Readers, you may have noticed a few changes on the Letters Blogatory website recently. For example, you now need to check a box before submitting a comment indicating your consent to my storage of the personal information that comes along with your comment.

These changes are aimed at getting the site ready for the EU’s new data protection regulation, which comes into effect next month. We could geek out about the new GDPR and ask, for example, whether portions of it such as the right to erasure could really be enforced in the United States against a website like mine in view of the First Amendment. But rather than worrying too much about such issues, I have decided simply to try to comply with the regulation (with the possible exception of the right to erasure). You can find details about how I’m doing this on the privacy page, which I’ve substantially rewritten and which is still undergoing some changes.

One thing I’m trying to do is to avoid having any reader’s personal data in the hands of a third party. For a small website like mine, this is not that difficult to accomplish, but one area of difficulty relates to my email subscribers. Right now, I use a third party to send my daily newsletters, but rather than try to figure out how to protect user data via the third party, I am going to try sending my emails out from my own server, so that the third party never has personal data such as email addresses. There’s no time like the present for a crash course in how to run an email server.

I have taken steps to try to maximize the chances that my emails will continue to reach your inboxes. But you never know. So if you are an email subscriber, I ask that you take the following two steps:

  1. Let me know if, within the next week, you stop receiving my newsletters.
  2. Ask your company’s IT folks or your email service provider to whitelist emails coming from the lettersblogatory.com domain.

Thank you for doing this, and thank you for subscribing! Email subscribers are my most regular readers, and many of you have been reading since 2011. I am very grateful for your continued interest.