Last updated: March 5, 2023
What’s the point of this page? It provides the reader/visitor/customer (“you”, “your”, “user”) information on what personal information we collect, use, store, and share, and why we do all that. It also describes what rights you have as a reader/visitor/customer, regarding your personal info. Finally, we make sure you have a good way to contact us if you’ve got questions/suggestions/complaints. But nobody should ever have any complaints, right? Our site is perfect, right? (Actually, we love complaints, that’s how we know what to improve.)
Information We Collect and How We Collect It
There are a number of different types of data that some websites collect, but we strive to keep this collection to a minimum at Engineering Your FI.
First off, obviously we collect any information you provide directly to us. A few ways you might provide your information include:
- signing up to receive emails from us
- filling out any forms such as our contact page form or surveys
- signing up to receive free or paid content or products from us (e.g. a digital course or other digital products, blog posts, advice, downloads, tutorials, or other paid services)
- commenting on any pages or posts
- communicating with us on social media platforms
- joining any public or private membership groups, including those hosted on third-party platforms like Facebook
- becoming one of our affiliate partners
- contacting us in any other way, including via email
What kind of personal information might you provide to us? A few examples:
- email address (note: if you leave a comment and provide your email address, that email address will not be published – only site administrators will nominally have access to that information)
- user name where registration is required (unless using your email address for user name)
- name (first and/or last)
- phone number
- date of birth (e.g. to verify you’re an adult, if needed)
- shipping address (e.g. if we’re sending you something)
- payment information and billing address (e.g. if you pay for one of our products via credit card)
- social media information (e.g. if you communicate with us via social media, or join a group we host on social media)
- website URL
- any other information you might provide via methods like surveys or comments on our site
The only personally identifying information we collect from you is the information you provide directly to us.
Next we have a different category: information that’s collected automatically, all of which we use to administer the site and provide high quality service to our visitors/readers/customers. A few example scenarios where your information might be collected automatically include:
- when you visit our site, we capture which page was viewed (or the requested URL) and a number of standard traffic log data elements about your computer or mobile device that are automatically generated by our web server and Google Analytics, such as your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser cookies, and browser type, version, and operating system (e.g. Mozilla Firefox v. 97.0 in Windows); these data are used for generating page view statistics across all users for each of the pages on Engineering Your FI, and we do not connect/combine these data elements with personally identifiable information
- recording how you arrive at our site (i.e. referring URL) (e.g. via a Google search, link from another site, a link from one of our emails, etc.), as well as timestamp information (i.e. the date, time, and length of your visit); again, these are used for generating page view statistics across all users for each of the pages on Engineering Your FI
- recording any searches performed on our site; again this information is used for statistical analysis so that we can better learn what our visitors/readers/customers are looking for
- saving any information needed for email communications (e.g. if you respond to one of our emails)
- saving any information needed for your purchase or return of one of our products
- recording when you receive and open our emails, as well as when you click on links within the email (see note below)
**Important**: we would prefer to not use any tools that track when email recipients receive and open our emails, which we disagree with and feel is not a good practice in terms of privacy. Unfortunately, our email service provider, ConvertKit, does not allow customers to turn off this tracking (that we are aware of – please let us know if we are mistaken). To avoid having ConvertKit tracking whether you receive and open one of our emails (and to avoid having any other businesses track whether you open their emails or not), see The Verge’s guide to prevent this from happening, or search for “disable email pixel trackers” in your search engine of choice. You can also try out tools such as Ugly Email or Trocker (note: we have not tried or tested these applications, so proceed with caution).
Finally, there is Third Party Site collection of your data, which we have effectively no control over as these data are collected based on the policies of the Third Party Site (e.g. Facebook). Events that may trigger your information to be collected include:
- when you communicate via Third Party Site (e.g. send a message on a social media platform)
- when you comment on or like any of the posted content we have on Third Party Sites
- when you view, join, or participate in any of the groups we host on Third Party Sites (e.g. a Facebook group)
Any of the information you provide to the Third Party Site can be automatically collected in the above listed events. Examples include your social media profile data (including your profile picture), contact information such as your name and email address, purchase history if any purchases are made via the Third Party Site, and standard data elements about your computer or mobile device. We cannot and do not control the privacy practices and policies of third party sites and partners – please see the privacy policies of these entities on their respective websites.
Why We Collect Your Information / How We Use Your Information
The reasons we collect your information may be obvious for some kinds of information (e.g. we collect your email address so we can email you), but less obvious for others. We strive to provide as much transparency as possible regarding how and why we use your data. Some examples of how we may use your information (i.e. why we need your information) include:
- Using your email address to email you, and your name (if provided) to better personalize the email, including replies to any questions or feedback you provide
- Using your data as part of the payment and delivery process for any products you purchase from us, including any additional communication about your order
- Enrolling you in a paid or free course/class, webinar/presentation, public or private group (e.g. a membership group), and doing any needed account maintenance while you are participating in any of those activities
- Enabling validation of your account during this enrollment process or when you purchase a product from us
- Using your information to suggest products or services based on past purchases and/or activity you’ve had, and send you marketing/promotional content (which will be kept to a minimum, if any)
- Operating any affiliate programs or promotions/contests
- Providing any other customer service you may need
- Protecting you from (and detecting if needed) any security or fraud threats, including fraudulent transactions
- Complying with all applicable national and local laws, including providing to law enforcement and regulatory authorities any information they need to enforce those laws
Who We May Share Your Information With, And Why
First and foremost, WE WILL NEVER SELL, RENT, OR LEASE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. Period. That would be a serious violation of your privacy. Nor would we do anything else along these lines, such as rent or trade your personal information. The only way your information could be provided to another entity via a purchase is if part or all of Engineering Your FI is acquired by (or merged with) another company or organization. If a company or organization is highly likely to acquire part or all of Engineering Your FI, we may provide your personal information as part of a due diligence process, but only with strict assurances they will destroy that data if they do not move forward with the acquisition process (and we would only work with trustworthy companies/organizations as part of this process).
While we will never sell your information (with the lone exception of selling the site), there are some other entities we might share your information with, all with the intent of providing you with additional value and better serving you in general. We may work with trusted third party partners (e.g. other companies or organizations) who assist us with various services, though we will share only the information they need to provide their service (and no more than that). Such services include:
- collecting and/or processing payments, as part of the process for purchasing our products
- helping us prevent/detect/address fraud
- fulfilling, shipping, and/or delivering any products we well
- providing customer service
- providing cloud service
- providing analytics and customer analysis (e.g. analyzing visitor website clicks and navigation)
- providing IT services and other support for operating our website
- providing marketing and/or advertising services (e.g. email marketing and campaign services)
- providing professional contracted services for us (e.g. lawyers, auditors, consultants)
- helping us in other ways to conduct our business and service our readers/visitors/customers
One third party service already discussed: Google Analytics, which provides information about website usage and how users found our site.
We only work with trusted third party partners who agree to keep your information confidential, and of course we will never voluntarily share your information with unrelated third parties. Each third party partner’s use of your information is dictated by their respective privacy policies.
We may also need to provide your information to government agencies, including law enforcement, regulators, and the courts. This sharing will only occur if we are required to comply with applicable laws or a legally binding process. Examples include receiving a warrant, subpoena, court order, or other government inquiry. Also if we detect potentially illegal or fraudulent activities, we may share your information with relevant authorities to protect our legal rights, protect you (and us) from fraud or harm, defend against legal claims, and address violations of any policies we have established at Engineering Your FI.
We also must admit that we are human, and thus may make mistakes. Accordingly, while it is extremely important to us to protect our users personal data and we work hard to ensure no data is ever disclosed when it shouldn’t be, we cannot 100% guarantee that no mistaken sharing will ever occur. If such an event does occur, we will contact the relevant parties as soon as possible and work hard and fast to rectify the situation.
Finally, we may, after doing our best to obtain your permission, use any comments or reviews you leave on Engineering Your FI (i.e. in a public forum) in marketing materials to promote the website and our products.
Cookies (no, not the delicious kind)
So if we aren’t talking about the delicious disks that come out of your oven, what are they?
A cookie is a file that contains an alphanumeric identifier (i.e. a digital signature), which a web server sends to your browser, and is nominally stored by the browser. What’s the point though? This file and digital signature are sent to the server whenever the browser loads a page in order to track your personal settings or preferences when interacting with the website. They can also be used to track when you return to the website at a later date and time. Cookies usually don’t contain any personal information (i.e. information that directly identifies you), but some systems tie personal information to information stored in cookies.
There are a couple different kinds of cookies: “persistent” cookies are stored in your browser and remain valid until the specified expiration date (unless you delete them); “session” cookies expire at the end of your session (when you close the browser).
One common reason many sites have cookies is due to their relationships with third party advertising partners. However, at this time Engineering Your FI does not employ any advertising via 3rd party partners, mainly because we are not fans at all of generic website advertising (with the exception of useful products sold directly by that site/company).
What if you don’t want any of these non-delicious cookies?
In general we are comfortable allowing reputable websites to employ cookies to enhance our experience on their site, but we know many people are not. Again, at this time we do not believe blocking cookies on engineeringyourfi.com will affect the functionality of the site, but if you find evidence to the contrary, please let us know.
If you want to make absolutely sure that this site (or any other site) does not employ cookies, there are numerous means to block cookies through browser options and third party extensions. Instructions on how to block cookies for any browser can be found at that browser’s website. You can also conveniently test if cookies are needed on a site by opening a “private” tab (“Incognito” for Chrome, “Private Window” for Firefox, etc.) which will likely block all cookies (though you should verify that is true in your browser settings). You can similarly delete all existing cookies via your browser settings.
Your Rights and Options
You have a number of choices you can make regarding your personal information when interacting with Engineering Your FI.
First and foremost, you always have the ability to quickly and easily unsubscribe from our email communications via the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every email we send. If you continue to receive emails from us, please contact us – we hate getting spammed just as much as you do. We will still email you a relevant purchase receipt if you purchase any of our products.
As discussed above, you can choose to block cookies on our site, as well as any other sites you desire. Beyond blocking all cookies, your browser may also allow you to prevent accepting new cookies (keeping those already in place), as well as receive notifications when receiving new cookies – see the appropriate documentation for your browser on these capabilities. At this time we do not believe cookies should not be required to interact with our site, but some future functionality may require cookies to operate correctly.
In some browsers you can turn on a “Do Not Track” feature that adds an HTTP header to your web traffic, with the intent of informing websites that you don’t want to allow tracking of your information. However, the feature has proven problematic for most companies and organizations with websites, as it is not clear exactly how to honor this setting, and websites also cannot control how third parties connected to the site will handle the setting (e.g. Google Analytics). Thus we do not currently recognize or use the “Do Not Track” feature to alter your experience with our website.
If you have provided personal information to us and are no longer comfortable with us having that information, or you would like to change the information we have about you, you have a variety of options. Please contact us at any time to request any of the following actions:
- delete all your information
- request to see any information we have about you
- modify any of your information
- revoke permission you’ve previously provided to use your information for content such as marketing materials
You can also contact us to opt out of any physical mailings, text messages, or phone calls.
If you live in a region that is covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law (i.e. the European Union, European Economic Area, or the United Kingdom), you have additional rights such as the ability to object to automated data collection methods that have a legal (or similar) impact on you, further restrict processing of your information, as well as the ability to lodge a formal complaint with the relevant data protection regulatory authority. For a comprehensive list of these rights, visit the EU GDPR guide or the UK GDPR guide.
Data Retention and Protection
Engineering Your FI retains personal information for users until such time that the information is no longer needed for business purposes, or until you request that we delete your information – whichever event occurs first. For example, if you sign up for our email list, we will retain your email address and any associated personal information as long as we continue to send out emails. However, we cannot control the data retention policy of our third party partners – please see their respective privacy policies.
The primary audience of this site is currently people that live in the United States, but we recognize that some readers/visitors/customers may live outside the US. If you are one of these readers/visitors/customers, be aware that our website servers and server providers may be located outside your country – and thus your personal information may be collected, employed, and stored in servers outside your country. By visiting Engineering Your FI, you agree that this personal information collection, usage, and storage is governed by applicable laws in the United States, as are any automatically collected information (e.g. browser information, IP address, etc.) and communications related to or arising from your interactions with Engineering Your FI. Your country may have more or less stringent privacy laws than the United States.
Additional rights mandated by the CCPA also include:
- The right to know what kinds of personal information we’ve collected from you over the past 12 months, including the specific information you provided, as well as how we obtained your information (e.g. a form you filled out on our site). Additionally you have the right to know how and why we use your information, as well as the kinds of third parties we might share your information with. If we do share your information with a third party, you have a right to know what categories of information were shared and which categories of third parties we shared your information with.
- The right to have your personal information deleted or modified upon request (as described in section “Your Rights and Options”)
- The right to opt out of your information being sold to third parties, including for advertising purposes (yuck!). Given that we never sell, rent, or lease your information, you should never need to exercise this right. Additionally, we do not share your information with any third parties that we believe may use your information for “direct marketing purposes” (i.e. ads) – see California’s Shine the Light Act, passed in 2003.
- The right to avoid any kind of discriminatory treatment from Engineering Your FI during or after exercising the rights managed by the CCPA. In other words, if you contact us to exercise any of the above rights, we will not discriminate against you in any way – privacy is important! Some examples of retaliatory discrimination to watch out for if you exercise your rights on any website: denying you service or products, providing lower quality service/products, and/or charging you more for service/products.
To exercise the rights mandated by CCPA, please contact us. Note that we are required to verify your identity if you do contact us regarding these rights.
Turns out it’s not just California folks that get all the special attention!
This site is not geared for or intended for use by children under the age of 13 – they have much better sites to read I’m sure! We also do not knowingly collect, employ, share, or store the personal information of anyone under the age of 18. If you believe we have unknowingly collected such information, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can delete that data as soon as possible.