The age of Big Data is upon us, and everything you do on the Internet is tracked, analyzed, and archived by someone. Here’s what you need to know about your data and your privacy while you’re on this blog.

If you use the contact form or leave a comment, you will be asked to submit your e-mail address. I will only use this e-mail address to respond to your question or comment, and I will not sell this information to any third party. Likewise, if you submit your e-mail address to sign up for my newsletter or mailing list, I will not share or sell this list with other businesses.

I use Google Analytics to track statistics about web traffic to this website. This tells me all kinds of cool technical data (what kind of web browsers people use, what kind of operating system they have, how long they stay on the site, what links they click on, where they’re from) and it helps me analyze my successes and failures. This data is only available to me in the aggregate.

I also use Google AdSense to serve advertisements on this website. Through these advertisements (and similar advertisements on other websites), Google tracks information about what you read and what websites you visit. It does this so that it can show you advertisements that will be more relevant and interesting to you.

Finally, some links on this website will take you to Amazon.com, and these links are part of the Amazon Associates program. Amazon will also track your browsing history, and it also uses this data to determine whether or not a visitor from this website buys anything on Amazon. As I stated on the disclosures page, I earn a commission whenever you follow one of these links and buy something on Amazon.

All of these forms of tracking (Google Analytics, Google Adsense, and Amazon) involve the use of cookies. If you do not want to be tracked, you can change the privacy settings of your web browser so that it does not store cookies. If you don’t know how to do that, it will be a topic of a Simple Tip in the coming weeks.

This privacy policy was last updated on November 4, 2012. It is subject to change without notice.