How I treat your data, or "Don't be a Dick"

A post from the Weather Permitting Blog

I was asked a number of very pertinant questions about how I handle your data, and how I plan on treating users with regards to adverts. My first reaction was "isn't that obvious?", but it's not obvious, because there are a lot of people and websites that treat their visitors and their data like some sort of commodity, and that's not okay.

I can summarise my attitude to privacy and advertising in one simple sentence.

Don't be a Dick

You can stop reading there if you like, otherwise I've outlined more specifics below

Your Data

I will never sell your data. I will never share your data with third parties except to utilise their service as part of Weather Permitting (e.g. I use twilio to send text messages, they obviously need your phone number for that).

Contact Details

Phone Numbers

I will never, ever use your phone number for anything other than site related messages. SMS adverts/spam are a disgrace, I wouldn't tarnish my reputation/website with that crap. The only text messages you will receive are those you have specifically requested, or as a means to resolve incorrect contact details (email).

Email Address

Typically there are two types of emails that a site such as this sends out.

  • Notifications such as "you've received a message, look here", or "you've reset your password, click here", are necessary, the only way to opt out of those is to delete your account.
  • Advisories are typically sent through a mailing list. You've probably received a few of these over the past few weeks. I use Mailchimp at the moment, so anybody receiving an email can easily click the unsubscribe button and the decision is taken out of my hands.

    There will be other advisories about site content/changes etc. that I will not send through Mailchimp, you won't be able to unsubscribe from these, but they will be infrequent and not lengthy.


Unfortunately advertising is often the only income stream for sites that don't charge their users. I have no near term plans to add adverts to the site. My running costs are very low, and I'm willing to invest significantly where necessary.

In the future, I'd be surprised if adverts don't make an appearance. I hate intrusive, annoying, creepy or rude advertising, so any advertising would be applied with that in mind.

There will never be surprise popups, or huge background adverts. There will never be intrusive adverts. There will never be auto-play video/audio adverts.

I don't plan to advertise via email, but I could imagine a scenario where a large RC company sponsors the site. If their advertising was of genuine interest to the website users, I could be convinced to accept it. I would err heavily on the side of caution however.

In the Future

Changes to the above are possible. I'm not infallible, I can't possibly have thought of every scenario. But any changes will always have the same fundamental philosophy in mind.

Don't be a Dick.

Posted on 14th Jan, 2016, by Simon Stevens