Cookies, Spam, and Privacy

Published on:  | Last updated: 6 January 2020


Italy Cycling Guide uses cookies to provide inform­ation about how people are using the site. For example:

  • how many visitors?
  • which pages are most read?
  • what browsers are visitors using?
  • are they using a desktop computer, a tablet or a smartphone?
  • are visitors arriving via a search engine or some other way?
  • if they came via a search engine what search terms are people using?

Every website will tell you they use this inform­ation to enhance the user exper­ience yada yada, but to give you a practical example: the statistics told me that a large proportion of people coming to this the Italy Cycling Guide were using tablets (as in iPads as opposed to drugs) so I spent ages working out how to get the site to display in a more tablet-friendly way on tablets.

The site uses Google Analytics and Clicky Web Analytics.

For both services IP addresses are anonymised; if you are inter­ested you can read the technical explan­ation from Google about what this does. In simple terms, the IP address is the address of the user’s computer, and IP Anonymisation means automat­ically throwing away part of the address, this means that inform­ation is kept about what country, and city/region users come from, but nothing more specific than that.

Google Analytics

You can read more about Google Analytics and privacy issues in Google’s Privacy Statement.

If you want to opt out of Google Analytics, Google have developed a Google Analytics Opt-out browser add-on for all of the main browsers.

You can also use your browser to manage cookies: here are the instruc­tions for Chrome - other browsers are similar. Some browsers offer a ‘do not track’ option, however this doesn’t work with Google Analytics. 

Clicky Web Analytics

Roxr, the company that provides the Clicky Web Analytics service, have inform­ation about privacy and cookies in their terms and condi­tions. The key bit is:

 Roxr values the privacy of its users. Roxr will not provide any inform­ation about its users and/or their traffic data to any third party for any purpose, unless required to do so by law.

Roxr makes data available to the public about trends in internet usage, such as web browser and operating system market share, on the following web page: These reports are generated from the data from every web site being monitored by the Service. These reports are generic in nature and do not contain any personally identi­fiable. 

Italy Cycling Guide takes the ‘implied consent’ approach to cookie consent - ie by continuing to use this site it is assumed you consent to the use of cookies. I do not use a cookie warning banner because, right or wrong, as an internet user I think they are an unnecessary, useless, irritation.


Italy Cycling Guide has a mailing list and ends subscribers an email every three months with inform­ation about new articles on the site. The mailing list is operated by Mailchimp. Mailchimp operates from the US, and is subject to the US CAN-SPAM Act. The require­ments of this Act are pretty similar to the require­ments of the rather less snappily-titled Article 13 of Directive 2002/58/EC of The European Parliament and of The Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic commu­nic­a­tions sector (imple­mented in the UK as the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations). The main principles are:

  • You must also tell us where you got your list. Yep, and you have to be honest. Because if you’re not, we’ll know.
  • You absolutely, posit­ively MUST include our unsub­scribe link on your campaigns.
  • You must include your contact inform­ation inside every promo­tional email that you send, including a physical mailing address where you can receive mail or a PO Box. (Not a website or email address.)
  • You may not falsify your contact inform­ation or subject line. ”

Mailchimp Knowledge Base article on anti-spam require­ments.

Open tracking of emails sent to the mailing-list

Mailchimp uses ‘beacons’ to provide inform­ation about the proportion of mailing-list subscribers who open the emails and how many click on the links within them to visit the site. This inform­ation enables me to evaluate the usefulness of emails. The service also identifies which subscribers have opened emails and in theory would allow me to use this inform­ation for example to resend the emails to those who hadn’t opened it the first time. I have no intention of making use of this inform­ation - however, I can’t turn it off without turning off the tracking altogether. (Mailchimp Knowledge Base Article about Open Tracking)

Mailing-list security and privacy

The mailing lists are only kept by MailChimp. So far as I can tell, they maintain a high level of security: for example, I am notified by email every time someone logs in to the Mailchimp account - so I would instantly know if someone else had gained access.

Here is the link to the Mailchimp Privacy Policy page. The key paragraph is:

Your subscriber lists are stored on a secure MailChimp server. We don’t, under any circum­stances, sell your lists, contact people on your lists, market to people on your lists, steal your lists, or share your lists with any other party, unless it’s required by law. If someone on your list complains or contacts us, we may then contact that person. Only authorized employees have access to view Distribution Lists. You may export (download) your lists from MailChimp at any time, as long as we have a copy. 

Data Protection

The only personal data I keep or process are the email addresses and names provided when you contact me using the contact form. This inform­ation will only ever be used to reply to you, and will not be passed to any third party.

Get in touch

Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.

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