We want to be very clear and transparent about the data we collect and how we use it. Our product is designed to understand your personal information needs and deliver the most relevant content. To do that, we need some information about you to feed into our algorithms, which can then serve you the correct content. This is similar to how Netflix or Spotify make recommendations to you, or how Google or Amazon predict your searches or purchases.
However, unlike Google, Yahoo finance, Facebook, and other similar services, we do not sell your data to advertisers or any third parties like most free platforms, because we can finance our costs with subscription fees. So while we collect your data, you can rest assured that we are not selling it to others. It's your data, not ours.
The kinds of data we collect
We collect very specific information. These should come as no surprise since many websites collect this information.
Specifically about you or your computer:
- Email address
- Browser type and version (Firefox 68, Chrome 76, etc.)
- Operating system (Mac OS, Windows, Linux)
- Single sign-on and social media accounts (if using one to log in)
We collect this data for various reasons. Location may be used for language preferences, or we may use browser and operating system information for optimising website and app performance. We only collect social media or single sign-on information if you use them to log into CityFALCON. This may be Twitter, Facebook, or Google (through single sign-on). You control all posting to social media, such as sharing watchlists.
How you got to our site:
- Referring sites (a search engine or partner sent you? or you came directly?)
- Date and time of access
- IP address and ISP provider of accessor (that's you)
- Which parts (subsites) of our platform you access
We also collect similar information that may be used to help us defend against an attack or provide to law enforcement if required. The data may be used to infer location and is mostly used to protect ourselves from hacking and illegal scraping. It may also be requested by government agencies in cases of investigating online activity and crimes.
This is data we collect to improve your personalisation experience. This may include
- curation data - how many times and on which stories you've pressed like, dislike, irrelevant, and dislike
- contents of your watchlists and viewed stories
- time you spend on any individual story or topic
- queries you make in search
- your filters and preferences for content
We use this data for the personalisation and customisation of our services to you. Search queries may be used to build up our databases, and curation data and watchlist information helps us extrapolate which content we should serve you.
We may use a tracking pixel in our emails to determine whether the email was opened and if you clicked on any of the links therein.
If you visit the blog, we will collect information as with any other part out of website. We will also store your IP if you leave a comment. This is mostly in case you leave illegal comments and law enforcement needs to find the commenter.
How we use the data we collect
We use the data we collect in various ways:
- deliver content of site correctly - for example, different browsers may require different sets of information so the layout and design look correct on your computer
- optimising the site - seeing which parts of the site are heavily trafficked or slowly loading, among other things
- ensuring the long-term viability of our technology and website
- providing information to law enforcement if required or defending ourselves against attacks
Since part of our platform is based on personalisation, we do require some data about who you are. Otherwise, everyone would receive the same information. However, the data we collect about you is never reviewed manually unless a problem occurs, and only our machines know your preferences. Oftentimes this is in very high dimensional vector spaces, so even if humans did look at it, we wouldn't be able to make much sense of your behavioural and preference data.
Third parties that may have some of your data
In order to provide service in various aspects, we use multiple 3rd party services, with whom we may need to share information or who capture some of your information when you use our services. These partners include:
For example, Cloudflare might know your IP address, because the Cloudflare service helps us fend off DDOS attacks. Matomo might know which browser or operating system you are using, because they are our user analytics provider. Lucky Orange may know where you've clicked on the website, because they're our traffic analysis partner. We do not share any information that is not necessary, and your data is not sold to these partners.
If you are a Premium member and signed up through Chargebee, they may have their own records of your data, too.
How long we keep the data we collect
We only store information long enough to provide better service to you or as required by law. For example, if you upgrade to the next version of your browser, we are not going to continue storing your old browser information for long.
We may also keep data if we need it for legal defence in court cases.