Privacy Policy

Last updated November 8, 2021

The privacy of your data — and it is your data, not ours! — is a big deal to us. In this policy, we lay out what data we collect and why; how your data is handled; and your rights to your data. We promise we never sell your data - never have, never will.

In this page

What we collect and why

Our guiding principle is to collect only what we need. Here’s what that means in practice:

Website interactions

When you read Gradient, your browser automatically shares certain information such as which operating system and browser version you are using. We track that information, along with the pages you are visiting, page load timing, and which website referred you for statistical purposes like fine-tuning aeticles and to test new designs. We sometimes track specific link clicks to help inform some design decisions. These web analytics data are tied to your IP address.

Cookies and Do Not Track

We do use persistent first-party cookies to store certain preferences, make it easier for you to use our website, and support some in-house analytics. A cookie is a piece of text stored by your browser to help it remember your login information, site preferences, and more. You can adjust cookie retention settings in your own browser. To learn more about cookies, including how to view which cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, please visit: www.allaboutcookies.org.

At this time, our website does not respond to Do Not Track beacons sent by browser plugins.

Voluntary correspondence

When you write Gradient with a question or to ask for help, we keep that correspondence, including the email address, so that we have a history of past correspondences to reference if you reach out in the future.

We also store any information you volunteer like surveys. Sometimes when we do reader interviews, we may ask for your permission to record the conversation for future reference or use. We only do so if you give your express consent.

Information we do not collect

We don’t collect any characteristics of protected classifications including age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or physical and mental abilities or disabilities. You may provide these data voluntarily, such as if you include a pronoun preference in your email signature when writing into our Support team.

We also do not collect any biometric data.

When we access or share your information

Our default practice is to not access your information. The only times we’ll ever access or share your info are:

To help you troubleshoot or squash a website bug, with your permission.

When required under applicable law.

  • If US law enforcement authorities have the necessary warrant, criminal subpoena, or court order requiring we share data, we have to comply. Otherwise, we flat-out reject requests from local and federal law enforcement when they seek data. And unless we’re legally prevented from it, we’ll always inform you when such requests are made. In the event a government authority outside the US approaches Gradient with a request, our default stance is to refuse unless the US government compels us to comply through procedures outlined in a mutual legal assistance treaty or agreement. We have never received a National Security Letter or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) order.
  • Similarly, if Gradient receives a request to preserve data, we refuse unless compelled by either the US Federal Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 2703(f) or a properly served US subpoena for civil matters. In both of these situations, we have to comply. In these situations, we notify affected readers as soon as possible unless we are legally prohibited from doing so. We do not share preserved data unless absolutely required under the Stored Communications Act or compelled by a court order that we choose not to appeal. Furthermore, unless we receive a proper warrant, court order, or subpoena before the required preservation period expires, we destroy any preserved copies we made of reader data once the preservation period lapses.
  • If we get an informal request from any person, organization, or entity, we do not assist.

Your rights with respect to your information

At Gradient, we apply the same data rights to all readers, regardless of their location. Currently some of the most privacy-forward regulations in place are the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) in the US. Gradient recognizes all of the rights granted in these regulations, except as limited by applicable law. These rights include:

  • Right to Know. You have the right to know what personal information is collected, used, shared or sold. We outline both the categories and specific bits of data we collect, as well as how they are used, in this privacy policy.
  • Right of Access. This includes your right to access the personal information we gather about you, and your right to obtain information about the sharing, storage, security and processing of that information.
  • Right to Correction. You have the right to request correction of your personal information.
  • Right to Erasure / “To be Forgotten”. This is your right to request, subject to certain limitations under applicable law, that your personal information be erased from our possession and, by extension, all of our service providers. Fulfillment of some data deletion requests may prevent you from using Gradient because our website may then no longer work.
  • Right to Complain. You have the right to make a complaint regarding our handling of your personal information with the appropriate supervisory authority. To identify your specific authority or find out more about this right, EU individuals should go to https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_en.
  • Right to Restrict Processing. This is your right to request restriction of how and why your personal information is used or processed, including opting out of sale of personal information. (Again: we never have and never will sell your personal data.)
  • Right to Object. You have the right, in certain situations, to object to how or why your personal information is processed.
  • Right to Portability. You have the right to receive the personal information we have about you and the right to transmit it to another party.
  • Right to not be subject to Automated Decision-Making. You have the right to object and prevent any decision that could have a legal, or similarly significant, effect on you from being made solely based on automated processes. This right is limited, however, if the decision is necessary for performance of any contract between you and us, is allowed by applicable law, or is based on your explicit consent.
  • Right to Non-Discrimination. This right stems from the CCPA. We do not and will not give you a lower level of service because you have exercised your data privacy rights. However, the exercise of certain rights (such as the right “to be forgotten”) may, by virtue of your exercising those rights, prevent you from using our Services.

If you have questions about exercising these rights or need assistance, please contact us at privacy@gradient.pub.

If you are in the EU, you can identify your specific authority to file a complaint or find out more about GDPR, at https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_en.

How we secure your data

All data is encrypted via SSL/TLS when transmitted from our servers to your browser.

Most data are not encrypted while they live in our database (since it needs to be ready to send to you when you need it).

Location of site and data

Our website and data are operated and stored in the United States. If you are located in the European Union or elsewhere outside of the United States, please be aware that any information you provide to us will be transferred to and stored in the United States. By using our website, participating in any of our services and/or providing us with your information, you consent to this transfer.

When transferring personal data from the EU

The GDPR requires that any data transferred out of the EU must be treated with the same level of protection that the EU privacy laws grant.

There are also a few ad-hoc cases where EU personal data may be transferred to the US related to Gradient operations. For instance, if someone in the US comments on our website or a reader participates in one of our infrequent surveys or someone applies to one of our open positions. Such transfers are only occasional and transferred under the Article 49(1)(b) derogation under GDPR.

EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield policy

The EU-US Privacy Shield is an agreement between certain European jurisdictions and the United States that up until July 16, 2020, allowed for the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US. Participation in the Privacy Shield program is voluntary. The Swiss-US Privacy Shield is a similar program for data transferred to the US from Switzerland that was in effect until September 8, 2020.

We comply with the frameworks for EU, UK, and Swiss data that are transferred into the United States

Gradient complies with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information transferred from the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland to the United States, respectively. If there is any conflict between the terms in this privacy policy and the Privacy Shield Principles, the Privacy Shield Principles take precedent. To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov/.

The Privacy Shield Frameworks uphold specific principles, many of which are already outlined in the section on Your Rights. For clarity, pursuant to the Privacy Shield Frameworks, the following principles apply to all EU, UK, and Swiss data that has been transferred into the United States:

  • Individuals have the right to access their personal data and to update, correct, and/or amend information that is incomplete. Individuals also have the right to request erasure of personal information that has been processed in violation of the principles. If you have questions about exercising these rights or need assistance, please contact us at privacy@gradient.pub.
  • We remain liable for the onward transfer of personal data to third parties acting as our agents unless we can prove we were not a party to the events giving rise to the damages.
  • We do not sell personal data nor do we permit it to be used for reasons other than those for which it was originally provided. If this practice should change in the future, we will update this policy accordingly and provide individuals with opt-out or opt-in choice as appropriate.
  • We may be required to release personal data in response to lawful requests from public authorities including to meet national security and law enforcement requirements.

We commit to resolving all complaints

In compliance with the EU-US Privacy Shield Principles and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Principles, we commit to resolve complaints about your privacy and our collection or use of your personal information. European Union, United Kingdom, or Swiss individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding this privacy policy should first contact us at Gradient at privacy@gradient.pub.

If your EU-US Privacy Shield complaint cannot be resolved through these described channels, under certain conditions, you may invoke binding arbitration for some residual claims not resolved by other redress mechanisms. To learn more, please view the Privacy Shield Annex 1 at https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=ANNEX-I-introduction.

Changes & questions

We may update this policy as needed to comply with relevant regulations and reflect any new practices. You can view a history of the changes to our policies on GitHub.

Have any questions, comments, or concerns about this privacy policy, your data, or your rights with respect to your information? Please get in touch by emailing us at privacy@gradient.pub and we’ll be happy to answer them!

Adapted from the Basecamp open-source policies / CC BY 4.0.