Privacy Policy

This website and blog is hosted on WordPress.com, which is operated by Automattic.

Automattic are behind products and services including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, woocommerce.com, polldaddy.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, and akismet.com. Automattic also runs products and services that operate on other websites, and produces applications including the WordPress mobile app for Android and iOS.

Automattic’s privacy policy is published here, and a version of it can be read below (updated 25th May 2018).

Questions relating directly to this website can be asked through contact via social media sites as linked to on the homepage. The site owner will respond to enquiries as soon as possible. Questions relating to Automattic, can be directed to their website here.

The detail of how information is collected via this website are outlined in Automattic’s privacy policy below.

Information obtained through use of this website, or from contact forms, is not distributed (including in the sale of) to third parties unless in the circumstances outlines in Automattic’s privacy policy below.


Information collected.

Information is only collected as it is required, and is collected in three ways: if and when you provide information to Automattic, automatically through operating services, and from outside sources.

Information you provide to Automattic.

Basic Account Information: Automattic ask for basic information from you in order to set up your account. For example, Automattic require individuals who sign up for a WordPress.com account to provide a username and email address–and that’s it. You may provide Automattic with more information, like your name, but Automattic doesn’t require that information to create a WordPress.com account.

  • Public Profile Information: If you have an account with Automattic, it collects the information that you provide for your public profile. For example, if you have a WordPress.com account, your username is part of that public profile, along with any other information you put into your public profile, such as a photo or an “About Me” description. Your public profile information is just that–public–so please keep that in mind when deciding what information you would like to include.
  • Transaction and Billing Information: If you buy something from Automattic; a subscription to a WordPress.com plan, a premium theme, or a custom domain, for example, you will provide additional personal and payment information that is required to process the transaction and your payment, such as your name, credit card information, and contact information.
  • Ecommerce Site Information: If you use Automattic ecommerce Services to sell products or services to others through your site (including Stores on WordPress.com, the WooCommerce Services extension, or other purchases on WooCommerce.com), you will have to create a WordPress.com account or connect an existing account and, for some of Automattic’s ecommerce Services, provide your site URL. You may also provide Automattic with information about your financial account to set up a payments integration, such as the email address for your Stripe or PayPal account or your bank account information.
  • Content Information: Depending on the Services you use, you may also provide Automattic with information about you in draft and published content (such as for your website or your Polldaddy survey). For example, if you write a blog post that includes biographic information about you, Automattic will have that information, and so will anyone with access to the Internet if you choose to publish the post publicly. This might be obvious to you…but it’s not to everyone!
  • Credentials: Depending on the Services you use, you may provide Automattic with credentials for your website (like SSH, FTP, and SFTP username and password). For example, Jetpack and VaultPress users may provide Automattic with these credentials in order to use its one-click restore feature if there is a problem with their site, or to allow Automattic to troubleshoot problems on their site more quickly.
  • Communications With Automattic: You may also provide Automattic information when you respond to surveys, communicate with Automattic’s Happiness Engineers about a support question, or post a question about your site in Automattic’s public forums.

Information Automattic collects automatically.

  • Log Information: Like most online service providers, Automattic’s collect information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, IP address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information. Automattic collects log information when you use Automattic services; for example, when you create or make changes to your website on WordPress.com.
  • Usage Information: Automattic collect information about your usage of its services. For example, Automattic collects information about the actions that site administrators and users perform on a site using Automattic’s WordPress.com or Jetpack services–in other words, who did what, when and to what thing on a site (e.g., [WordPress.com username] deleted “[title of post]” at [time/date]). As another example, its WooCommerce Usage Tracker tracks information like your email address, WooCommerce settings, PHP settings, and other features for your site, along with information about your online store, such as the aggregate number of orders and customers. Automattic also collect information about what happens when you use its services (e.g., page views, support document searches at en.support.wordpress.com, features enabled for your website, interactions with their Admin Bar and other parts of our Services) along with information about your device (e.g., screen size, name of cellular network, and mobile device manufacturer). Automattic uses this information to, for example, provide its services to you, as well as get insights on how people use its services, so Automattic can make its services better.
  • Location Information: Automattic may determine the approximate location of your device from your IP address. Automattic collect and use this information to, for example, calculate how many people visit our Services from certain geographic regions. Automattic may also collect information about your precise location via our mobile apps (when, for example, you post a photograph with location information) if you allow Automattic to do so through your mobile device operating system’s permissions.
  • Stored Information: Automattic may access information stored on your mobile device via its mobile app. Automattic access this stored information through your device operating system’s permissions. For example, if you give Automattic permission to access the photographs on your mobile device’s camera roll, its services may access the photos stored on your device when you upload a really amazing photograph of the sunrise to your website.
  • Interactions with Other Users’ Sites: Automattic collect some information about your interactions with other users’ sites while you are logged in to your account with them, such as your “Likes” and the fact that you commented on a particular post, so that Automattic can, for example, recommend posts it think may interest you. As another example, for Intense Debate users, Automattic collect information about the comments you make while logged in to your account, and use that information to, for example, tally up statistics about your comments (check them out in your dashboard!) and provide the information about your comments in your Intense Debate public profile.
  • Information from Cookies & Other Technologies: A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Pixel tags (also called web beacons) are small blocks of code placed on websites and emails. Automattic uses cookies and other technologies like pixel tags to help identify and track visitors, usage, and access preferences for its services, as well as track and understand email campaign effectiveness and to deliver targeted ads. For more information about Automattic’s use of cookies and other technologies for tracking, including how you can control the use of cookies, please see their Cookie Policy.

Information Automattic collect from other sources.

Automattic may also get information about you from other sources. For example, if you create or log into your WordPress.com account through another service (like Google) or if you connect your website or account to a social media service (like Twitter) through its Publicize feature, Automattic will receive information from that service (such as your username, basic profile information, and friends list) via the authorization procedures used by that service. The information Automattic receive depends on which services you authorize and any options that are available.

Automattic may also get information, such as a mailing address, from third party services about individuals who are not yet our users, which Automattic may use, for example, for marketing and advertising purposes like postcards and other mailers advertising our services.

How And Why Automattic Use Information.

Purposes for using information.

Automattic use information about you as mentioned above and for the purposes listed below:

  • To provide Automattic services; for example, to set up and maintain your account, host your website, backup and restore your website, or charge you for any of its paid services;
  • To further develop and improve its services; for example by adding new features that Automattic think its users will enjoy or will help them to create and manage their websites more efficiently;
  • To monitor and analyze trends and better understand how users interact with its services, which helps them improve their services and make them easier to use;
  • To measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising, and better understand user retention and attrition–for example, Automattic may analyze how many individuals purchased a plan after receiving a marketing message or the features used by those who continue to use their services after a certain length of time;
  • To monitor and prevent any problems with Automattic services, protect the security of their services, detect and prevent fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities, fight spam, and protect the rights and property of Automattic and others, which may result in them declining a transaction or the use of their service;
  • To communicate with you, for example through an email, about offers and promotions offered by Automattic and others they think will be of interest to you, solicit your feedback, or keep you up to date on Automattic and their products; and
  • To personalize your experience using Automattic services, provide content recommendations (for example, through our Reader Post Suggestions), target their marketing messages to groups of their users (for example, those who have a particular plan with Automattic or have been our user for a certain length of time), and serve relevant advertisements.

Legal bases for collecting and using information.

A note here for those in the European Union about Automattic’s legal grounds for processing information about you under EU data protection laws, which is that their use of your information is based on the grounds that:

  1. The use is necessary in order to fulfill its commitments to you under their Terms of Service or other agreements with you or is necessary to administer your account–for example, in order to enable access to Automattic’s website on your device or charge you for a paid plan; or
  2. The use is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; or
  3. The use is necessary in order to protect your vital interests or those of another person; or
  4. We have a legitimate interest in using your information; for example, to provide and update our Services, to improve our Services so that Automattic can offer you an even better user experience, to safeguard our Services, to communicate with you, to measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of their advertising, and better understand user retention and attrition, to monitor and prevent any problems with their services, and to personalize your experience; or
  5. You have given Automattic your consent; for example before they place certain cookies on your device and access and analyze them later on, as described in Automattic’s Cookie Policy.

Sharing Information.

How we share information.

Automattic does not sell our users’ private personal information.

Automattic shares information about you in the limited circumstances spelled out below and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy:

  • Subsidiaries, Employees, and Independent Contractors: Automattic may disclose information about you to our subsidiaries, our employees, and individuals who are independent contractors that need to know the information in order to help them provide services or to process the information on their behalf. Automattic requires their subsidiaries, employees, and independent contractors to follow their Privacy Policy for personal information that they share with them.
  • Third Party Vendors: Automattic may share information about you with third party vendors who need to know information about you in order to provide their services to Automattic, or to provide their services to you or your site. This group includes vendors that help Automattic provide their services to you (like payment providers that process your credit and debit card information, fraud prevention services that allow Automattic to analyze fraudulent payment transactions, postal and email delivery services that help Automattic stay in touch with you, customer chat and email support services that help Automattic communicate with you, registrars, registries, and data escrow services that allow Automattic to provide domain registration services, and your hosting provider if your site is not hosted by Automattic), those that assist Automattic with our marketing efforts (e.g. by providing tools for identifying a specific marketing target group or improving our marketing campaigns), those that help Automattic understand and enhance their services (like analytics providers), and companies that make products available on Automattic websites (such as the extensions on WooCommerce.com), who may need information about you in order to, for example, provide technical or other support services to you. Automattic require vendors to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them. Other vendors are listed in Automattic more specific policies (e.g. our Cookie Policy).
  • Legal Requests: Automattic may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how Automattic respond to requests for information about WordPress.com users, please see our Legal Guidelines.
  • To Protect Rights, Property, and Others: Automattic may disclose information about you when they believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Automattic, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if Automattic have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, Automattic may disclose information related to the emergency without delay.
  • Business Transfers: In connection with any merger, sale of company assets, or acquisition of all or a portion of Automattic’s business by another company, or in the unlikely event that Automattic goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would likely be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. If any of these events were to happen, this Privacy Policy would continue to apply to your information and the party receiving your information may continue to use your information, but only consistent with this Privacy Policy.
  • With Your Consent: Automattic may share and disclose information with your consent or at your direction. For example, Automattic may share your information with third parties with which you authorize us to do so, such as the social media services that you connect to your site through our Publicize feature.
  • Aggregated or De-Identified Information: Automattic may share information that has been aggregated or reasonably de-identified, so that the information could not reasonably be used to identify you. For instance, Automattic may publish aggregate statistics about the use of their services and Automattic may share a hashed version of your email address to facilitate customized ad campaigns on other platforms.
  • Other Site Owners: If you have a WordPress.com account and leave a comment on a site that uses our Services (like a site created on WordPress.com or a site running Jetpack), your IP address and the email address associated with your WordPress.com account may be shared with the administrator(s) of the site where you left the comment.
  • Published Support Requests: If you send Automattic a request (for example, via a support email or one of their feedback mechanisms), Automattic reserve the right to publish that request in order to help them clarify or respond to your request or to help them support other users.

Information shared publicly.

Information that you choose to make public is disclosed publicly.

That means, of course, that information like your public profile, posts, other content that you make public on your website, and your “Likes” and comments on other websites, are all available to others.

For example, the photo that you upload to your public profile, or a default image if you haven’t uploaded one, is your Globally Recognized Avatar, or Gravatar. Your Gravatar, along with other public profile information, will display with the comments and “Likes” that you make on other users’ websites while logged in to your WordPress.com account. Your Gravatar + public profile information may also display with your comments, “Likes,” and other interactions on websites that use Automattic’s Gravatar service, if the email address associated with your account with Automattic is the same as the email address that you use on the other website.

Automattic also provide a “Firehose” stream of public data (like posts and comments) from sites that use their services to provide that data to Firehose subscribers, who may view and analyze the content (all subject to our Terms of Service), but do not have rights to re-publish it, publicly.

Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.

Please keep all of this in mind when deciding what you would like to share.

How long we keep information.

Automattic generally discard information about you when they no longer need the information for the purposes for which Automattic collect and use it and they are not legally required to continue to keep it.

For example, Automattic keeps the web server logs that record information about a visitor to one of Automattic’s websites, such as the visitor’s IP address, browser type, and operating system, for approximately 30 days. Automattic retain the logs for this period of time in order to, among other things, analyze traffic to their websites and investigate issues if something goes wrong on one of their websites.

As another example, when you delete a post, page, or comment from your WordPress.com site, it stays in your Trash folder for thirty days just in case you change your mind and would like restore that content – because starting again from scratch is no fun, at all. After the thirty days are up, the deleted content may remain on Automattic backups and caches until purged.

Security.

While no online service is 100% secure, Automattic works very hard to protect information about you against unauthorised access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so, such as monitoring their services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.

To enhance the security of your account, Automattic encourage you to enable our advanced security settings, like Two Step Authentication.

Choices.

You have several choices available when it comes to information about you:

  • Limit the Information that you provide: If you have an account with Automattic, you can choose not to provide the optional account information, profile information, and transaction and billing information. Please keep in mind that if you do not provide this information, certain features of Automattic services, for example, paid, premium themes, may not be accessible.
  • Limit Access to Information On Your Mobile Device: Your mobile device operating system should provide you with the ability to discontinue our ability to collect stored information or location information via Automattic mobile apps. If you do so, you may not be able to use certain features (like adding a location to a photograph, for example).
  • Opt-Out of Electronic Communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional messages from Automattic. Just follow the instructions in those messages. If you opt out of promotional messages, Automattic may still send you other messages, like those about your account and legal notices.
  • Set Your Browser to Reject Cookies: At this time, Automattic does not respond to “do not track” signals across all of their services. However, you can usually choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies before using Automattic’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of Automattic’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
  • Close Your Account: If you no longer want to use Automattic services, you can close your WordPress.com account. Please keep in mind that Automattic may continue to retain your information after closing your account, for example; when that information is reasonably needed to comply with (or demonstrate our compliance with) legal obligations such as law enforcement requests, or reasonably needed for their legitimate business interests.

Your Rights.

If you are located in certain countries, including those that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (AKA the “GDPR”), data protection laws give you rights with respect to your personal data, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the rights to:

  • Request access to your personal data;
  • Request correction or deletion of your personal data;
  • Object to our use and processing of your personal data;
  • Request that Automattic limit our use and processing of your personal data; and
  • Request portability of your personal data.
  • You can usually access, correct, or delete your personal data using your account settings and tools that Automattic offer, but if you aren’t able to do that, or you would like to contact Automattic about one of the other rights, contact details for Automattic are detailed below.

EU individuals also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.

Controllers and Responsible Companies.

Automattic’s Services are worldwide. Different Automattic companies are the controller (or co-controller) of personal information, which means that they are the company responsible for processing that information, based on the particular service and the location of the individual using our Services.

Depending on the Services you use, more than one company may be the controller of your personal data. Generally, the “controller” is the Automattic company that entered into the contract with you under the Terms of Service for the the product or service you use. In addition, Automattic Inc is the controller for some of the processing activities across all of their services worldwide.

The chart below explains the controllers for processing your personal information. Automattic use the term “Designated Countries” to refer to Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and all countries located in the European continent.

If you reside outside of the Designated Countries  (for services other than those offered at WooCommerce.com): Automattic Inc.
60 29th Street #343
San Francisco, CA 94110
If you reside in the Designated Countries (for services other than those offered at WooCommerce.com): Aut O’Mattic A8C Ireland Ltd.
Business Centre, No.1 Lower Mayor Street
International Financial Services Centre
Dublin 1, IrelandAutomattic Inc. is also the controller for some of the processing activities related to Services provided by Aut O’Mattic A8C Ireland Ltd.
If you are using our Services offered at WooCommerce.com: Bubblestorm Management (Pty) Ltd (WooCommerce.com)
Unit A206, The Old Biscuit Mill (TOBM)
373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock
Cape Town, South AfricaAutomattic Inc. is also the controller for some of the processing activities related to Services provided by Bubblestorm Management (Pty) Ltd (WooCommerce.com).

How to contact automattic.

If you have a question about Automattic’s Privacy Policy, or you would like to contact Automattic about any of your rights, please contact them.

Transferring Information

Because Automattic’s Services are offered worldwide, the information about you that they process when you use the Services in the EU may be used, stored, and/or accessed by individuals operating outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who work for them, other members of our group of companies, or third party data processors. When providing information about you to entities outside the EEA, Automattic will take appropriate measures to ensure that the recipient protects your personal information adequately in accordance with this Privacy Policy as required by applicable law. These measures include:

  • In the case of US based entities, entering into European Commission approved standard contractual arrangements with them, or ensuring they have signed up to the EU-US Privacy Shield; or
  • In the case of entities based in other countries outside the EEA, entering into European Commission approved standard contractual arrangements with them.
  • You can ask us for more information about the steps we take to protect your personal information when transferring it from the EU.

Ads and Analytics Services Provided by Others

Ads appearing on any of Automattic’s services may be delivered by advertising networks. Other parties may also provide analytics services via their services. These ad networks and analytics providers may set tracking technologies (like cookies) to collect information about your use of their services and across other websites and online services. These technologies allow these third parties to recognize your device to compile information about you or others who use your device. This information allows Automattic and other companies to, among other things, analyze and track usage, determine the popularity of certain content, and deliver advertisements that may be more targeted to your interests. Please note this Privacy Policy only covers the collection of information by Automattic and does not cover the collection of information by any third party advertisers or analytics providers.

Third Party Software

If you’d like to use third party plugins, WooCommerce extensions that enable services provided by third parties, or other third party software, please keep in mind that when you interact with them you may provide information about yourself (or your site visitors) to those third parties. Automattic doesn’t own or control these third parties and they have their own rules about collection, use and sharing of information, which you should review.

Visitors to Our Users’ Websites

Automattic also process information about visitors to their users’ websites, including http://www.samuel-gould.com, on behalf of their users and in accordance with their user agreements. Please note that Automattic’s processing of that information on behalf of its users for their websites isn’t covered by this Privacy Policy. They encourage their users to post a privacy policy that accurately describes their practices on data collection, use, and sharing of personal information. If you’d like, you can also read more about the data Automattic collect on behalf of our users in their Privacy Notice.

Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, Automattic may change its Privacy Policy from time to time. Automattic encourages visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to its Privacy Policy. If Automattic make changes, they will notify you by revising the change log at the bottom of that page, and, in some cases, may provide additional notice (such as adding a statement to our homepage or the WordPress.com Blog, or sending you a notification through email or your dashboard). Your further use of the Services after a change to their Privacy Policy will be subject to the updated policy.