23 May, 2018.
Part One: What Fresh Hell is This?
We Heart is, and always has been, committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of all our readers. Firstly, we want you to know that We Heart has no intention of passing your data onto anybody else. Even if an ex-Cambridge Analytica chief offered us millions of pounds. Even if Zuckernerd came over to We Heart HQ personally and did that sweaty-faced grin in our faces for weeks until we relented. Cos it’s just not cool.
Truth is, we’re writing this, because an ill-conceived set of rules put in place by the European Union is forcing our hand. You’ve heard about GDPR because you’ve received—according to unofficial data from the We Heart-approved internet regulator B.O.L.L.O.X—approximately 15,000 emails in the last few weeks, and an average of two of them contained something remotely interesting. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a sprawling set of regulations that are about as coherent as William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, but nowhere near as brilliant. And the most fantastical thing is, nobody really—especially not a tiny team of bloggers without access to sharp-suited lawyers—has the foggiest what to do. (“Europe’s data protection law is a big, confusing mess,” said the New York Times.) So basically, everyone’s throwing shit at the wall and hoping some of it sticks.
Part Two: Some Official-Looking Stuff We’ve Largely Copied and Pasted.
The data protection implemented by We Heart is in compliance with the European Legislation and the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation. (Read: We Heart is crossing its fingers and hoping.) We Heart has implemented both technical and organisational measures to ensure that personal data is protected. (Copy and pasting is technical and organisational, right?)
Types of data that we collect:
Website Cookies: A cookie is a small file which is placed on your computer’s hard drive and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences. (This is teaching grandmother to suck eggs isn’t it?)
We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to your needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system. Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.
You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website. To find more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, please visit www.allaboutcookies.org.
Google Analytics: When someone visits we-heart.com, we use this third party service by a little known American company to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as how many people are visiting the site and various parts of the site. The way this information is processed does not identify anyone. We do it simply as a numbers game to make sure the user experience is as good as it can be. (And to try our best to make some money, because eating is nice.) We do not allow Google to make any attempt to find out the identities of people visiting our sites.
(It actually wouldn’t surprise us if they were holding in-depth user profiles, tracking your darkest secrets to use against you in a future data war. “Don’t be evil”? What a crock of shit. But that’s a story for their privacy policies, and what sort of maniac is going to read through all that twoddle? They’ve got us by the balls.)
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites use: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
Newsletter: This is the biggie. As part of the registering process to receive our weekly newsletter and periodic news we collect personal information. An email address. We’re going to struggle to use that to influence votes in corrupt elections. We will never ever sell, rent, or exchange any of our email lists with other organisations. We will never ever use them to send fascist propaganda in your direction.
We use a third party application to gather your emails. Like everyone else, they’re scratching around trying to make sense of GDPR, so head over here to read what they’ve done to (hopefully) comply.
Again, we use a third party provider to deliver our newsletters and other emails, because we are not a tech giant. We gather information from this provider about email open rates and clicks. We do this because we want to know if it’s worth carrying on sending them, as naturally we would use the time spent more constructively down the boozer if you’d stopped reading them.
If you want to know more, hit them up, that’s what we pay them a load of money every month for: https://help.createsend.com/how-we-keep-your-data-private-and-secure—they also have an incredibly dull 21 minute GDPR ‘webinar’ that you can watch if you’re stuck in hospital with three broken legs and have exhausted every episode of Friends or the Big Bang Theory, or whatever garbage Channel 4 are rerunning the shit out of these days.
You can unsubscribe to our mailings at any time you like by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our emails or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Competitions: We periodically run giveaways using the Facebook Comments Plugin for entries. If you have a Facebook account but don’t want to see the comments, you can turn off Facebook integration by following these instructions. If you win a prize, occasionally we will need some additional data and may need to pass this on to whoever is distributing what you’ve been lucky enough to bag—we will explicitly ask you for these details and it is your choice to do so at all times. We’re not in the market for exchanging prizes for your data..
Links to other websites: We Heart contains lots and lots of links to other websites. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. We cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. Especially if it’s a link to Facebook. Whilst we’re here, please think about deleting your Facebook account. Zuckernerd is not to be trusted. They will do anything for money. They have way too much control already, why hand them more? Want to keep in touch? Send someone a fucking letter.
You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question. (And remember, the bigger and more profitable the website, the more likely it is they have employed lawyers to do some constructive lying for them.)
Access to your personal information: You are entitled to view, amend, or delete the personal information that we hold via our third party provider, Campaign Monitor. Please do this by emailing us at email@example.com. Apparently we’re within our rights to charge you a small fee for doing so, but that’s a bit shit so we categorically will not be involved in such larceny.
We will not sell, distribute, or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. (Actually, if it ever got to that level of 1984 intrusion then we’d close We Heart down and become permanent activists against the controlling 1%.) We may very, very occasionally use your personal information to send you promotional information about new projects from We Heart, such as Caña Magazine.
If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.
Part Three: A Summary
GDPR promises European citizens greater control over their shared data. This, in principle is a concept We Heart wholly condones. We are sickened by international corruption at the highest level. We are sickened that Leave.EU has only been fined £70,000 for what is paramount to engaging in political propaganda. Propaganda that is fascist at its cold heart. We are more sickened about the vile underbelly of Silicon Valley collusion that remains in the shadows.
The problem is, as professor of anthropology and information science, Alison Cool, wrote in The New York Times: “In 2017, the year after [GDPR] was approved, I interviewed scientists, data managers, legal scholars, lawyers, ethicists and activists in Sweden. I learned that many scientists and data managers who will be subject to the law find it incomprehensible. They doubted that absolute compliance was even possible.”
James Davidson, Editor-in-Chief.