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Privacy Policy

The privacy policy at Zyra.org.uk is loosely based on the ideals of the Hippocratic Oath which doctors swear to and a similar ideal which priests have. Until May 2003 this understanding was unwritten, as it is implicit that you can trust Zyra without having to be told you can!

Here are some examples of Zyra's privacy policy in action:

* Someone writes in and says something like "I must confide in you that I have a personal problem and I wish to ask your advice... etc", then obviously I don't tell anyone information which has been told to me in confidence.

* Someone asks "What's the phone number of <person>?", then, if I know, I check to see if that information is public (ie whether the information can be acquired by reasonably easy public methods such as looking it up in the phone book), and if so I tell them. However, if the phone number was ex-directory, then I don't reveal the secret number, but instead I offer to pass a message by the enquirer to the private person, thus allowing privacy to be maintained without it becoming a bureaucratic secrecy problem!

* Someone accidentally sends their credit card details in an e-mail. I keep the info secret, but I reply and point out the security risk. I also delete the number from the returned-copy as a paranoid measure to stop hackers getting a second chance to snaffle it!

A few other notes:

* When sending the Zyra's Circular Newsletter, it's sent BCC to the recipients, so they don't all get to know each other's addresses! The Circular Newsletter is opt-in, so people have to actually request to be included in the list. Also, there's always an opt-out, by means of the fact that it's possible to REPLY to the newsletter! Also, anyone wishing to unsubscribe from the newsletter may write in and request. However, if you do this, please state what address you're unsubscribing! As there are many hundreds of people on the newsletter subscription list, it's unreasonable to expect us to guess who you are, especially if you've changed name and changed e-mail address.

* The site reserves the right to send SPAM, but generally doesn't. See outgoing spam policy. It's a fact that spam is a very inefficient way of marketing and generates a lot of bad feeling, so it's not generally done. However, as with other bad habits such as drinking and smoking, it's a matter of personal liberty and important to have a right to do it!

* Personal data is kept private. The list of e-mail addresses of people on the Circular List isn't sold or given away to companies to send all sorts of rubbish to people. That would be very poor form!

* Photographs taken and put on this site are taken in public places and in places where permission is given. ("Public" is defined as where it's possible to go there without having to ask). Pictures of people on this site are, to as great an extent as is reasonably possible, with their permission. In the unlikely event of a mistake being made on this, a person will be "painted out" at their own request!

* Requests of the form "Please forward this message to everyone in your address book" are politely declined.

* Although companies are written-about at this site, and it's an important Right of Freedom of Speech that this can be done, the writing-about is considered such a scary "pen is mightier than the sword" weapon, that it is not used against individuals (apart from in very exceptional circumstances, for example where the person has done something Very Bad on the International scene). To speak ill of a person, an individual, is considered very poor form, and isn't done, (except as per the previous exclusion). Apart from that, in situations where a person is mentioned on this site or other public media, they are referred to with some respect.

* People may be written about at this site, to an extent which is related to their fame and to the positivity of the writing. A person who is not famous will not be written about except in a positive way and such that their privacy is respected. Famous people may be written about more openly, but even then their personal lives are not exposed or revealed to an extent which is not already generally known. (This clause has had to be added from Issue155 onwards, to allow for writing about famous people, and also for defending people whose lives have already been disclosed by other entities).

* Personal information about a person's private life is not published, bandied-about, talked about out-of-turn, or otherwise misused.

* Transgendered persons are referred to or addressed in the form of their chosen gender, using the appropriate pronouns. Persons of chosen undefined/non-standard gender are referred-to in a pronoun-free mode where appropriate. As well as it being common courtesy, it's also a matter of respecting personal human rights.

* Cyborgs and artificial life-forms are respected to at least the same extent as humans.

* A person's "real name" is the name they have currently. Such personal details as their earlier names, weight at birth, gender at birth, etc, are not for public dissemination, even if they are known.

* Company information which is only available inside the company is kept confidential. Business confidentiality is respected, or at least that is the intention.

* Although there are currently (2009/01) no cookies on this site (except in the _periphery), it's a fact that affiliate marketing companies and/or their merchants (for example, online shops) may use code or cookies if you visit them (or pages in the periphery with an initial underline (_)). This is so we can actually get paid! As this site has select advertising, in contrast to splat advertising, it's important to track the performance of merchants so we can actually get paid for the good that's being done. (In the affiliate marketing model approved of here, it's best if the affiliates are only paid if they do any good, not based on how much annoying advertising they can spread about). So, if you're buying something when you are shopping online here, you might get a cookie added on your computer from the shop, but please note that no personally identifiable information is collected in such process. (Of course it's up to you if you want to tell the shop about yourself).

* After Zyra has been frozen in liquid nitrogen, the members of the committee running the estate will be expected to continue to run it at a level of reasonableness similar to that of Zyra.

Special note on the social stigma of having a privacy policy: Zyra does not have a law-abiding ethic, as law is often against the interests of freedom. (see libertarian links). Don't assume that just because there's a privacy policy at this site it means we obey other people's rules and laws. Zyra's own belief in doing what's right supersedes government-based law. However, there's also a crime-fighting ethic here, it being a matter of defeating wrongdoing. So, for example, Nigeria Scams will be reported! What's important is to do what's right, rather than what's legal!

Also, the Privacy Policy is only one of many Policies at Zyra's website, and the Privacy Policy doesn't have more importance.