With all the talk of the EU’s new data privacy law, the GDPR, you may well be wondering how your personal data is being used. But you probably haven’t got time to read through reams of terms and conditions. So here’s a quick, jargon-free guide to what actually happens to your data when you click on our newsletter.

The information you give us

When you sign up for our newsletter you give us your name and email address. We can also see the date you signed up and your IP address.

When you first click on an article in our newsletter our web server stores a cookie on your computer. This attaches a unique number to your computer so that we know when you visit us again. Cookies help us to tell the difference between one person visiting the site 100 times, and 100 people visiting once.

What we do with your information

Every time you click on our newsletter or visit our website, we record details such as your IP address, the website that brought you to our site, the type of browser you used, which pages you visited, at what times, and for how long. We don’t see personal information, such as your name, alongside that data.

The data helps us to paint an overall picture of visitors to our website. For example, it might tell us that on May 7, 20% of hits were from China and 40% from Europe. And that users in Europe spent an average of 10 minutes on the site, while those in China spent 15.

To analyse this data we use tools, including Google Analytics and Chartbeat, that can tell us, for example, how many people click on a particular article and how long they spend reading it. These tools also tell us how many people don’t read it.

You might ask why we even need this information. We use it to work out what you, our reader, cares about and what you’re interested in. This shapes the kind of content we include in the newsletter and on the website.

What we don’t do with it

We don’t sell on that information to anyone, and we don’t use it to sell anything to you. We will always ask permission before sharing your data.

Your right to access your data

If you decide you don't want us to have your data any more, you can tell us. You can also unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time. Email us on mydata@weforum.org.

Want to know more?

Every company has to have a privacy policy that sets out what they do with people’s information. Here’s ours.