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Summary
Personal information about amateur radio operators is widely available all over the Internet. One only has to look at the FCC, QRZ.com, Callbook, and Buckmaster sites to discover that hams have the least guarantee of privacy of anyone on the Internet.

And yet, we at eQSL.cc do not publish listings of our users, their addresses, their e-mail addresses, or other such information. We believe people have a right to at least a little bit of privacy! Spamming is a growing problem on the Internet, and we will not contribute to it.

Thus, we have established certain guidelines for everything we do on this web site:

  • The only information we have about you is that which you give us "above board", so we do not steal any information about you "behind your back";
  • We only use your personal information to match up eQSLs, and to create contests and awards;
  • We do not provide your personal information to anyone else without your permission;
  • We do not provide listings of your personal logbook;
  • We do not give away, rent, or sell mailing lists of names, addresses, or e-mail addresses without your permission;
  • We allow you to control the amount of e-mail you get from us using your Profile screen;
  • We store all information in a protected database;
Personal Information
Profile Information that you have entered during registration or in your Profile screen is not published, except when it is printed on a specific eQSL card or on the public member profile page (www.eQSL.cc/Member.cfm?Callsign).

eQSLs cannot be viewed by anyone except the hams to whom you are sending them, or by our support personnel in troubleshooting a problem with your account. One exception is made in the case where you apply for one of our eAwards, or for an award issued by an external organization, if the award manager needs to verify the eQSL you claimed in your application.

Logbooks are not published, so the only person who will see your eQSL is the person who knows the date and band of the QSO. We believe it is against standard privacy procedures to publish an entire log, as some sites do.

Signatures, such as those on your license submitted for the Authenticity Guaranteed certificate are only seen one time by the eQSL.cc staff member or Advisory Board member who reviews and approves it. The license is never displayed to other users of the system.

Cookies - Identifying your callsign with each transmission
Cookies are not well understood by the Internet public. But hams can have a simple way of remembering what they are for:

We need Cookies to recognize you, every time you click on something on our web site. The interactions between your browser and our web server are "stateless", which means that each screen you transmit to us and each time you click on something, we have to re-establish your identity. It is not like a phone call, where you establish a connection and maintain that connection through the entire call. It is more like a ham radio transmission, where we have to recognize your "voice" with each transmission, or where you end each CW transmission with DE N5UP, to identify yourself.

So, Cookies are a way of sending your callsign with each transmission, and they are the only method we have of doing that with current Internet technology.

Here's how it works: When you log in, we send a cookie to your browser, and that cookie is stored in your browser's memory. The cookie contains the date and time, and your callsign or a unique identifier. That's all! (No secret self-destruct codes. No doomsday viruses. No encrypted copies of your bank statement!) When you are logged in, as you go from screen to screen, your browser sends us the cookie, and we know who you are. The Cookie only contains information we have sent to your browser, and there is no way for us to somehow extract information from your hard disk through Cookies.

According to a January 2003 report by SecuritySpace, over 75% of all cookies served by all web sites have a legitimate eCommerce purpose and are not used to try to surreptitiously violate privacy.

You may have heard bad things about "Third Party Cookies", such as those used by third-party banner ad companies to aggregate information across many different web sites. We have developed our own ad rotation software so we only occasionally use third party mechanisms. Even then, the only information that might be shared across advertisers would be information YOU gave them. They do not have access to any of your eQSL.cc registration information!

If you disable Cookies in your browser, we cannot identify who you are, and cannot give you access to your information. The only alternative would be for you to have to input your callsign on every screen, and that would be totally unacceptable to you.

US Dept of Energy Report on the safety of Cookies.
Here is a good, quick overview of Cookies in simple terms.
Here is some more detailed information about the safety of Cookies straight from the organization that controls the World Wide Web.
And here is detailed technical information about Cookies.

Advertisers
It costs a lot of money to operate this web site. We have a technical support staff that monitors the site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hardware costs money. We have to pay license fees for the e-mail server, the web server, the application server, and the database server software. We pay for the bandwidth required to transmit eQSL graphics to you. We have to pay for disks to store your graphics and logbooks. And we have spent several man-years to develop the software that runs this unique service.

Donations cover a lot of this expense on a monthly basis. But we also sell small portions of each screen to advertisers who want to keep hams informed of new logging software, new radios, new antennas, and new accessories, software, publications, and services. This is not a new concept; every issue of QST, CQ, and other publications is filled with advertising, often amounting to 50% of a magazine's total pages. In our case, it only amounts to a tiny fraction of what you see on each screen.

Occasionally, these advertisers only want to display their ads to hams in a particular country. Or they may want to display their ads only to users who are working with VHF, or who use digital modes. In these cases, we filter our database so that only those users who match the requirements will see the ads. But in no case do we ever provide that information directly to the advertiser. They have to live with our determination of who should see the ads. It is done automatically, without any humans ever seeing the information.

If you have any concerns that were not addressed here, please contact the Webmaster for an answer.

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eQSL.cc has no control over the accuracy of logs supplied by the users of this system. Under no circumstances shall eQSL.cc be liable for any damages caused by your use of the information collected in this system. In particular, no warranties are expressed or implied with regard to information contained herein.
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