Your Data is AVNation’s Priority

As many of you know, I am a privacy and security advocate. I am also the web architect and digital janitor of AVNation. I follow the principles of privacy and security as I design and implement the AVNation web presence. I am not alone in this desire for privacy and security; as a group, AVNation has joined the EFA. We truly support these ideas. It is one of the reasons that I will code a tool myself instead of using an off shelf solution that does not meet my scrutiny of privacy, an example being the AVAwards.

However, I need to temper this desire for privacy with the business needs of AVNation. We need demographics to provide to our underwriters. Our underwriters’ funding is what keep the lights on. The underwriters want to know who they are reaching with their marketing dollars. It is the reason I created the roles I did in the AVAwards; we need to provide our underwriters with demographic information. I aggregate everything before providing the information to anyone, stripping out all personal information we’ve collected from our reports. We do not provide any of your personal information to our underwriters.

The reason I am talking about this process is I believe it is import for you to know why we are asking for your data, but more importantly, to be aware of how much information you share online. This information can exceed the basic information you think you’re allowing companies to use to market to you. While I dislike having to provide various pieces of personal data to get product specifications, I also understand that having some basic information about our audience to share with out supporters is important.

With that in mind, when we set forth our policy for privacy in regards to the AVAwards we used one simple rule: if we don’t need to know, we don’t ask.

The items we are gathering from the AVAwards are e-mail address, whether you want a newsletter or not, IP address, and browser type. We are also tracking navigation through the websites and which links you are visiting.

We are monitoring e-mail address as the way to prevent robots and validate entries. Currently no one has access to this information other than me. I then export that data to our newsletter database, but only if the newsletters are requested. The IP address helps us to determine geographic location of our listeners – we do not provide the actual IP address in any reports. The browser type is solely for me so I can make sure that the website supports the browsers that are being used. There are differences in the way that Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, etc. render the pages. This information helps me to make educated decisions to meet the needs of the site’s visitors.

The tracking of clicks and paths through the websites assists with a few items. The first is to know how many visitors are viewing the site. The second is to know what topics are popular and what things are not being seen. Once again this information is not shared, it’s only collected to improve our content for you, our readers.

We use two services for this process, one is Google Analytics the other is Hubspot. Hubspot is also used to track links that are followed. It lets us measure how effective our messages are. Our agreement with Hubspot does not permit them to use our data. We own it and no one else has access to it outside of the AVNation family. If you are using Google Chrome, you are already being tracked, having the tracking code simply allows us to get better metrics. Google does monetize your data, sorry we can’t prevent that – Google collects this data anyway; our use of Google Analytics simply allows us to access that data, too.

In a nutshell to review, AVNation’s privacy policy is:

  • We don’t share your personal information.
  • If we don’t have a business reason, we don’t ask.
  • We will not sell our data to others.
  • We are asking because we need information to function effectively.
  • Whenever appropriate we offer a way to get the same experience without collecting any of your information.
  • You can always ask for clarification, contact form at the bottom of the form or email at webmaster @avnation.tv.

If you want to opt out of any of this tracking, the easiest way is to use EFF’s Privacy Badger. I am more than happy to discuss any of these items and provide guidance if you wish to opt out after having previously provided us your information.

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