How our personal data gets used, and abused, on the internet is rightly a big concern. Generally Mary Shields Ph.D. supports regulations and controls put in place to limit and make more transparent how companies use personal data.
I need to do business in a new way, a way that puts love and relationships first. This is our attempt to be more transparent and aware of how I use data.
About Collecting Personal Information
I collect personal information because without your information, I can’t be in relationship with you. If you’re a client of mine, I need to know where you are to reach you and deliver what I promise! If you’re not yet a client, but interested, I often need your personal information to send you my free content and invitations to programs and other offers so you can benefit (from the free content) and consider them (the invitations.)
Just looking at my website or Facebook content doesn’t require you to give us any information at all. It’s just there. If you interact with my content (such as liking or commenting on Facebook or blog content), I do want and need to collect that information so I can continue to be in relationship with you.
I only send information to folks who ask for it, usually when you fill out a form on my website, or on one of the platforms that I show up on (Facebook, for instance), or when you make a purchase through my website or in a conversation with someone on my team.
What personal information is collected?
What I collect depends entirely on how you interact with me. I don’t take anything you don’t voluntarily share with me- I participate in no “data mining” nefariously to collect personal data.
Some of the data that I may ask you for (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Mailing Address
- Phone Number
- Email address
- Credit card information
- Other contact information or preferences
- Date of Birth
How personal information is used
First and foremost, I use your data to deliver information and services to you. I also use it to help learn about who my best clients are, and how to reach other people like them.
I do attempt to coordinate data across the different platforms I show up on. So, for instance, I may take personal information you give me through my website and share that information with my Facebook account, so I can find more people like you. I share no business details, payment information, or otherwise from one platform to another. Generally when I do share across platforms, it’s just name and email so that I can see if you also have an account on the other platform.
My team, consisting of contractors, has access to the data in my systems in order to our jobs.
All data is stored in online systems, there is no paper storage of information. Some examples of the systems we’re using at the time this is written: Active Campaign, Acuity, Calendly, Send Out Cards, Facebook ad manager and business manager, and payment processing systems (like Paypal and Stripe).
It should additionally be said that I do not store credit card information on any local systems. All payment information is stored within secure third party platforms whose business is to do that securely with high levels of encryption.
Non-personal information collection and use
This means information that does not identify a specific person. I use website analytics, pixel tags, and cookies to help understand how people use my website and my services, to look for larger patterns.
If at any time non-personal information is connect with personal information, then it will all be considered personal information and treated as such.
I don’t share your information
This means I don’t consciously give out or sell your information to other companies that would then market to you. Never ever ever.
I do share your information with our third party services that essentially are the tools that I use to run the business. Those companies all have privacy policies in place where they are not accessing your data without our accounts to market to you or otherwise use your information for any reason, except for when we direct that tool to perform a function for us within our account. For instance, your email address is stored within our email system (at the time of this writing is Active Campaign). I direct Active Campaign to send my written emails to the email addresses who have opted in, and Active Campaign carries this out.
This is not considered the same as giving your email address to the company Active Campaign so they can market their services to you. This latter example we would never, ever do.
Security and protection
I use tools and third party companies that are committed to high levels of security encryption. I am not an encryption or data security expert by any stretch of the imagination, and I am basically trusting these services to provide the high levels of security they are claiming to. So far, at the time of this writing, they haven’t failed me.
No physical (paper) documents with personal information are kept on file. All technology is kept up-to-date in as reasonable time-frame as is possible (generally within the month the update is released).
My Team, contractors, are instructed to delete any information they may temporarily place in files so they can do their work, and to shred any paper copies once their work is complete (this includes any hand written notes to self as they do their work.)
It’s your data, you retain control
You can unsubscribe, or otherwise let us know that you don’t wish for me to use your data and I will honor your request. You can ask me how your data has been used, and I will let you know.
You can ask to be entirely deleted from my systems, and I can do that, with the exception that if you’ve bought anything from me, I am required to track income for tax purposes, and your receipts would remain in my accounting system for at least seven years. But you would be removed from my marketing or client delivery systems as entirely as possible without compromising our tax records.
Bear in mind that I am a small business with a few contractors, most of them very part time. I will honor all requests, and please be patient for me to follow-up with you. It may take up to two weeks to meet some requests.
You can customize some of how I use your data by using the personal link at the bottom of any email we send you from our email system (as opposed to a personal email I may send you from one of our personal email clients).
I’m doing my best to honor your needs and desires around your data, meet legal requirements and live my desire to be transparent and serve you well. If you have any questions, please ask.
With deep gratitude for your trust in me,
Mary Shields Ph.D
– last updated June 1, 2018