Privacy Policy

With thanks to Writers’ HQ, our supreme writing commanders, glorious leaders and excellent but tiny overlords, who have verily granted me permission to use their splendid and sweary Privacy Policy, which you can see HERE. Because like a lot of you, I’ve been inundated with Privacy Policy updates lately (THANKS, GDPR), and most of them didn’t seem clearer or simpler or any of the other goals this important regulatory change was supposed to bring in. But then I saw what the Writers’ HQ duo had done and I was like YES THAT IS IT. So I copied parts of it, with permission.

This Page…why?

I have to have one of these dealios to explain how we comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the DPA (Data Protection Act) and the PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) because God knows there’s not enough actual interesting things in the world to read, you need to read 1,000 words of legalese nonsense that makes literally not one bit of difference to anyone, ever.

Also we I don’t really know what these things are. We’re I’m just two one under-heighted writers who thought we’d I’d have a laugh and get other people writing with us.

(Full disclosure: this above paragraph is why I borrowed the Writers’ HQ privacy policy: it me.)

The best bit about the GDPR is that all this has to be “concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible” so hold on to your hats, motherfuckers, this is going to be the shortest, clearest and best freakin’ privacy policy you ever did see.


TL;DR

Which means Too Long; Don’t Read, I think… Basically, this is everything that follows, in a nutshell.

I’m a romance author, a small business of one person, and I don’t have the time or energy to do anything nefarious with your data. It’s not that I’m not evil – I’m as corruptible as anyone – I’m just too tired to think up a malevolent plot to steal your identity.

On this website, using built-in tools from WordPress, I collect and store basic information on reader demographics (aggregate information about where you are located, for example, ALL OF YOU, from your IP addresses. I don’t know where any of you are exactly, I’m not that smart). I also MAY (but do not currently) use a Facebook pixel to collect information that I can use in targeting advertising. If you visit my website, and then later on see one of my books following you around social media, that’s why. (see below about cookies, and even further below about tracking, because whoa…)

Email Marketing

I also give you the choice of signing up for my newsletter. If you do that, I use reputable services (like MailChimp and Mailerlite) to maintain the privacy of your contact information and promise to only use it for the express purposes of pimping the books I write, and telling you about how my kitchen is still not finished. Basically, you’re consenting to hear about my DIY reno troubles, and in exchange I’ll tell you about some super awesome stories, too.

These services automatically add tracking things to links. So if you click on a link I KNOW. If you open an email I KNOW. (Apologies for the all caps, but this is the reason you read a privacy policy, so you know what I know. But the truth is, I rarely look at that data, because I’d much rather be writing.)

The most important thing about this is I have neither the time nor inclination to actually look at or do anything with these stats. Most of the time I just collapse in a flop sweat, grateful that I got the damn email out without forgetting something and needing to send a frantic immediate follow-up.

Side note: If you should be getting my newsletter and you aren’t, try signing up with a different email address, and add newsletter@zoeyork.com to your address book as a known contact. Then look for the next one and reply to it. That helps train Gmail (etc.) that you actually want to hear from me.

What Data Do I Have on You?

DATA!! It’s all about the data, baby. A literal fuck-tonne of petabytes whirring around the world and what? What’s it all for? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? What will future historians actually see of us and our slowly collapsing society? So. I store your data in a few different places and use it in a couple of different ways. You ready for this? On social media, sort of! As mentioned elsewhere in this policy, I might use Google and Facebook to track you, but it’s really THEM that have your data; they just connect us through an algorithm. None of this data is personal, identifiable, or stored by me. Mailing List! If you’ve signed up for my newsletter, your name and email address wings its way over to Mailchimp, MailerLite, or Sendy, depending on the list, which is the system I use to manage our newsletters and emails. They are (allegedly) GDPR compliant. You can unsubscribe from emails at any time by hitting the unsubscribe button at the bottom of any message from me.


Cookies and Stalky Tracking

Seriously who actually cares? Do you even know what a cookie is or does? Well then. Yes we use cookies because that’s kinda how the Internet works. If you don’t want our delicious home-baked chocolate chip scripts, then you need to block cookies on your browser but don’t come crying to us when nothing does what it’s supposed to.

Another part of how the internet works is data tracking. It’s creepy, but effective, and all of us out there in the business world (okay, me at my kitchen table, whatever), we want to deliver targeted information. Basically, in theory, if you come and look at a book on my website, I could use analytics to have that book then follow you all over the interwebs.

I could. I don’t at the moment of writing this privacy policy, but I reserve the right to up my creep-o-meter on this score, because it’s actually a good thing.

Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels…these are all ways I could try to flog you relevant stuff. If you’ve not seen the Facebook Ads analytics dashboard MAN ALIVE it’s stalker central. That shit is a terrifying Black Mirror horror show. If you’re not on Facebook – well bloody done but the pixel is tracking you anyway. [I know. Deep breath.]

Don’t know if there’s a specific Facebook Pixel blocking thing but we accidentally discovered that if you use Freedom app to block social media while you’re writing it also blocks the FB pixel. Handy hints!

None of these things store any super personal data about you but probably they nab your IP address, not that we’d know where to look for it or what to do with it. All we see is that a person or many people have interacted with the website in a particular way. You can mess with us by doing something totally unexpected on the website and skewing our stats. Or you could do something way more fun and useful with your time LIKE READING.

Your Right to Disappear

Literally the only identifying information I keep on someone is their name and email address on my newsletter, and if you unsubscribe from that, my mailing list service keeps track so I don’t email you again. BUT, if you really want to be erased like you’re going into the witness protection program, shoot me an email at zoeyorkwrites@gmail.com and I’ll see what can be done.

Got it? Good! Like it? Then you’re a desperate person who still doesn’t have their own privacy policy, aren’t you? Don’t steal this one. Go check out the lovely people at Writers’ HQ, and read their rules about borrowing this for yourself.

Please note at this was cribbed together in a quick thirty minutes before I had to fetch my kids from school. It is not a legally binding anything, and I’ve almost certainly left stuff out. I reserve the right to change this policy at any time. But in general, I respect your privacy and won’t do anything to willfully trounce on it.

And if you’ve gotten this far, you might want to check out one of my books. I recommend the very first one I ever published, What Once Was Perfect, which is always free. It has sex in a barn, a dirty Little Red Riding Hood role-play thing, and a lot of small town gossip swirling around a surprisingly sweet Christmas visit home.