Cookie policy

04 April 2019
As of now this website does not make use of any cookies. It previously required third-party cookies due to the use of a third-party font, but the hosting of this has now been taken in-house. This website has never had any need or desire to track individual users, but it is something that has taken on extra importance in the last year.


Under the European General Data Protection Regulations websites are supposed to present site visitors with a privacy policy that explains which cookies are used, and in certain cases — I am not sure of the actual criteria myself — give them the opportunity of opting out of having them set. I personally have mixed feelings about the policy, since I think it is a good thing that a light has been cast onto all the stuff that websites do in the background, but it also means notionally taking responsibility for explaining something that may well be beyond the reasonable control of webmasters. Since this website does not require cookies to function, I see no need to go to the effort of having a privacy policy that explains such things.

Locally-hosted fonts

Historically this website used fonts that were standard on Windows and which were also available on Linux, but in the latter case often not installed by default. During the last major rebuild almost exactly two years ago this was changed to use the Kalam font hosted on Google Fonts, and as a consequence of being hosted on Google's servers a few cookies were being used. Having checked the licence of the font itself I have decided to host the font directly rather than link to the copy hosted on Google's servers, and hence eliminate use of third-party cookies. In hindsight I am not sure why I did not do this from the start as I have a long-held dislike of cross-hosted content.

The Open Font Licence for which Kalam is licenced seems to be aimed at stopping people making money purely through redistribution of the font — redistribution with a program that uses it seems to be considered acceptable, so its hosting and use on a website that is non-commercial should be well within fair-game. I have long-forgotten whether this was made clear to me at the time I started using the typeface, but this a moot point as I was nevertheless happy at the time to just use the off-the-shelf link Google Fonts supplied.

Other privacy concerns

The web-server daemon has access logging enabled, but it has been a long time since I did any sort of analytics on the logs, and these days I question whether the IP address that ends up in the logfiles can really be considered personal information. The widespread use of network address translation and transparent web proxies means that the IP address seen by a web-server is in a lot of cases effectively anonymised, and due to the nature of the site the recorded URIs should not contain anything personal. However if logging in itself was to require a policy, I would probably just disable it.