I’d like to be able to prevent all 3rd-party tracking on my blog, but it requires more time, expertise and patience than I have available, sorry.
I know I should get consent for the cookies that the site is dropping, but that’s actually really difficult to do selectively without either spending all my weekends learning to code, or spending a stash of cash I don’t have to spare. I have at least dropped Jetpack and started using Matomo for analytics, which is much more privacy-respectful.
When you visit this site, a little piece of you is left behind.
Dropping cookies allows third parties to monitor your web browsing habits, build a profile of what you’re like then use that to make money, either by selling these insights into your life, or by trying to get you to buy stuff. I disapprove of this, but it’s actually really hard to prevent.
This page tells you how, what happens to that piece, and how you can protect yourself.
I don’t harvest personal data from the blog, I don’t monetise personal data in any way and I really don’t care who you are as long as you don’t say horrible things to me, in which case I might notice your comment handle and cuss you out in the privacy of my own home.
I do use Matomo, which is a privacy-friendly analytics tool. This tells me about numbers of site visitors, approximate geographical locations, the pages visited within the site, dates and times. I have disabled all of the demographics functionality because all I really want to know is whether I’m just howling into the void.
I have a widget for contributions to my gin fund – I run this site as a hobby and in doing so, cover all of the hosting etc costs from my own pocket. Sometimes nice people recognise that the sheer nobility of doing this deserves a G&T in reward. However, having this widget enabled makes it drop a cookie on ya. I wish it didn’t. It isn’t strictly functional and I don’t know how to allow it to be selectively disabled without breaking the widget.
Even though I’ve disabled Jetpack, one of my themes or plugins keeps trying to drop a Doubleclick cookie. When I find out which one that is, I shall nuke it but at the moment I’m still investigating. If you’re a web dev who can help me get rid of this digital cockroach then please do get in touch.
When you visit the site, Google drops a cookie on your computer/checks to see if you’ve already got a Doubleclick cookie and uses it to let Google know you’ve visited the site so they can add to the stash of profiling data about your habits and demographic details that they’re amassing. I don’t get to see any of this information.
If you object to this, please make sure you use a tracking blocker (such as Privacy Badger or uBlock Origin) and/or clear your cookies after each browsing session. Sadly GA does not respect DoNotTrack (bastards) so you’ll need to sweep up those crumbs yourself if you’re bothered.
I have an embedded video on the site and a widget linking to my YT channel. Because of this, YouTube grabs a piece of you when you come to the site. Very difficult to disable for someone who isn’t a professional web developer and runs the site as a leisure activity, sorry. Google owns YouTube, by the way.
The decision tree tool is embedded in the page but actually hosted on Zingtree. They also set cookies on you when you load my site (because all of the recent blog posts are loaded as the home page). At least one of these cookies is necessary to make the decision tree tool work (so you can keep track of which node you’re at when you’re using it) but I don’t know which one and I’ve got enough to do without trying to dig into the code to find out. Sorry.
If you spot a cookie I haven’t mentioned, please tell me about it and I’ll do my best to either nuke it or explain it so you know who’s taking a bite out of you.
If you want to protect yourself in general from the myriad web of cyber-stalking-for-money that powers the Internet, then head on over to the page linked in the section title to learn more.