Privacy and Terms of Service for Jahangiri.US

Privacy Policy Statement

[UPDATED: 07/30/2018. Yes, I expect you to read the whole thing – after all, I had to write it! And I tried to expunge most of the boring “legalese.”]

I can be reached via e-mail at holly.jahangiri@gmail.com

For each visitor to this Web site (http://jahangiri.us), certain information is collected by statistical counters, such as referring domain/search engine, your IP address, geographic location (where your ISP is located), etc. This is not generally considered personally identifiable information, just statistical information that helps me to see where most of my visitors come from and what content seems to have the greatest appeal to them. I will admit that the repeat readership here is low enough that I may be able to figure out where a friend’s coming from, now and then. If that bothers you a lot, use a proxy server.

Comments and Other Contributions (if Allowed) + Data Retention

When visitors leave comments on the site, I collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

If you leave a comment on this site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year. Feel free to toss them (clean cache and cookies from your browser) if you feel they’ve gone stale.

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

Registration on this site is not required. In fact, it’s not allowed unless you are a trusted contributor or member of my web-hosting company’s support team. If you are authorized to upload any images or video to this site, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website. You should also refrain from uploading anything (including text in comments) that may violate anyone else’s intellectual property rights.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day. While you retain the copyright, by publishing a post or comment on this site, you grant me a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to the work, so that I can display it as you and I intended.

For the few users who are permitted to register on this website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators (including support folks at PeoplesHost from time to time) can also see and edit that information.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

Analytics

The information I collect (via third-party stat counters) is used for internal review and is then discarded; it is used to improve the content of my web site; it will be disclosed if legally required to do so, at the request of U.S. governmental authorities conducting an investigation, to verify or enforce compliance with the policies governing this web site and applicable laws or to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of the Web site.

With respect to cookies: I bake cookies. I make really good Tollhouse cookies, as a matter of fact. I don’t know much about Internet cookies, but I know that certain “gadgets,” “widgets,” “stat counters,” and third-party ad servers use cookies to record user-specific information such as that described in the first paragraph. I look at the information provided by the stat counters to see what interests you, but beyond that…I really don’t know where it goes. Most browsers let you block cookies, and you won’t hurt my feelings if you do. It may throw off my stat counter, so it’d be really cool if you didn’t – but your privacy is more important to me than a bunch of statistics. Shoot, I’m a writer, not a mathematician. All those pretty graphs don’t mean a whole lot to me, anyway.

Note: I may, from time to time, play with add-ons and widgets and lord knows what. I’d love to tell you all about them, really – I just don’t always know, or remember to update this thing. So here’s an idea: There is a really nifty site called http://www.ghostery.com/ that has a browser add-on you can install that will alert you to cookies, tell you all sorts of information about each one it finds…well, here, in their own words:

Ghostery sees the invisible web – tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons. Ghostery tracks the trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity.

Install that. It also lets you block all those things, if you wish. As of this update, my site has the following cookies, bugs, pixies, faery lights (sorry, “beacons”) whatever:

Amazon
Doubleclick (owned by Google)
WordPress, StatCounter, and Google Analytics
Gravatar

This site is currently hosted by PeoplesHost.com. I highly recommend them! I don’t usually look at my site stats through their cpanel portal, but I’m pretty sure they collect some aggregated site traffic metrics, too.

I reserve the right to add stuff to my site, but allowing it is never a condition of your using the site – feel free to raise the shields and block the Klingons! Full warp speed, ahead, Scottie! (Okay, for anyone who thinks I’m not taking this seriously enough, my apologies.)

If you do not want to receive e-mail from me in the future, please don’t subscribe to anything on this site. (If you subscribe to the blog, itself, you have choices – you can follow it on WordPress, using WordPress Reader, or you can subscribe by email, in which case you’ll get a copy of each new post in your inbox. Up to you – you can always subscribe, try it out, unsubscribe, subscribe again – it’s always your choice. I hope you’ll choose to subscribe and comment.)

You know, my grandmother always said, “You have to write letters to get letters.” That’s kind of true of emails from me, too. If you don’t want emails from me, don’t send me any. If you get some you weren’t expecting, let me know by sending an e-mail at the above address. It may be a “spoof” and I’d like to stop that practice every bit as much as you would.

From time to time, I may use customer information for new, unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. (Yeah, when pigs fly. I’m adding this simply as a CYA, in case I missed something in this privacy policy. I’m not deliberately “collecting information” about anyone. Even if I did, I’m so scatterbrained, most days, I’d probably just lose it. In a really safe place, like my empty Recycle Bin.) If my information practices change at some time in the future, I will post the policy changes right here on my Web site to notify you of these changes and I will use for these new purposes only data collected from the time of the policy change forward. (You can tell that last sentence was auto-generated, can’t you?) If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back here at my Web site periodically. (Because, you know, I’m not collecting your email address, so I can’t send you a personalized note.)

Upon request I offer visitors the ability to have inaccuracies corrected in any contact information they may have provided in their communications directed to me or to the site. In other words, if you do want to get email from me – let me know what your email address IS, and keep me in the loop if it changes.

Product Reviews, Endorsements, and Passing Mentions

I may write posts reviewing this or that thing – including books, cosmetics, and other products. From time to time, I accept free products; well, really – how else should I review something I never tried before? Go out and buy it? If you ask me to review it and I don’t have it on hand, send it to me – that seems fair enough – but I do not allow that to influence my opinion or review any more than if I’d bought it myself, with my hard-earned cash. It is in order to maintain this level of journalistic integrity that I must decline all offers of free houses, cars, yachts, high-rise office buildings, castles in the south of France, diamonds over .75 carats, and – well, you get the picture. Not that I wouldn’t be honest, but it would certainly make my readers doubt my objectivity, and we can’t have that. I do not accept cash, ever, in exchange for product reviews.

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

Use of the royal “we” is Amazon’s terms of service, and I’m required to include that line exactly as is. I’m not trying to be pompous.

Please support your local mom & pop, brick & mortar stores, too. I shop online way too much, myself, but it breaks my heart to see local stores vanishing.

If you choose to shop online via Amazon and prefer that a portion of your purchase go to support your favorite charity, be sure to bookmark https://smile.amazon.com and designate a non-profit. Mine is the Houston Food Bank:

amazon-smile

At this time, the only other ads on my site are from Google AdSense. I do not see this changing in the foreseeable future, due to the snake-oil and patent medicine show that lurks in the sleazy underbelly of the Internet. If I do agree to any other advertising, it will be carefully vetted and will not involve sex, pharmaceuticals, gambling, or other topics unsuited to a lady’s drawing room.

I reserve the right to review and promote books I like, from authors whose writing I enjoy. That includes my own, my friends’, and complete strangers. I may be biased, but I won’t lie – not even for a friend. If I don’t like a book, I’ll tell you – or politely keep my mouth shut. I won’t tell you I loved it if I didn’t, and if it bored me, I will review it under “Best Insomnia Cures,” not books. That said, readers’ tastes vary; ultimately, our own libraries are as different as snowflakes, and that is a miraculous and wonderful thing. Read widely and enjoy the journey words carry you on.

Embedded Content

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Eww. Use Ghostery. Block away to your heart’s content! (Seriously, I’ve been known to embed content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr. I don’t do it often, but if you’re not okay with these sites knowing you visited my site and saw something there and maybe liked it – use the browser plug-in from Ghostery to block their cookies. Your cookie diet is entirely your own business!)

To Parents (Kids, Go Get ’em and Make Sure They Read This)

This site is not designed for use by, nor does it target, visitors under age 13. As a parent, I feel that it is a parent’s responsibility to be aware of what their child(ren) are doing on the Internet. I don’t require any personally identifiable information from anyone, and certainly not from minor children. (If you’re a precocious minor child reading this, please go explain it to your adult.) As the author of books for children, young adults, and adults, I recognize that certain content here may appeal to younger visitors. They are welcome to visit with their parents’ approval and/or supervision. I may occasionally write about topics more suitable for adults than for children, I may express political and religious views that differ from those taught in your home, and I may occasionally let loose with a naughty word – but I guarantee that unless they are home-schooled or raised in a convent, children have heard any words I know by the time they reach middle school. (My kids, in fact, taught ME a few new ones.) I strongly suspect that my own children occasionally do read my blog, but then I encourage my kids to read banned books, such as Fahrenheit 451 and Harry Potter. I respect your right, as a parent, not to. Please use your parental discretion to determine whether this site’s content is appropriate for your kids.

Comments and Civil Interaction Policy

I support the First Amendment. I do not delete comments merely because the author expresses disagreement with me or with others here – in fact, I welcome respectful debate and discussion. However, I reserve the right to delete comments on my blog for excessive profanity, threats, or abuse of other visitors to the site.

I reserve the right to delete comments for spammy uselessness and incoherent, irrelevant rambling (that’s not the same as “off topic,” which I actually welcome here, once the “on topic” discussion has run its course – digression is an acceptable conversational device).

Actually, I reserve the right to delete comments for any reason whatsoever – including egregious and repetitive spelling errors – I just won’t exercise that right very often.

Any credible threats or illegal activity will be promptly reported to law enforcement for investigation.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us at the above email address or The DMA’s Committee on Ethical Business Practices at mgoldberger@the-dma.org.

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