A boutique genre publisher since 2011, specialising in all flavours of speculative!

Published: 25 May 2018

The owners of Challis Tower Books have been warning anyone who’d listen for years now about internet privacy and the dangers of datamining. Nobody listened. So here we are with Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and, while it’s a step in the right direction, both you and we know that it’s not going to stop jack shit, especially if you yourself live outside Europe. However, let it not be said that we don’t adhere to appearances, so here’s our global privacy policy.

Challis Tower Books has often thought a lot more about your privacy than you have. Do you care now? Good.

“You” or “Your” means you as a participant in or as a user of the ChallisTowerBooks.com website. “We” or “Our” or “Us” means ChallisTowerBooks.com. “Our site” means ChallisTowerBooks.com and any other subdomains that we, in a frenzy of marketing madness, decide to create.

All information transmitted in any way or otherwise submitted to ChallisTowerBooks.com shall be deemed to be our property, and we shall be free to use such information as we see fit. I doubt any government agency would be interested in the goings on of this small entity but if they force us, we don’t have the deep pockets to protect your privacy, so make sure you don’t send us any doggy porn. If you do, and if law enforcement or other governmental officials approach us as a result of your sick depravities, we WILL throw you under the bus in order to avoid prosecution. We’re not stupid and recommend you not be either.

If we ever get the blog going again, this site may contain links to other sites and although we may have fantasies of global domination, we assume that you know that we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of any site we don’t own wherever it may reside on the internet.

Section 1: Collected information

Yandex Metrica (over which we have zero control) automatically collects and/or tracks the following about each of your visits to this website:

  • Web page http headers (home server domain names, IP address, computer operating system, and type of Web browser);
  • Information knowingly provided by you through on-line forms, registration forms, surveys, and/or other entries, such as email addresses, personal, financial or demographic information;
  • Information, user specific or aggregate, on what pages our visitors access.

I’m sure it’s a lot more than that, but that’s all Yandex is giving us. It’s the same with Google/Alphabet. For our part, our email program saves:

  • E-mail addresses of visitors that communicate with ChallisTowerBooks.com.

Mailchimp (over which we also have zero control) also collects:

  • First names, family names, email addresses and basic reading preferences that we haven’t got around to taking out yet, submitted for the purposes of a download, guide or newsletter sign up.

Section 2: Use of data thus collected

We use snippets of Javascript to collect information about the use of our site and to allow you to view content in an aesthetically pleasing manner. (Please bear in mind that aesthetics is in the eye of the person paying the hosting bills.) These snippets are temporary and are deleted when you close your browser, which is why the site is sometimes slow to load, even though you only visited yesterday. ISPs and their “blazing fast” speeds…tell us about it.

We collect and use this anonymous (to us, but not to Google/Alphabet and Yandex, obviously) aggregated user data to satisfy our own curiosity because we really don’t have the kind of integrated, multi-platform master marketing strategy that is able to effectively make use of all this information, especially when we refuse to pay $$$ to some SEO company in exchange for a lot of pages of buzzwords but little else. But we’re only “little people” and are not the ones you should be watching out for anyway.

The information Mailchimp, our newsletter subscription service, collects is used to send you newsletters and communicate with you in order to entertain you so much that you’ll buy our books. That’s it. We would love to use your data to provide to our advertisers, but we don’t have any. Neither do we have plans for future telemarketing, SMS text-messaging, display and native advertising or postal mailings regarding site updates, new products and services, upcoming events, and/or status of orders placed online. If we ever implement WooCommerce or something on this site, however, that last item may change.

(Having said all that, as we’re not based in the United States, should your phone number fall into our hands, we can harass you without referencing a do not call registry, in-house list or similar registry and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Bwahahahahahaha.) See how things like your personal data can jump jurisdictions like that? Personal rendition post-2001 did the same thing, but we doubt you took any notice. You should have.

Section 3: Disclosure of data to you

According to the GPDR, if you ask for what information we have on you, we need to give it to you. That’s all well and good, but all we have is the Mailchimp information; that is:

  • First name, family name, email address and basic reading preferences

That’s it. The information we get from Yandex/Google/Alphabet is all anonymised and we are utterly incapable of differentiating one reader in Burkina Faso from another reader in Burkina Faso. We can tell that one reader is using Chrome and another Firefox, or one is on Windows (you fool) and another on Linux, but as to who that actually is…nope.

Section 4: Disclosure of data to third parties

If you choose to provide personal information, it will be used for the following purposes:

  • selling you a Challis Tower book;
  • selling you a Challis Tower book; and
  • for marketing products and services which we determine, in our sole judgment, may persuade you to buy a Challis Tower book.

We will not disclose data we collect to third parties, except for that doggy porn thing we mentioned earlier. Also, Google/Alphabet and Yandex already have your information so you should be worrying about them more than you worry about us.

Section 5: Your opt-out rights

You may opt-out of receiving communications from us and/or our partners by not submitting your information although, if you’re reading this, we already have some. There is also an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of each of our newsletters that will remove you from our marketing list. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, so if you get visited at 2am by drunken hyenas wanting to use your home as a wildlife stripper’s club, it didn’t come from us. You could also email us to request removal but, really, it’s quicker to do it from the newsletter link.

Section 6: We do not intend to collect data from children

At this point we’re supposed to say that we point blank refuse to collect information from anyone under the age of eighteen but in all honesty, how would we know? Remember that old New Yorker magazine cartoon:

One dog sez to the other: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

Yeah, it’s something like that. So we’ll try not to let minors get hooked on highly political space operas but no guarantees.

And maybe you really shouldn’t be letting your kids play for hours on a tablet as a substitute for parenting, or allow them to watch YouTube Kids day in and day out. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, search on “youtube kids inappropriate”. Exactly. How about spending some time with them and organically nurturing a solid, stable and loving parent-child relationship?

Section 7: Our right to contact you

We reserve the right to contact you regarding your newsletter subscription, or any other policies or agreements relevant to you, although the vast majority of that will happen through the newsletter. We can’t think of why we’d contact you outside that, but you never know, hence this COA (Cover Our Ass) section.

Section 8: Our right to change these conditions (whenever we like)

As circumstances change and we progress towards our ultimate goal of global domination, it may be that we amend these words in order to incrementally hide what awful oligarchs we are becoming. Sigh. If only…

Section 9: Our contact information

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this website, you can contact us via email as noted on the home page of our website.

Section 10:  Our anti-spam policy

One person’s exhortation to buy a highly political space opera is another person’s spam, but we can say that we may email you under the following conditions:

  • Acknowledging your newsletter subscription (Mailchimp bot)
  • Requests for additional information to support your subscription (Mailchimp bot, if at all)
  • Response to your inquiries via email regarding anything at ChallisTowerBooks.com (us)
  • Thanking you for your valued business (various etailers, but with feeling)
  • Advertisements for our products, services, changes in services, new product availability (us via Mailchimp)
  • Advertisements for third party products and services where we have determined that such product or service may be of interest to you (we may be part of a group sometime in the future but, if this happens, you’ll know about it)

Section 11: Information for ISPs

This site uses a secure server to protect your browsing, although it’s imperfect because those damned images are still being transmitted via vanilla HTTP. Why the encryption of an entire site (and we DO have encryption) should be so difficult to implement is highly irritating. And it’s not as though we’re luddites. Both of us have degrees in Computing (actual Computing, not that namby-pamby “Business Technology” or “Information Technology” nonsense). We’ll continue looking into this, as being backballed by Google/Alphabet (and, seriously, when did THEY become the internet’s policeman?) isn’t one of our life goals.

In any case, here are our details, in case you don’t know how to read a URL:

Web site: ChallisTowerBooks.com
Email Address: admin ==@= ChallisTowerBooks =dot== com

Once again, Challis Tower Books has always championed consumer privacy and security. It’s one reason why we’re not on Facebook, Google Plus (you’d think they would have killed that one by now UPDATE: they have!) Twitter, Instagram, VK, etc etc. Why should we pull you into someone else’s datamining/censoring operation?

We hope our policy as detailed here will relieve any concerns you may have regarding our email policies, noting that while we can speak to Challis Tower Books, you’re fair game on any other site, to be honest.

Maybe at some point in the future (our time machine says 25 May 2023, but it’s been notoriously unreliable), ChallisTowerBooks.com may enter into an arrangement with a third party website to allow individuals to opt into our marketing program on said third party websites. In each case, we may ask whether they’re playing fair by consumer rules or not. Of course they’ll say yes and we’ll have to take their word for it. If they say no, we’ll tell them to take a hike but if they come back and say they’ve now complied, we’ll have to believe them. We live in a capitalist world after all, for good or ill. We’re already losing visiblity and money by not being on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all those other “trendy” social platforms which datamine you by proxy, so would appreciate you cutting us some slack here.

We hope this information satisfies any questions or concerns you may have regarding the email practices of ChallisTowerBooks.com. If you’ve read this far, congratulations. How about buying one of our books?

Section 12: Our other websites

We also own KSAugustin.com and TheDogAteMyExperiment.com, although this site is the only one that’s actively involved in email subscriptions. Whatever we say here also applies to those two.

Thanks for being a reader,

Owners, Challis Tower Books