Last updated: October 18, 2017 — Updated the bullet point “Billing information” under “How long we retain your data” to reflect our new practice of purging billing data that is no longer available from our payment processors.
Previous update: June 3, 2016 — A nearly complete rewrite to address GDPR requirements and reflect our current business practices.
Note: If you’re wondering whether you should trust privacy policies at all, read FlippedBITS: Do Privacy Policies Mean Anything? by alt concepts publisher Joe Kissell. We also urge you to take additional steps to protect your privacy, as covered in his book Take Control of Your Online Privacy.
What personal information we collect and why
We collect a small amount of personal information from you when you view our websites, purchase or use our products, or interact with us in other ways. We do not use third-party advertising on any of our websites.
- Information you provide: When you make a purchase, you provide your contact information (including your email address, billing address, and optionally your phone number), which we use for billing purposes; to fulfill orders; to provide customer service; to comply with tax regulations and other laws; to contact you about your purchase (including notices of free updates, if applicable); and (if you’ve consented) to send you marketing messages about other products, services, or special offers. (Payment information you provide to one of our payment processors, such as eSellerate or FastSpring, is not passed on to us; see “Who we share your data with,” below. We never see or record your credit card number. And we do not receive any personal information about you at all if you purchase one of our products from a third-party site, such as Amazon or the iBooks Store.) You may also provide information (including your name and email address) when you sign up for one of our mailing lists, leave a comment, respond to a survey, or fill out a contact form; we use this to send you the email you have requested. If you’ve provided your name, we may use that to personalize email messages we send you.
If you use the contact form on one of our sites, we receive the name and email address you provide, the contents of your message, your IP address, and information about the browser and platform you used to submit the message.
If you sign up for the Interesting Thing of the Day or joeMail mailing list, you’ll receive the corresponding content by email. You can change your preferences or unsubscribe at any time by using the links at the bottom of each message.
If you made a purchase from Take Control Books, you may also have opted in to receive email messages. In some situations, a person can also ask to receive email from us without having made a purchase. In either case, you can modify your email preferences by clicking the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email message you receive from us; by visiting your Take Control Account page, logging in, and clicking your account name at the top of the page; or by contacting us using our contact form. You can opt to receive no email; only messages about free updates to products you purchased from us; or other marketing messages, which can include notices of free and paid updates, new titles, and special offers.
Cookies and web beacons
Some of the email messages we send out include tiny, invisible graphics, often known as web beacons. By loading these images, your email client tells us that you opened the message, enabling us to tell who reads our messages and clicks links in them. Most email clients have an option to disable the loading of remote images, and we suggest you enable that option (even though it will result in less data for us).
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on our sites may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves exactly as if the visitor has visited the other website. Some of our sites also include social media buttons and links, which can send personal information to the sites in question if you click or tap them.
The Take Control Books website uses Google Analytics to collect data about our visitors. The other alt concepts websites don’t use outside analytics, but rather use software called Matomo to analyze and display data from our server logs.
Who we share your data with
Aggregate, anonymized information about alt concepts web visitors and mailing lists (such as the total number of subscribers) may be reported publicly. In addition, some of your personal information may be visible to employees and contractors (including authors and editors), to the extent necessary to operate our business.
We share certain types of data with third-party processors because they provide essential services we cannot perform ourselves:
Otherwise, alt concepts does not rent, sell, or share your personal information with other people or companies, except if:
- We respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims;
- We believe it is necessary to share information in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, or as otherwise required by law;
How long we retain your data
- Purchased products: If you purchase a digital product from Take Control Books, we retain all data relating to that purchase (including what was purchased, when, and by whom) indefinitely so that you can download your product again (or in a different format) for as long as you like. You can ask us to delete records of your purchases from our server by using this contact form if you no longer want to have access to those products.
- Billing information: Our payment processors (eSellerate and FastSpring) may retain records of your orders (including billing address and phone number, if you provided it) for up to 8 years, and that information therefore remains available to us even if we remove it from our own equipment. However, to the extent technically feasible, we routinely purge (from our computers, backups, and archives) all billing information that is no longer available from our payment processors.
- Comments: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely.
- Contact form submissions: We retain email you send us—whether via a contact form or otherwise—indefinitely.
- Logs and analytics: We retain server log files and other analytics data for approximately 14 months.
What rights you have over your data
If you have made a purchase, left comments, or signed up for one of our mailing lists, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
To request your personal data, fill out our contact form and supply the following information:
- A statement that you would like to receive your personal data
- Your full name, including any variants you may have used
- Any email address you may have supplied
We may ask for additional information as a security measure to confirm your identity.
We will make every effort to complete requests for data within a month. If, after reviewing your personal data, you want us to delete it from our servers, you must submit a second request, in the same manner. Deleting your data may require an additional month.
Where we send your data
Our servers and offices are located in the United States, and two of our email providers are located in Canada, so your information may be transferred to, stored in, or processed in the United States or Canada.
How we protect your data
- We limit access to personal information about you to employees and contractors who we believe reasonably need to come into contact with that information to provide products or services to you or in order to do their jobs.
- We have physical and electronic safeguards in place to protect personal information about you against theft, tampering, and misuse (electronic or otherwise).
- In the event that we discover a security breach leading to unauthorized use of your data, we will notify affected users promptly, place a notice on the site(s), and later report what action we took in response to the breach.
alt concepts may update this policy. We will notify subscribers about significant changes in the way we treat personal information by sending a notice to you by email or by placing a prominent notice on our site.
Questions, comments, and complaints
If you have questions or other feedback, please contact us using this form or at:
3105 Washburn Street