I've designed the Sidequest Ninja website in as privacy-conscious a manner as I can. I take care of my own privacy online - I have various privacy plugins installed in my browser, I block cookies by default, and so on. And so I'm keen that my own site be very respectful of your privacy when you visit it. Here's how sidequestninja.com behaves:
- I don't set any cookies at all. If I ever added parts to the website that needed cookies to function, I'd do that (and I'd make it clear why and what data is stored), but I'm not running around adding cookies to track you purely for the sake of tracking you.
- What I do have is a self-hosted analytics package called Matomo (previously called Piwik). I feed it the logs generated by each request when you visit my site. This lets me see how many visitors I have, and the path people take through the site when they visit. Matomo is set to partially anonymize visitor IP addresses. This lets me see roughly where visitors are located in the world, but makes it harder to uniquely identify people, so in general it can't spot repeat visitors. "Anonymized" data can usually be linked back to an individual with enough effort, but I've no interest in doing so, and I won't share the data with anyone else - because I'm using a self-hosted system, no-one else needs access to the data. The raw logs themselves are purged at intervals.
- The logging system respects the Do Not Track setting in your browser if you've turned it on. You won't appear in the Matomo analytics at all if you've requested not to be tracked.
If you sign up for the mailing list, you'll be giving me important pieces of personal information: your email address, and optionally your name. Here's how that valuable info gets handled:
- Entering an email address into the sign-up form triggers a confirmation email. This prevents anyone signing up an email address they don't control.
- Every newsletter will have an "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom. If you ever change your mind about receiving the newsletter, click that and you won't receive them in future.
- I'll only ever email you about the games I'm making. Right now that's Hexahedra, once it's been released and I'm working on something new, I'll be in touch about that, too.
- I won't share your details with anyone. The mailing list is administered by Mailjet, so they're the ones storing your details.
- I've disabled Open Tracking and Click Tracking within Mailjet, so they won't receive any info about whether you've opened the newsletter or clicked on any links.
- Because the images and links within the newsletter are hosted on my website I will be able to tell how often an email is opened or a link clicked, but not in a personalized way - there are no tracking pixels or unique links, so I can't tie a read email or a clicked link to a particular email address.
This low level of tracking would probably make most marketers tear their hair out, and arguably I'm making it more difficult for myself to succeed as an indie game dev. However, I don't want to build a successful company by invading privacy. If you're here, you've already found my website. If you decide to buy a game from me, great. If not, there's a whole Internet out there for you to enjoy, and I wish you well.