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Privacy Policy


I suppose I should develop a formal privacy policy, but, until then, this informal statement will have to suffice.

I take privacy seriously. I don't think that a web site (or a physical store, for that matter) has the right to maintain a dossier on you just because you've visited it. If you have done business with a business entity (web site or store), then they have some right to keep track of their customers and know with whom they're dealing. Selling or sharing that information with others is a gray area, but mostly that's no better than gossip.

Information being collected

First of all, this site, like virtually every web site, maintains a log of every page and picture requested from the site. These logs are used to measure the amount of activity on the site and to spot problems with the site. To some degree, but not 100% reliably, these logs track which sites have referred a visitor.

The only personally identifying information in these logs is the IP address of the computer being used. For most people accessing the web via a dial-up modem, the computer's IP address is different every time they call. If you have a full-time connection (such as a DSL line or a cable modem) you may, or may not, have a static or unchanging IP address.

In any event, I don't really care what is your IP address. The log analysis software checks to see what percentage of visitors are under what top-level domain (things like .com, .net, .edu, .gov, .uk, .ca, etc.) but that's it. If it looked like someone was trying to do something malicious, this IP address could be traced back to the originating ISP and, with a court order, their logs could be examined to perhaps identify an individual. So, just don't do anything illegal here.

I'm not interested in individually tracking who views this web site. Some sites are, and do significant cross-correlation with other sites in order to build a "profile" of each visitor for targeted advertising. I just assume that visitors to this site are sailors or are interested in sailing. That's targeted enough for me.

Therefore, I don't place cookies to identify you. Certain portions of the site, such as the mailing list control and archive pages, may use cookies for temporary storage of information to make the page work. These cookies, however, are not persistent and will go away when you shut down your browser.

Some of the advertising on this site is served by other servers and could use cookies or other means to track visitors. Some companies, such as DoubleClick (I don't use DoubleClick), are notorious in this regard. I don't think that the advertising servers that I'm using are doing any such thing.

You may notice invisible 1x1 pixel images, if you check the HTML source of some of these ads. These images are being used to count how many people are viewing the ads and from what pages. Because these images are being fetched from another server, they could place a cookie on your machine when they send the image. I haven't seen any evidence of their doing so, however.

You may have heard of these images being called "web bugs" because they are invisible, but the same things could be done with a visible banner. On a web page, this isn't a big deal. In an email message, they could possibly be linked to the email address and used to monitor when the email was read. You won't find them in mailing lists at alberg30.org.

Of course, if you sign up for a mailing list, your email address is kept on file. That's how a mailing list works. If you request a file from the auto-responder, your request and email address is logged. And, if you join the Alberg 30 Association (a separate entity from the web site) you'll have to provide personally identifying information.

Going Further

If you notice any practice that you consider objectionable, please bring it to my attention. It could be an oversight. It could be a problem with a sponser. I'll look into it.

If you want further information on the subject of online privacy, take a look at the privacy resources page.

If you want to communicate with me, don't ever send email to snidely@alberg30.org, because I won't see it.


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    page created by George Dinwiddie
    webmaster@alberg30.org
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    Last modified: Thursday 20-Feb-2003