This is a web service!
Whether you know it or not, web servers that pump out web pages like this one, EventCalc and everything else on the internet have to keep track of who they are sending information to. When you request a page or some other information the server on the other end collects information about the device that you are making the request from. This makes it possible for the server to send back the bits that make up the thing you have asked for. While it is doing that, it also records the information in a log. The log makes it possible for the people responsible for the server and the web service to troubleshoot problems and make improvements.
The log also allows people who are responsible for the service to understand more about the people who are interacting with it. Some of that information is used by the developers who write the code to make the code work better. A lot of that information is used to better understand how people are using the service and what they might like to see more of or what they never look at. It helps them understand how to make the service better for the end user.
The data that the log captures is not what most people would consider “personally identifiable information” (PII). It isn’t things like names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. It does have your IP address, though, which in the European Union is considered to be PII even though it probably changes relatively often, especially if you are on a mobile device.
The EventCalc server collects all of this information. We use it exactly as we described above – to help us write code that will work for the people who visit the site, to understand how people are using the site and how often (indicating popularity). We want to make popular things work better and want to not spend a lot of time on things people don’t use.
The stuff that the server captures isn’t really there to track you as a person. It is only there so that the whole web experience works. There are a lot of other ways that you can be tracked on the internet.
We don’t use any third-party stuff to track you. Period. We used to but we haven’t been happy about how the web has become a place where unseen (and unknown) companies collect data about you and then sell it to other companies that use that data to try to sell you stuff (or worse).
If we are going to complain about it, we shouldn’t be doing it ourselves and so we don’t. We get enough information about how people are using the service from our internal logs. We don’t need Google or Meta to do that so we cut them out.
We also don’t have any advertising because that is just another component of companies trying to track you. We don’t want to play that game. We like you too much.
Stuff You Give Us
If you ask us to send you an reminder you have to give us a way to contact you so we can send you the reminder. That is either in the form of an email or a phone number for SMS messages. It is also possible that you could put some PII in the message for the reminder (like a name). We only use that information to send you the reminder. We don’t and will not ever share or sell that information with anyone else. We keep it in our database and that is where it stays until we have sent all the reminders you asked for. Our trash robot then removes the record of the reminder from the database within a week of the last one being sent. Trash day is once a week.
You might ask us to never send you another email or message. If you do that, we store your address in a way that makes it impossible for us to read it. We do that because to ensure that we never send you another email we have to store it but at the same time, we don’t want to know what that email is. So how do we do that? We use a one-way cryptographic function called a “hash”. We hash your email address which turns it into something that looks like this:
When we send out emails, the system looks at the email address we are sending to, hashes it, and checks to see if the hash matches one in our “do not send list”. If it does, we don’t send the email.
How Long Do We Keep Data?
The server logs are constantly being deleted. When the log gets to a certain size it is stored and a new one is started. We keep server logs about three days then they go away. Unless there is a problem with the service and how it is functioning, the logs are never looked at by anyone. Most of the time when we are looking at the logs it is to understand what kinds of traffic is hitting the server and if we need to do anything about what we are seeing. (We are amazed at how many people are constantly trying our URLs (all of them) looking for WordPress sites to exploit. It seems like a huge percentage of all web traffic is made up of that. I guess there is money in it?)
Your email address or phone number and the message you ask us to send you to remind you of something is stored for as long as we need it to send your reminder plus up to a week. For example, if you asked us to send you a reminder on January 1st, 2019, then we would have to save that information until that date. After that date, our garbage collection robot goes through the database looking for data we no longer need. In the worst case, it might take as long as seven days to find and delete a completed reminder record. So, any trace of the reminder sent to you on January 1st, 2019 would be deleted and gone forever by January 8th, 2019.
Who Do We Share Information With?
None of the data that we collect is ever shared, sold, or exposed to anyone. Ever. Period.
To sum it all up,
- we keep some information about your session(s) but only because that is how the web works;
- we only look at that data in aggregate to help us prioritize what we work on to make EventCalc better;
- We don’t have any tracking anything from third parties;
- We only keep stuff you give us until we don’t need it anymore;
- WE DON’T SHARE ANY OF IT WITH ANYONE.
We’re pretty adamant about that last one. We won’t sell or share any of our database information with anyone. If someone shows up with a court order, we will, of course, give them what they legal are entitled to (and we’ll send everyone who has a contact method in our database a message that we were forced to provide their information). But that’s it. We do this for fun and for it to be fun you need to trust that we aren’t going to abuse that trust.