Digital Privacy

I believe it is my responsibility to provide education about digital privacy (or lack thereof) on the web, not only about this website.

This website uses only the cookies that are standard to all WordPress sites, which apply to logged in users and commenters. If you are a logged in user or post a comment, these cookies are categorized as necessary and are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. For more information about standard WordPress cookies: wordpress.org/support/article/cookies/.

This site does not use third-party cookies that gather information about visitors, such as referral data, date and time of visit, pages viewed, browser and platform type, and IP address.

This site also does not sell any information to third-parties.

Please be aware that once you leave this and enter another website through a link, that site may have third-party cookies and sell personal information.

Below is information about how personal data is gathered and used across the Internet, you can take some control over your digital privacy, and you can see the profiles created for you based on your personal data as well as the laws in place to protect your digital privacy.

How is personal data gathered and used on the Internet?

Cookies are small text files that are used to store small pieces of information. The cookies are stored on your device when the website is loaded on your browser. Cookies are widely used to “remember” you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a “session cookie”) or for multiple repeat visits (using a “persistent cookie”). Cookies can create a consistent and efficient experience for visitors and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in.

Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as “first party cookies”), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (“third party cookies”).

First-party cookies are generally essential for the basic functioning of the website and usually do not collect personally identifiable information, such as referral data, date and time of visit, pages viewed, browser and platform type, and IP address. Third-party cookies do gather personally identifiable information, such as those listed above, and use that information for profiling visitors. Personal data gathered through both first- and third-party cookies may be sold.

Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as “web beacons” or “pixels.” These are typically small transparent images that provide statistics, for similar purposes as cookies, including online surveillance. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.

How can you begin to protect your digital privacy?

You do have the ability to control cookies, either restricting them or completely preventing cookies from being set.

Most browsers provide for ways to control cookie behavior such as the length of time they are stored—either through built-in functionality or by utilizing third party plugins.

Browser Settings:

Cookie Blocking Plugins:

To find out more on how to manage and delete cookies, visit aboutcookies.org. For more details on your choices regarding use of your web browsing activity for interest-based advertising you may visit the following sites:

On a mobile device, you may also be to adjust your settings to limit tracking.  

For example, you can opt out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s opt-out browser add-on, or from Hotjar by using the Do Not Track header.

How can you find what information different websites have gathered about you?

Data about Internet users is the currency of the web. Rather than charge people for the content on or services provided by a website, personal information about visitors is sold to third-party companies. These companies then repackage that data and sell access to other companies.

We do have some, limited ability to see what information has been gathered about us and how we have been profiled based on that information by looking at a website or platform’s “ad settings.”

The following could help you see how you have been profiled:

What laws are there to protect my digital security?

In the last few years, there have been some developments in laws designed to protect individual’s digital privacy and security. Most notable are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) of the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

The GDRP went into effect on May 25, 2018 and is considered the toughest privacy and security law in the world. The GDPR provides the following rights regarding data privacy:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erasure
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Although the GDPR is mostly focused on protecting citizens of the European Union, it does offer protections for individuals outside the EU and any website that collects information from citizens of the EU is subject to the law. Thus, the GDRP provides limited protections for non-EU citizens. For more information see this article: gdpr.eu/companies-outside-of-europe/

CCPA preserves data privacy rights for California residents. It affects any websites at collects information about California and provides limited protection to non-CA residents, similar to the GDPR. The CCPA provides the following rights:

Contact Me

To contact me about this website’s digital security, please email me at w [dot] l [dot] james [at] tcu [dot] edu.

All other websites in compliance with the GDRP and CCPA should also provide information about how to contact them about privacy concerns.