There are a variety of different types of information we might ask you for, or ways that we might collect information. This document details all of them. It should be pretty straightforward.
Like practically every other Web site in existence, Freak Nation’s Web server software is configured to log what it does. Every time you request a page, image, or anything else, the server logs:
The only piece of information here that could possibly be used to track you down, personally, is your IP address. But doing so would require us to have resources that we simply don’t (like the ability to subpoena your ISP). Honestly, we can only use this as “aggregate data”, allowing us to tell, for example, what percent of our readership are using IE, or Windows XP, or what sites they’re coming to us from.
Subscribing to a mailing list requires that you submit your email address; otherwise, the list software has no idea where to send your list-mail. We don’t use those email addresses for anything else. We do not rent, sell, loan, give away, or otherwise allow anyone else to have our email address lists. And we ourselves only use them to send you the email from the list(s) you’ve signed up for; we will not suddenly start sending Freak Nation site announcements to addresses that are simply subscribed to mailing lists.
Note that some lists may — at the list owner’s discretion — be configured to allow other list members to see who’s on the list. If you’re concerned about this, check with the owner of the specific list(s) you’re subscribing to (or considering subscribing to).
Surveys and polls are slightly different from quizzes — these do retain the information given, and aggregated results are posted publicly on the site. These will allow anyone in the world to find out that, for example, “83% of respondents dislike broccoli” or whatever.
While the aggregated results are public (since that’s the entire point of a poll or survey), the individual results are kept in strict confidence, like all other information supplied here.
The server also tracks your IP address, hostname (if any), and browser User-Agent string for a little while, in an attempt to make multiple voting a little harder. These statistics are routinely discarded every week.
Our reviews often link to affiliate programs with Amazon.com or Powell’s Inc. Naturally, those sites are not under our control, and we can’t be responsible for their use of your information.
We’re not certified by TRUSTe, and not likely to be any time soon. It costs a minimum of US$599 per year; there are so many things we could better spend that money on (if we had it in the first place). Also, there are some questions about whether the TRUSTe seal really means anything at all any more. Rather than waste money giving it to them, we’d prefer to put it into improving our site and keeping it secure.
In the course of using this site, you’ll undoubtedly give us at least a little bit of information — even if it’s just the knowledge that “someone at IP address 126.96.36.199 uses MSIE 6.0 on Windows 98, and really likes the piece about names, aliases and handles”. We promise to use the information you give us only in ways that seem warranted — in ways that we think you will approve of, rather than “whatever can make us a fast buck by selling out to advertisers”.
Your data is your own. We promise to keep it that way.