May 28, 2018
A Letter on Privacy from Lisa Petrison:
In 1991, when I was just starting my doctoral studies in marketing, I became interested in the topic of consumer privacy and conducted several studies on the topic.
In one of those studies, published in 1995, I looked at how the topic of consumer privacy was perceived in the UK vs. the US by comparing the content of articles that had run on the topic in The Times (UK) and The New York Times.
(The British were mostly concerned about information about themselves being known to others whereas Americans were primarily interested in being not being bothered by marketers, I concluded.)
In my 1998 doctoral dissertation, I looked at the extent to which consumers and business managers considered various situational factors when judging the sale of consumer data from one company to another.
(The study found that men and women differed in terms of how they judged the companies, with women more likely to include outcome measures such as whether the sale had resulted in unwanted junk mail and telemarketing calls in their evaluations.)
During the ensuing 20 years, I have been fairly aghast at the extent to which marketers have collected information about individuals and about the potential for abuse that this allows.
The only saving grace is the fact that the Internet also allows people to share information with one another much more easily, providing at least somewhat of a disincentive for companies to behave badly since it is likely that everyone will soon find out about it if they do.
In any case, I am happy to see some new legislation focused on the area of consumer privacy and hope that it is a step in the right direction in terms of people becoming more aware of what is going on in this area.
Following is information about privacy issues as they relate to my own interactions with website readers.
Paradigm Change maintains a mailing list of people who have requested the book Back from the Edge. Periodically, those on the mailing list receive an email newsletter about news related to the topic of the role of mold toxins in chronic illness.
Paradigm Change also maintains a list of people who have signed up to receive information on the disease of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Rabbit Hole maintains a mailing list of people who have requested the book A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance. Periodically, those on the mailing list receive an email newsletter focusing on the topic of recovering from mold-related illness through avoidance and other healing approaches.
The information is collected by Mail Chimp and then transferred to another company called Mailer Lite for mailings to be sent out. (I do it this way because now that my list has grown, Mail Chimp is way too expensive for me to use for mailings, but because it seems to make sense to keep all the opt-in data all in one place. )
The only data that I require from subscribers is an email address. First name and last name are optional.
Mail Chimp also collects information on the date and time that people sign up for the list.
Mailer Lite collects data on whether individual subscribers open emails and click on particular links. That appears to be standard practice of all the major mailing companies.
Individuals may unsubscribe from the lists at any time through the link at the bottom of all newsletters.
There have been a very few occasions when I have added an email to a mailing list because an individual said that s/he was not able to figure out how to make the system work, but other than that, I do not add individuals to the mailing lists.
Mailer Lite keeps data on people who have unsubscribed or otherwise have said that they do not want to be contacted again, so that cannot be contacted unless they re-subscribe.
If you would like for your information to be deleted entirely, please write to me (at info at paradigmchange dot me) and I will do that manually.
The Paradigm Change website, the Paradigm Change blog, the Living Clean in a Dirty World blog and the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis website are all connected to Google Analytics. This tool provides reports that include geographic and demographic data about the users that have visited the Paradigm Change sites.
It also keeps track of the locations from which users visit the sites. In Europe, this is by country rather than by town.
You have the option of preventing cookies from being used if you choose.
Information about Google Analytics’ privacy policies, including on managing cookies, is available on the Google Analytics website.
Information about the U.S. locations from which visitors have accessed the Paradigm Change sites is analyzed to determine prevalence indices for each location. Information about this project is described in this document.
I adjusted the setting on the Google Analytics program so that user data is kept permanently rather than just for two years. The reason for this is so that all the locations data – rather than just recent information – can be analyzed into the future.
I am the only person with access to the mailing list data. Conceivably I might give someone else access to the Google Analytics data at some point for them to help to analyze it, but I have not yet done that.
Mailing list data will not be shared with or sold to any other organizations.
Paradigm Change and Rabbit Hole are based in Skokie, Illinois.
Please address any questions that you have about this policy to me at: info at paradigmchange dot me.
Thank you for visiting this website.
Lisa Petrison, Ph.D.
Links on this page are in orange (no underlining)