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.
One of them is a service by Google called Google Analytics (GA). We use GA to help us understand more about the kinds of people who visit EventCalc. The information that we use from GA is in aggregate form – we don’t care about individuals – so we are not trying to track individuals. GA is, though, through the Google family of products including, among other things, Google Adsense.
We use is Google Adsense for our advertising. When you see an ad on EventCalc it is coming from them. They do tracking of their own to figure out which ads to show to which person. This tracking is capable of identifying you, as an individual, and track where you go around the web. EventCalc and SoggySoft doesn’t have access to this information but you could argue that we benefit from it through more targeted (and, therefor, more effective) advertising. (Advertising is the only way we can keep the lights on at EventCalc – it pays for all of our servers and development.)
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 two weeks of the last one being sent. Normally, it happens much faster than that.
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. Unless there is a problem with the service and how it is functioning, the logs are never looked at by anyone. We can’t remember when we last looked at them or where they are even stored. Those are mostly just an automatic service of the web server.
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 two weeks. 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 data. 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 two weeks to find and delete an old reminder record but normally it is much faster (a couple of days is probably average). So, any trace of the reminder sent to you on January 1st, 2019 would be deleted and gone forever by January 15th, 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) with us 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;
- Google products that we use do track you like they do all over the web;
- 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. 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.