Party! No. Spying! Well, maybe.
This is that unfortunately necessary “you need to know this” section. A lot of sites have this section written by and for lawyers, rather than for users of the site. We don’t like trying to read legalese about “party of the first part”, much, and we don’t think you do either. Nor do we usually like catering to lawyers. We wanted this section to deal with the people who like our site, but we also have to make you aware of this. So, this section deals with “you”, “us” (or “we” or “THEI”), and “third parties” (aka “them” or “they” or “the dirty scoundrels”). Most of the so-called “user agreement” sections of web sites get into the nitty gritty of what you can do, what the web site can do, and what others (third parties, “they”), can do just by your having landed on the site. When you land on government pages, they effectively own your computer. The dirty scoundrels.
Third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser(s), or using web beacons to collect information as a result of ad serving on this website. If this worries you, (1) don’t click on the ads or (2) you can set your browser security to not accept cookies. Some stories we publish link to third party sites that collect information about you, either through your voluntary submission or directly from your computer. About all THEI can guarantee about these sites is that we believe they are free of malware, spyware, and viruses at the time we put up the link.
THEI doesn’t have nor use nor want such access to your habits, computer, or buying power. We do, however, run ads to raise revenue rather than ask you to pay for the site, the writers, the upkeep, etc. Some of these ads do indeed employ “cookies”. This isn’t a completely bad thing, necessarily. Cookies can “enhance your experience” on the site by customizing the content of the web pages you visit. In other words, let’s say you’re reading a post about the Federal Reserve. And, let’s say, you have previously read a story about or visited a site about numismatists (coins, coin dealers, coin collectors). The main purpose of cookies (in our case, anyway) is to match those facts with an advertiser who has bought space or clicks in an ad placement auction. So, the only outward effect of cookies is that you’ll “magically” see ads for stuff related to either your current read, your past visits, or occassionally, something that doesn’t seem related at all on first glance. Computers are stupid that way…at first glance. But when you’re reading about the Federal Reserve, you just finished reading about super-volcanioes or asteroid strikes or zombie apocalypses, then you might see ads for survival foods, emergency shelters, or even hunger relief agencies. Who knows what the computer is thinking?
You can know with absolute certainty that this web site, it’s writers, editors, and administrators do not intentionally collect ANY personal data without your explicit and informed permission. And while we are determined to keep your data as safe as possible, there is always a chance that some dirty scoundrel can get into our system without our knowledge and through us to you. After all, it has happened to entire government systems…multiple times. The dirty scoundrels.
While we pride ourselves on providing news and information to you, we don’t want to provide anything about you to a third party without your fully informed knowledge and consent.