Privacy Policy

Last update: March 24, 2022—Updated the company name and contact info, since we relocated to Canada.

Previous update: December 26, 2019—Corrected the Analytics topic to reflect the fact that we no longer use Google Analytics.

Previous update: June 21, 2019—Removed mentions of eSellerate, which we no longer use for payment processing.

Previous update: December 31, 2018—Updated the bullet point “Billing information” under “How long we retain your data” to reflect our new practice of purging billing data that is no longer available from our payment processors.

Previous update: May 23, 2018—A nearly complete rewrite to address GDPR requirements and reflect our current business practices.


alt concepts is committed to protecting your privacy. Please read the following to learn more about our privacy policy, which applies to the following sites:

Note: If you’re wondering whether you should trust privacy policies at all, read FlippedBITS: Do Privacy Policies Mean Anything? by alt concepts publisher Joe Kissell. We also urge you to take additional steps to protect your privacy, as covered in his book Take Control of Your Online Privacy.

What personal information we collect and why

We collect a small amount of personal information from you when you view our websites, purchase or use our products, or interact with us in other ways. We do not use third-party advertising on any of our websites.

  • Information you provide: When you make a purchase, you provide your contact information (including your email address, billing address, and optionally your phone number), which we use for billing purposes; to fulfill orders; to provide customer service; to comply with tax regulations and other laws; to contact you about your purchase (including notices of free updates, if applicable); and (if you’ve consented) to send you marketing messages about other products, services, or special offers. (Payment information you provide to our payment processor, FastSpring, is not passed on to us; see “Who we share your data with,” below. We never see or record your credit card number. And we do not receive any personal information about you at all if you purchase one of our products from a third-party site, such as Amazon or the iBooks Store.) You may also provide information (including your name and email address) when you sign up for one of our mailing lists, leave a comment, respond to a survey, or fill out a contact form; we use this to send you the email you have requested. If you’ve provided your name, we may use that to personalize email messages we send you.
  • Information we receive automatically: When you visit one of our websites, our server logs your IP address (from which we can infer your location), information about your browser and operating system, and a record of which pages you visited, when, and for how long. If you download books you purchased from us or other files, we record that information as well. We also use cookies to personalize our sites for you and analytics to understand our sites’ visitors.


If you leave a comment on one of our sites, we collect all the information you enter (including the text of the comment and the name and email address you provide), your IP address, and information about your browser and operating system. (Some of our sites use the Disqus commenting system, which is subject to its own privacy policy.)

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service (see Gravatar’s privacy policy) to see if you are using it. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

If you use the contact form on one of our sites, we receive the name and email address you provide, the contents of your message, your IP address, and information about the browser and platform you used to submit the message.

Marketing communication

If you sign up for the Interesting Thing of the Day or joeMail mailing list, you’ll receive the corresponding content by email. You can change your preferences or unsubscribe at any time by using the links at the bottom of each message.

If you made a purchase from Take Control Books, you may also have opted in to receive email messages. In some situations, a person can also ask to receive email from us without having made a purchase. In either case, you can modify your email preferences by clicking the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email message you receive from us; by visiting your Take Control Account page, logging in, and clicking your account name at the top of the page; or by contacting us using our contact form. You can opt to receive no email; only messages about free updates to products you purchased from us; or other marketing messages, which can include notices of free and paid updates, new titles, and special offers.

Cookies and web beacons

Our websites use cookies to improve your experience by reducing the frequency with which you must log in and remembering certain preferences, including coupons, affiliate codes, and other codes that help us understand how you learned about our products and special offers. Except as described in the next topic, we do not use cookies to track you across other sites (including our own). If you disable cookies in your browser, some features of our websites may not function properly.

Some of the email messages we send out include tiny, invisible graphics, often known as web beacons. By loading these images, your email client tells us that you opened the message, enabling us to tell who reads our messages and clicks links in them. Most email clients have an option to disable the loading of remote images, and we suggest you enable that option (even though it will result in less data for us).

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on our sites may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves exactly as if the visitor has visited the other website. Some of our sites also include social media buttons and links, which can send personal information to the sites in question if you click or tap them.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.


The alt concepts websites don’t use outside analytics (such as Google Analytics), but some of them use software called Matomo to analyze and display data from our server logs.

Who we share your data with

Aggregate, anonymized information about alt concepts web visitors and mailing lists (such as the total number of subscribers) may be reported publicly. In addition, some of your personal information may be visible to employees and contractors (including authors and editors), to the extent necessary to operate our business.

We share certain types of data with third-party processors because they provide essential services we cannot perform ourselves:

  • Payments: Currently, our payments are processed by FastSpring (located in the United States; see their privacy policy).
  • Email: We use easyDNS (located in Canada; see their privacy policy) for all our incoming email and individual outgoing messages, and Roaring Penguin (also located in Canada; see their privacy policy) for spam filtering. Some bulk email messages go through MailChimp (see their privacy policy) or SparkPost (see their privacy policy)—both located in the United States.
  • Server hosting: Our virtual servers are hosted by Linode (see their privacy policy) in the United States.

Otherwise, alt concepts does not rent, sell, or share your personal information with other people or companies, except if:

  • We respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims;
  • We believe it is necessary to share information in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, or as otherwise required by law;
  • We transfer information about you if alt concepts or any of its constituent sites or businesses is acquired by or merged with another company. In this event, alt concepts will notify you before information about you is transferred and becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

How long we retain your data

  • Purchased products: If you purchase a digital product from Take Control Books, we retain all data relating to that purchase (including what was purchased, when, and by whom) indefinitely so that you can download your product again (or in a different format) for as long as you like. You can ask us to delete records of your purchases from our server by using this contact form if you no longer want to have access to those products.
  • Billing information: Our payment processor (FastSpring) may retain records of your orders (including billing address and phone number, if you provided it) for up to 8 years, and that information therefore remains available to us even if we remove it from our own equipment. However, to the extent technically feasible, we routinely purge (from our computers, backups, and archives) all billing information that is no longer available from our payment processors.
  • Comments: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely.
  • Contact form submissions: We retain email you send us—whether via a contact form or otherwise—indefinitely.
  • Logs and analytics: We retain server log files and other analytics data for approximately 14 months.

What rights you have over your data

If you have made a purchase, left comments, or signed up for one of our mailing lists, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

To request your personal data, fill out our contact form and supply the following information:

  • A statement that you would like to receive your personal data
  • Your full name, including any variants you may have used
  • Any email address you may have supplied

We may ask for additional information as a security measure to confirm your identity.

We will make every effort to complete requests for data within a month. If, after reviewing your personal data, you want us to delete it from our servers, you must submit a second request, in the same manner. Deleting your data may require an additional month.

Where we send your data

Our servers and offices are located in the United States, and two of our email providers are located in Canada, so your information may be transferred to, stored in, or processed in the United States or Canada.

How we protect your data

  • We limit access to personal information about you to employees and contractors who we believe reasonably need to come into contact with that information to provide products or services to you or in order to do their jobs.
  • We have physical and electronic safeguards in place to protect personal information about you against theft, tampering, and misuse (electronic or otherwise).
  • In the event that we discover a security breach leading to unauthorized use of your data, we will notify affected users promptly, place a notice on the site(s), and later report what action we took in response to the breach.

Changes to this privacy policy

alt concepts may update this policy. We will notify subscribers about significant changes in the way we treat personal information by sending a notice to you by email or by placing a prominent notice on our site.

Questions, comments, and complaints

If you have questions or other feedback, please contact us using this form or at:

alt concepts 419 8B-3110 8th Street East Saskatoon SK S7H 0W2 Canada ‭+1 (306) 400-6887‬