Information Use Policy

Approach to information use

The basic approach to information use for this site is to collect the minimum necessary and to use it as little as possible. Some information is collected by the site and by its service providers to allow the site to operate effectively. People choosing to subscribe to the weekly email or to comment on a post are also asked to provide basic information to make that work. Personal data is not otherwise shared or used, still less sold.

The rest of this page says all that again, in a bit more detail.

How this site works

This site runs on WordPress software and uses a number of services provided by Automattic Inc., including Aksimet for managing comment spam and for providing site usage data. The way Automattic uses personal data is set out in its privacy policy at (which covers a wider range of services than this site uses).

What personal data we collect and why we collect it


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

We use MailerLite to manage subscriptions to the weekly summary email and to send those emails.  MailerLite is a third-party provider, which may process your data using industry standard technologies to help us monitor and improve our newsletter.

MailerLite’s privacy policy is available at

You can unsubscribe from the weekly email by clicking on the unsubscribe link provided at the end of each email.


If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site sometimes include embedded content, such as tweets and videos. Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.


This site does not use any form of web analytics linked to or attempting to track individuals. It does count aggregate visitor numbers and approximate geographical location (at the level of regions and countries), based on IP address data.

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Making contact

You can contact the site about any of this by emailing