The Privacy Policy at learning-python.com

Last updated: June 2019

This website's mission is to support programmers and book readers. It does not sell products online, insert advertising on any of its pages, or directly interface with advertising APIs of any kind. To help focus limited content-creation resources on popular pages and topics, this website does collect two types of visitor information:

Automatic site-traffic statistics
This site records visitor traffic to identify popular pages.
Explicitly input site-search terms
This site records user searches to pinpoint popular topics.

In both cases, this information is completely anonymous, and is not associated with an individual user. It is used only to allocate development time to pages that merit attention, and is never shared with any third party (apart from a mid-2018 traffic summary here). The following sections go into more detail on the two types of information collected.

Site-Traffic Statistics

This site uses the popular Google Analytics system to automatically collect statistics on page visits. Under this system, JavaScript code in web pages sends page-view data to Google servers, which is stored on Google databases for later reporting to site owners. To help protect your privacy, this site also explicitly anonymizes IP addresses post transmission with Google Analytics API tools described here. You can learn more about the API here and here, and see how it's used in the raw code of this site's pages here and here.

In short, this means that the lower digits of your IP address shipped in network headers are discarded immediately on receipt by Google's servers, and never used in processing or stored in Google's databases. This anonymization step may reduce the accuracy of geolocation information, but is crucial for privacy: without it, your page visits could be tied to you directly, and might be covertly used for advertising and other profiling.

Of course, this scheme relies on Google to be true to its word on IP-address handling (and truth is not always a moral imperative for billion-dollar companies). If Google Analytics ever proves to be a profiling Trojan horse, this site will switch to an open-source alternative such as Matomo. Such systems reduce analytics privacy perils by cutting out third-party data collection and storage and are broadly recommended, but this site's development and performance budgets preclude a preemptive switch.

For the present, if you are uncomfortable with this site's analytics story, you're encouraged to use your browser's tracker blocker or disable JavaScript while visiting here to avoid this data collection entirely. This site works normally in both these modes (except for JavaScript-based image viewers), but your page-preference votes won't be counted. You can also opt out of analytics by disabling images (which are a major part of content here), and neuter it by disabling cookies (which are otherwise unused here).

This site also hosts a script that may help with adding anonymization to other sites, and strongly recommends ad blockers for using the web in general; even though IP addresses are obscured here, they probably won't be elsewhere.

Site-Search Terms

This site uses a custom search system that inputs and saves a textual search term you explicitly provide, and passes the term on for processing to a search engine you explicitly choose. This system is fully open source: you can view the search page, the page's raw HTML, and the script that processes your request on this site's server. This site's use of HTTPS also protects the privacy of your input during transmission.

The search term you provide, along with the date and time of the search, is stored in a simple file at this website. This file records only the search term and date/time; records no information about you; is accessible only to this website's owner; is not accessible on the web  at  large; and is never shared with any other parties.

As described in the search page, your search term is also passed on to a selected search provider by an HTTP redirect, and this site has no control over the term after the redirect occurs. Although no extra or personal information is sent to the search engine, running a search on this site has the same privacy characteristics as submitting your search term on your chosen search provider's site. Please search with care.



[Home] Books Programs Blog Python Author Training Search Email ©M.Lutz