The Marginalian
The Marginalian

privacy policy

Brain Pickings is a one-woman labor of love — not a corporation or an institution or a media enterprise. There is no advertising on the site, and therefore most of the standard privacy issues that plague the rest of the Internet are of no concern. But here is a privacy policy, kindly advised by a lawyer friend, to tell you what information my website does receive from you and what happens to it.

Information You Provide

Newsletter: If you sign up to receive the Brain Pickings newsletter, you provide your name and email address, which are used solely for the delivery of the newsletter to your inbox. I would never share them with any “third parties.” You can always unsubscribe by clicking the red UNSUBSCRIBE link in the top right corner of any edition of the newsletter.

Donations: If you choose to donate to Brain Pickings — thank you! — you provide your name, donation amount, and payment card information. The secure financial service provider that handles these transactions (called Braintree) will receive your payment card information, which will only be used to process your donation. (If you support on a monthly basis, you can cancel your recurring donation at any time.)

Communications: If you contact me via email, either by writing to me directly or by replying to the automated email newsletter, I will receive your email address and any other information you choose to provide.

Information Automatically Collected

Usage Information: Brain Pickings lives on the publishing platform WordPress, which includes a statistical analytics feature to help publishers understand how their readers use their websites. This means that anonymized information of the pages Brain Pickings readers visit and the times of those visits are represented in these statistics. WordPress may add other features to their analytics at any time, which will be available to me as a publisher, though I don’t actually look at these statistics.

What Brain Pickings Does with Your Information

I use your information solely to communicate with you if you have opted in to receive the newsletter, to facilitate donations, and to better understand how you use the site in order to improve it. I don’t share your information with any “third parties,” though it does live — securely — within the external services that deliver the email newsletter (MailChimp) and process donations (Braintree).


Data Transfers: I’m told I need to state that because Brain Pickings is based in the United States, if you visit the website from another country, your data may be transferred to the United States and other countries that may not have the same data protection laws as the country in which you initially provided information. (I’m not exactly sure what this means, but there we have it.)

Data Security: I do everything I can to make Brain Pickings and your information as secure as possible. However, this is the Internet — no security measures can be 100% secure for reasons far beyond any one person’s intent and control. I too, along with my entire website and any data related to it, can be on the receiving end of some cyberattack at any given moment. But let’s not think such grim thoughts.



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The Marginalian participates in the and affiliate programs, designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to books. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book from a link here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy. (TLDR: You're safe — there are no nefarious "third parties" lurking on my watch or shedding crumbs of the "cookies" the rest of the internet uses.)