Ensuring this blog conforms with the EU’s data protection and privacy law

I apologise for the length of this blog post. I am required to publish a privacy policy, and this is a discussion on it. I will follow up by amending the ‘blogicy’ – my word for blog policy.

UPDATE: I’ve now amended the blog policy – see HERE.

I’m updating this blog’s privacy policy to conform with  the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulation on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. The EU’s new law comes into effect on May 25th 2018, so, I needed to act.

In reviewing the requirements of the law, it’s pretty daunting for all who hold personal data of any kind. I’ve checked whether all the requirement of the new law apply to this blog, and thank goodness this blog does not require registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Had it done so, I’d have given up, and possibly reluctantly deleted the blog.

Personally, as the blog author, I do not hold the personal information associated with this blog. It is held by WordPress who host the blog. WordPress are promising to provide tools to manage personal data on their hosted blog. To date, these tools are not yet available.

This blog, through its WordPress host, holds the following data, [the privacy policy of Automattic, the owners of WordPress can be viewed HERE.]

  • email addresses of those people and organisations who have subscribed to receive email notification of new articles.
  • the name, email address, IP address, and the text of a comment from any person, or organisation who posts a comment on this blog.
  • data connected with gravators.
  • traffic data on views to the blog.

To meet the GDPR requirements I commit to removing any such above detail when requested, and to do so in a timely manner.

To limit the personal information held, this blog will no longer hold opinion polls, not that it’s done so more than a couple of times.

This blog has never sent an unsolicited email to any of the many, many hundreds of email followers, nor will it do so in the future. It is only on rare occasions I respond by email to a comment made on the blog, and that is for confidentiality reasons.

This blog will continue with it’s policy of only allowing comments when the comment author has entered their comment name and email address. Strict comment moderation is applied, new commenters need approval by the blog author.

This blog does not subscribe to paid for traffic analysis, it has access to limited data on total views per blog post, and total views per day. It does not have access to attribute the view of any blog post, or specific issue, to any particular follower or reader.

I hope I’ve covered everything. Please offer suggestions, positive or negative, as you wish.

Is it indolence or lack of confidence?

Since the trauma, for that’s what it was, of losing our home broadband connection for almost two weeks, I fell out of the habit of writing blog posts.

Has that lack of writing been through indolence or through a lack of confidence that what I may write has any value. Probably a bit of both.

After much wifely urging I’m now back in harness, and will be writing again. I can’t yet say what I will be writing will be of any great import. At least it’s a start.

My hope is that you’ll be happy that I’ll be back to blogging

The pain of being without a broadband connection is over. Broadband fixed yesterday with a new hub, which is almost three times faster that the previous one.

I won’t retell the failures of BT here, just to say that waiting eleven days for the failed BT equipment to be fixed is wholly unacceptable.

I’l got so much to write about I’m unsure where to begin. Yesterday evening, for example, I walked in an are of Camberley with my wife who joined the party from Surrey Heath Tree Wardens who walked in Bagshot Woods to see bluebells in bloom.

Bagshot Woods is completely new to me. Always good to experience new things. Here are a couple of pics – one of the party looking into the beginnings of the Windle Brook, and the other of bluebells.

No home broadband means almost no blogging

Luckily we’ve a busy week, so the absence of a connection to broadband at home it not causing me the expected withdrawal symptoms.

However, it’s darned annoying when I can’t tell you about Grinling Gibbons, my visit to Folly Bog in Lightwater, or this morning’s visit to Farnborough Airport, and a new car this week.

BT engineer expected later this week. Life is now hunting for comfortable wifi hot spots.

UPDATE: Horror of horrors  – engineer now not due till Monday. With over 6,000 post on this blog, there might be something you’ve missed. you could try, Bob Newhart monologues for amusement, or click on any of the categories.

The Camberley Eye blog provides the answer

Yesterday I visited Camberley Library to pick up a reserved book, Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope should you want to know.

On the way back to the car, in the Council free for 30 minutes parking spaces, I looked up to Camberley Park and saw a different view.  Lots of trees have been removed and a clear view of the Obelisk is now available.

Curious me decided that I’d got enough time to walk up to the Obelisk. The path to it was blocked by a barrier saying, path closed. No other information as to why. Back home, I checked the Council website. No help whatsoever. I wondered where else I might find out why. That’s when I looked at The Camberley Eye blog, It told me that there’s a programme of tree removal, and that the path is thus closed. It didn’t say how long for, but, hey, that’s a small criticism of David Chesneau’s wonderfully informative blog about the going’s on in Camberley, and the failings of the local council. Here are my photos of the Obelisk.

A big day, No.2 of 3

Today, March 29th, is the 10th anniversary of this blog. 2007 seems a long time ago now. I’d no idea that I’d still be writing articles on this blog – all 5,763 of them, which have received 834,558 views in total.

Today, a reader called at home about a short article I wrote in May 2014 about the Blackhill Water Tower in Bagshot. That my puny efforts are of interest is a reminder that I ought to stick at it, though finding new ideas for articles challenges me daily. Sometimes, I feel I must recycle the subject of a previous article, an article I’m intending to write tommorrow is on the exact same topic as my articles in March 2007.

Thank you for visiting the blog, a big thank you to those who spend their valuable time contributing comments. It’s always a joy to meet a reader – doesn’t happen often, but when it does it gives me a little boost of energy.

So thank you readers, one and all, wherever you are, your visit is appreciated.

Talk on IT security reminds us to stay safe online

Yesterday evening we attended a networking evening of the Lightwater Business Association at Randalls Coffee Bar in the village square. Me to listen to Terry Galvin of Indigo IT, and my wife to promote the Windlesham Country Market, of which she’s a member.

While Terry mentioned some horrors, such as ransomware, it was the basics of IT/phone security that he implored the audience to be rigourous on –

  • backing up data
  • installing anti-virus software and being vigilant in downloading the latest security updates
  • using malware and adware detectors
  • and finally having a strong password

I’ll focus here on password advice, and how you can keep your passwords strong and secure. Below are recommendations from Big Brother Watch, and a more technical discussion by Microsoft. It’s worth checking the strength of your passwords. Something like London%53%Bridge? is a strong password. Check it’s strength with the Kaspersky password checker, which is bit of fun.