Privacy Policy

This is my personal web site, the address is: https://smallworkshop.co.uk.

I run this site as a hobby and it is not used to sell advertising or products.

Data about visitors

If you are just visiting the website to read articles then data that is technically necessary for you to see the content (for instance your IP address and details about your browser software and device operating system) are stored in log files on the server that hosts the website.  This data is used as part of the monitoring done to make sure the website is working properly.  The logs are deleted every two weeks.

If you choose to enter a comment then whatever you enter in the name and email fields are stored.   Email addresses are optional and only the entered name and comment are displayed on the website.   I do not share your name/email address with anyone else.

Cookies

A cookie is a small piece of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser.  Its purpose is to remember information about your preferences, similar to setting preferences in a software application.  You can prevent the storage of new cookies, or remove cookies that have already been set,  by using the settings in your browser software.   This website uses cookies to analyse the number of visitors to the site.

You can read about how the cookies work below. If you are not interested in the technical details, the key point is that no personal data is collected or stored for this purpose.

How long your data is retained

If you leave a comment it is retained indefinitely.

What rights you have over your data

If you have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data you have provided. You can also request that any personal data is erased.

None of the data you supply is shared with anyone else

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this website may include links to content (e.g. youtube videos) hosted on other websites. Embedded content from other websites behaves in the same way as if you had visited the website directly.

Google Analytics

example of a Google Analytic report

I use Google Analytics on this site to analyse the number of visitors to the site, their rough geographical location and which pages were viewed. Google Analytics uses cookies to distinguish unique users accessing the website. Here is an example of the contents of a Google Analytics cookie1

GA1.1.1027862574.1614616955
  • GA.1.1 is the version number for the Google Analytics cookie format
  • 1027862574 is a random number that is created the first time that you visit the site
  • 1614616955 is the date that the cookie was created2

The random number is used as an anonymous client identifier and is unique to the device/browser being used. This id is used in Google Analytics to try and distinguish new from returning users: for instance, if you visit the site multiple times then Google Analytics will see that the same unique number is being used for each session and count this activity as being related to a single user3

The data shared with Google includes:

  • Anonymised IP address information
  • the anonymous ‘client id’ extracted from the Google Analytics cookie
  • your browser user agent sting (this provides technical information about the browser version being used and the operating system running on your device).

The IP address data is used by Google Analytics to determine the approximate location of users accessing the site.  It is theoretically possible to identify actual locations (ie house number and street name) from an IP address, although this would involve gaining access to the internal records of the user’s Internet Service Provider.  

Because of the risk that someone with access to IP level usage data for multiple sites might infringe on an individual’s privacy by painting a picture of their browsing history and then associating the information with a specific street address; IP addresses are anonymised before being processed and stored by Google Analytics4

1 the three cookies used by Google Analytics to distinguish unique users are described here
2 this is an ‘epoch date‘: by convention dates are often stored in computers as the number of seconds since midnight on the 1st of July 1970
3 There are limits to the accuracy of this data, for instance, If you use multiple devices your activity from each device will appear as a separate user in the reports and, if you disable cookies altogether, each time you visit a page it will appear that a new user is accessing the site
4 technically this means that a shortened version of the IP address is used rather than the full address. This resolves the privacy risk but, as a side effect, also reduces the accuracy of the location information in the Google Analytic reports: with a full IP address you can can be pretty confident on the users country (over 95% accuracy) and generally expect between 50-75% accuracy on the users nearest city. The accuracy decreases slightly when you use a shortened IP address to derive a location
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