It looks like you log in for the first time. You will find below some details you may find interesting, explaining what exactly you'll get once you log in, and how your personal data will be used.
1 What will change once you log in
The login is useful for authors and administrators only. If you're not one of them, you don't need to log in. In fact, you don't gain access to additional information, and you don't have extra features that a guest won't have.
1.1 The features you won't get
You won't be able to leave comments even if you log in. In fact, there is no such feature as commenting here. This is by design. If you want to react to an article I wrote, you can do it in your own blog.
If you want to contact one of the authors, you can go to the author's profile and use the email address shown below the author name. If there is no email address listed, it means that the author is not interested in being contacted.
You won't be able to post articles, unless you're marked as an author. Before March 2021, you were acquiring author role automatically. This is not the case any longer, to prevent spammers.
You won't be able to see the list of users who logged in in the past. Logged in users had access to this information before March 2021, but in order to protect the privacy of our users, this feature was disabled. Authors can now see other authors, and only administrators can see everyone.
1.2 The features you will get
Once you log in, you will be able to request to become an author. Once you do, the administrator will contact you by email in order to find more about you, then grant you the author role. Don't worry, this is not an interview or a test: nobody will ask you for your resume, or for the list of articles you wrote in the past; everyone is welcome. The goal of the procedure is simply to prevent spam.
If the author role is granted to you by an administrator, you'll gain access to all sort of features, most important being the ability to write and publish articles.
2 Personal data
2.1 Data from Google
If you proceed with the login, Google will provide the following information to this site:
The internal identifier of your account. This identifier is a bunch of random characters which makes it possible to know that you're the same person when you login multiple times.
Your full name—this is how administrators would see your account, and this is also how you'll appear to anyone if it happens to you to publish an article.
Your email address. Administrators will be able to see it. By default, readers will be able to see it in your profile if and only if you publish an article. You can change it at any time to hide it from the general public.
The link to your avatar. Administrators will be able to see it. The readers will only see it if you publish an article.
Additionally to that, a series of cookies will be stored in your browser:
connect.sidstores the session information. It can be used to identify you if it happens, for instance, to log in first, then log out. The cookie expires as soon as the session ends.
acceptedis a cookie which is stored for six months and which will ensure this page won't be shown again if you log in the next time—instead you'll be redirected immediately to Google login page.
2.3 Third parties
When you access this site:
Google may be aware of that, and may possibly know which page you are accessing. For instance, if an article contains an embedded YouTube video, your browser will automatically make several requests to Google's servers when you access this article.
Gravatar should be able to know that you accessed the site, usually without knowing which page you were seeing. In fact, the site relies on Gravatar to show the avatars of the authors. This means that when viewing most of the pages, the browser would perform one or several requests to Gravatar as well.
Occasionally, individual articles may include images or other resources pointing to other servers. When accessing those articles, your browser will fetch those resources automatically, making it possible for the companies owning those servers to know that you accessed a given article.
2.4 Other data
If you write an article or change personal information in your profile, this will also be kept, obviously.
You can check what information this site has about you. Guest users will see only the cookies; the logged in users will also see the complete list of items stored in the database.
It should be noted that for all users (including the ones who are not logged in), the application keeps the system logs which contain the IP addresses, the pages being accessed, and the browser user agent.
At any time, you can remove the personal information stored in the databases, that is, the information provided by Google (see the previous section), the personal information you entered in your profile, and the articles. Note that the logs cannot be removed—they are kept for security purposes and audit. If you request your information to be removed from the database, you need to be aware that this information will still remain in the backups of the database.