Catching up on Technical Debt and Legal Compliances

Last updated on 3 months ago
Routh
Routh Posted 3 months ago
Hi Denizens!

You will notice a couple of changes on The Den, things that have been on or added to my to-do list over the last two years for the current version of the site. This post is to explain the "whats and whys" of these changes.

First off, the most noticeable change will be the addition of the cookies bar at the bottom of the site. This one was way overdue. The EU passed a law a while ago where this notice was required for websites with European users that use cookies. Why do we use cookies? In order to log you in, and remember responses to things like the cookie bar itself. We need to store a cookie that contains your acceptance to prevent showing you the bar on every page load/visit. If you want to know more about cookies, you can visit https://cookiesandyou.com/.

Second, we've introduced a Privacy Policy that outlines some basics. To summarize it, we don't share your info with anyone, and we only ask for personal information to register you, and verify your identity for password resets. The site still asks for gender and birth date when you register, and this is because the PHP-Fusion framework it is built on does not allow me to change this requirement. We don't need or do anything with this information. A long time ago, the original version of COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) issued in the US required us to collect this information, however the new version of the rules make no such requirements. As such, version 5 will remove this information from the site and no longer collect it when we finally make the flip.

Third, we've removed Google Analytics from the site. I once used this to track slow loading pages and errors that people were getting in order to improve the site. However with the recent revelations regarding tracking abuse by Google, I have discontinued use of the service and will be relying on server logs and user reports for this information.

Please feel free to follow up with any questions or concerns/criticisms. I'll do my best to answer them promptly.
Chris Routh
Founder of The Den of Amateur Writing

"Don't try to be a great man; just be a man and let history make its own judgments." - Riker, Star Trek The Next Generation
Routh
Routh Posted 3 months ago
Update:

I stand corrected, gender was part of v4 and not v3, and v3 did allow me to remove birthdate. So that field and all it's data have been removed from user profiles and the database.
Chris Routh
Founder of The Den of Amateur Writing

"Don't try to be a great man; just be a man and let history make its own judgments." - Riker, Star Trek The Next Generation
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