Created: 2 May 2021 | Most recently revised: 22 May 2021

Introduction

This Privacy Policy explains how Pens Around the World (“we”, “us”) collect, use, and disclose information about you. This Privacy Policy applies when you use the Pens Around the World website, contact us through our contact form, engage with us on social media, or otherwise interact with us.

We anticipate three categories of people using this site who will be affected by our Privacy Policy:

  • Members of Pens Around the World;
  • Subscribers to our website updates and potentially a newsletter;
  • General visitors who are neither Members nor Subscribers.

Most of the Privacy Policy is intended for all three categories, but some parts are specifically for one or the other of Members, Subscribers or General visitors. These parts are flagged. (See especially Your Choices and Data Retention below.)

This Privacy Policy applies only to our online activities on this website.

This Privacy Policy is not applicable to any information collected offline or through channels other than this website.

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make changes, we will notify you by revising the date at the top of this policy and, in some cases, we may provide you with additional notice (such as adding a statement to our website or providing you with a notification). We encourage you to review this Privacy Policy regularly to stay informed about our information practices and the choices available to you.

Consent

By using our website, Pens Around the World, you indicate your consent to our Privacy Policy and agree to its terms.

Contents

Collection of Information

Information You Provide to Us

We collect information you provide directly to us. For example, you share information directly with us when you fill out our subscription form, respond in a comment to one of our public blog posts, or communicate with us through our contact form, by e-mail, or via third-party platforms (for example, social media). The types of personal information we may collect include your name, your display name/user name, your e-mail address, your responses to our website posts, and any other information you choose to provide.

This information is used to facilitate communication between us and you, and to let us remain in contact with you by providing you with information about Pens Around the World and about new posts published on our website.

We do not collect payment information from you. If we ever get around to producing merchandise for sale, or to collecting money to support our website, we will rely on third parties to process payments in connection with those things. Any information you provide to make such a payment is subject to the third-party payment processor’s privacy policy, and we encourage you to review that policy before you provide any information to the payment processor.

Information We Collect Automatically When You Interact with Us

In some instances we automatically collect certain information, including:

  • Activity Information: We collect information about your activity on our website such as when you open the site and which pages you visit, your access times and any links you click on while on our site. We also collect information about the page or service you came from to our website.
  • Device and Usage Information: We collect information about how you access our website, including data about the device and network you use, your operating system version, your mobile network, browser type, your IP address. From your IP address we may infer the geographical region/country where you connect from.
  • Information Collected by Cookies and Similar Tracking Technologies: We use tracking technologies, “cookies”, to collect information about you. Cookies are small data files stored on your hard drive or in device memory that help us improve our service and your experience, see which areas and features of our website are popular, and count visits. We also work with third party analytics providers (in particular with Google Analytics) who also use cookies, and other technologies to collect information about your use of our website.

For more information about cookies and how to disable them, see Your Choices below.

Use of Information

We use the information we collect to:

  • provide, maintain, and improve our website;
  • respond to your comments and questions and provide customer service;
  • communicate with you about new content on the website and potentially to provide other news and information we think will interest you;
  • monitor and analyse trends, usage, and activities in connection with our website;
  • detect, investigate, and prevent security incidents and other malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity and protect the rights and property of Pens Around the World and its members;
  • identify and repair errors in our website;
  • comply with our legal obligations under the laws of Sweden and the European Union, which is where our website is currently based and administered; and
  • carry out any other purpose described to you at the time the information was collected.

Sharing of Information

Generally

We will never sell the personal information about you that we collect. We share some of the information you provide under the following circumstances:

  • we share publicly on the site your user name, and a link to your own website (should you choose to give it to us), that you provide associated with any comment you post on our site, if we accept the comment for publication;
  • the e-mail address you must give us when you post a comment, we share with the Akismet spam protection service provided by WordPress;
  • if you are a Subscriber, your name and the e-mail address you provide to us in the double opt-in subscription we share with SendInBlue, our service providers for newsletter distribution;
  • some of the information we collect automatically we share in an aggregated or anonymised form that cannot reasonably be used to identify you personally with Google Analytics, with WordPress (who provide the structural code on which our website operates), and with Siteground, our web-service providers.

Legal Requirement

  • We may disclose your personal information if we believe that disclosure is required by law, but we will object to and resist legal requests for information about users of our website that we believe are improper.
  • We may disclose personal information if we believe it is necessary to protect the rights, property, and/or safety of Members of Pens Around the World, or other users or Subscribers to our website.

Third-Party Embeds

Some of the material displayed on our website may be embedded. For example, a YouTube video or a Tweet from Twitter. This is known as an “embed”. When you interact with an embed – by playing a YouTube video for example – it may send information about your interaction to the third party that hosts the embed, just as if you were visiting the third party’s site directly. Playing a YouTube video will share with YouTube information such as your IP address and how much of the video you watch.

Though we try to keep the volume of embedded items low, we cannot control or be held responsible for the information collected through embeds by third parties. This Privacy Policy does not apply to information collected through embedded items. Instead, it is the privacy policy belonging to the third party hosting the embed that applies, and we recommend you review that policy before interacting with embeds.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union

Pens Around the World is registered in Sweden and our website is hosted in the Netherlands and Germany. Your personal information, that we collect, is retained in the EU and subject to the provisions of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means you can at any time reach out to us for a complete list of all the personal information we hold on you, which you may ask us to erase from our data banks. If you do this, under the provisions of the GDPR we are obliged to comply, and will do so as quickly as we can.

Note that this applies to you whether you are yourself resident in the EU or not.

Your rights under the GDPR

We would like to make sure you are fully aware of all of your data protection rights. Every Member, Subscriber and General visitor to Pens Around the World is entitled to the following:

  • The right to access – You have the right to request copies of your personal data.
  • The right to rectification – You have the right to request that we correct any information you believe is inaccurate. You also have the right to request that we complete information you believe is incomplete.
  • The right to erasure – You have the right to request that we erase your personal data, under certain conditions.
  • The right to restrict processing – You have the right to request that we restrict the processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.
  • The right to object to processing – You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.
  • The right to data portability – You have the right to request that we transfer the data that we have collected to another organization, or directly to you, under certain conditions.

If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us through our Contact Form.

Your Choices

Members’ Account Information

Logged-in Members may access, correct, delete and export their account information at any time from the Member’s page and the User’s Profile (accessed from the Dashboard). Please note that if you choose to delete your membership, we may still continue to retain certain information about you. You will need to directly ask us to remove this data under the provision of the GDPR (see above).

Non-Members’ (Subscribers’, General visitors’) Information

All the information we may hold on you as a non-member can be removed from our database, at your request, under the provision of the GDPR (see above).

Cookies

Most web browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari etc.) are set to accept cookies by default. If you prefer, you can usually adjust your browser settings to remove or reject browser cookies. You can also set your browser to permit cookies during a session, but erase them when you close the browser down.

Even if you choose to accept cookies, it is always good idea to periodically clean up your browser cache, removing cookies along with cached pages, temporary files and other material your hard disk may have picked up while browsing.

Bear in mind, though, if you remove or reject cookies, this could affect the functionality of our website.

Communications Preferences

Subscribers may opt out of receiving our weekly notices about new posts, or of our newsletter (if we ever get around to producing one), by using the Unsubscribe link at the foot of the e-mail/newsletter.

Data Retention

For everyone:

  • We will keep the anonymised data about your visits and activity on Pens Around the World.
  • Because this data is anonymised, it cannot be linked to you personally.

For Members:

  • We will keep the personal data we have collected from you for as long as your membership remains active.
  • Your interactions with other members on the Pens Around the World forum will remain in our database unless you make a request for us to remove them in accordance with the GDPR.
  • If you do not ask for the data to be removed, they may still be erased in periodic cleaning of the database.
  • We will keep any public comments you have made to blog posts in our database unless you make a request for us to remove them in accordance with the GDPR.

For Subscribers:

  • We will keep the personal data we have collected from you until such time as you choose to Unsubscribe from our mailing list.
  • We will keep any public comments you have made to blog posts in our database unless you make a request for us to remove them in accordance with the GDPR.

For General visitors:

  • We will keep any public comments you have made to blog posts in our database unless you make a request for us to remove them in accordance with the GDPR.

Questions, Complaints and Contact

If you have a concern about our processing of your personal data, in the first instance please contact us. Please use the Contact Form, or write to us at admin(at)pensaroundtheworld(dot)com.

If you have a concern about our processing of your personal data that we are not able to resolve even after you have given us the opportunity, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Authority where you reside.


Please note that we are a small-scale association of private individuals. We are not qualified legal experts. We have created the above Privacy Policy in good faith and believe it to be legally correct. We are open to your expert help in improving it.

This Privacy Policy has been assembled with the help of templates available on line and by reference to other websites’ existing Privacy Policies.