NOTE: At the time of writing, the advertising solution on Grollige.com is still in development. The explanation below is a reflection of how the advertising solution will function. If anything were to change, this page would be updated to reflect it.

This is going to get a bit technical, but bear with us. We'll try to make it as easy as possible for non-technical people to understand.

First, a brief explainer. You can skip this if you're comfortable that you understand the technology involved.

What is...
    Each computer which connects to a network must have a unique numeric identifier. It is this identifier which allows communication.
    There are two parties to every conversation and each must be identifiable.
    When you submit a search to Grollige.com, your individual IP is automatically communicated to us. This is a standard feature of web communication and we do nothing to solicit this information.
    Because IP addresses are allocated in blocks by the governing authority, the IP address can be used to determine a country of origin.

    This is the text that you search for. It can be one or more words, and is subject to automated validation before submission. There's nothing dodgy going on, the validation is just there to prevent possible attacks on our search engine.

    This is the option which people choose when submitting a search term. It may not reflect your personal political view, but it is what was selected at the time.

    This is small file, usually containing a string of text, which web sites place on your computer. They can be used to store any information about you which a web site gathers.
    This is fine as long as they are used for tracking products in shopping baskets etc, but not so fine when they are used to record personal data for marketing purposes.
    Note that anyone can read a cookie, not just the web site which creates them.

  • AN ISP?
    Internet Service Providers are the companies which provide your access to the internet. Every communication between you and the web generates records.
    In some jurisdictions, such as the U.K., the law requires ISPs to retain these records for a period of time so that State Security Services can access them. This access may be requested via various methods, including a Court Order.
    In other jurisdictions, such as the U.S., the State Security Services do not have to bother with inconveniences such as Courts and an FBI agent may simply serve an ISP with a National Security Letter, which requires no authorisation beyond that of the FBI themselves.
    Note that, while all communications with Grollige.com are encrypted, there is a school of thought that the National Security Agency has broken encryption - although this has not been confirmed.

    These are the companies who advertise on our web site.

  • A LINK?
    These are those things you click on, which take you to another web page or another web site. They are usually bits of text or sometimes pictures.
    However, sneaky things can be done with links. As more rules are introduced around the use of cookies, some organisations are manipulating links in order to transmit your personal information.

    This is the name we give to the company which is notifying an advertiser that they provided a link.
    For example, if you see an advert on Grollige for the Off-Guardian, the link behind that advert will not just be 'https://off-guardian.org'. It will instead include text to indicate to the Off-Guardian that the link was clicked from Grollige, e.g. 'https://off-guardian.org?referrer=grollige'.
    This is how advertisers know that we provided the link which was clicked and, in turn, how much to pay us.

    When you type something in the search box, after you type the third letter you will see the system start to make suggestions.
    This is simply to save you having to type the full search, assuming that the search already exists in our system.
    Our system simply lists the most popular searches. There is no manipulation going on, as has been reported to be going on elsewhere.

(You can continue reading now)


    We don't store these at all. The software which conducts searches does not record them and our server log files are configured to record only the nature of the web request, whether it was served successfully, the size of the web page which was returned and the length of time it took to process the request.
    However, remember that both our and your ISPs will be recording the conversation and that this will include your IP address. Also, we may occasionally turn full logging back on temporarily if we need to problem-solve.

    We do record search terms, but not in a way which associates them with users. We need to do so for results-caching and AI algorithm purposes.
    We simply place them all in a single text file, which is periodically examined.
    This file contains the search term, the political category, the order of the requested search (by date or by rank) and the country of origin of the search. The text file carries the time stamp of the most recent addition. Once your search has been superceded (which would usually happen very quickly), there is no longer any record of the time of your search.

    These are only recorded along with the search terms, as described above.

    We don't use cookies. In fact, we don't have any concept of a 'user'. Everything is done using the concept of 'communication sessions' and we don't have, nor would we want to have, any data about people.

    We've already made this point, but we'll repeat it here. Although we do not record your IP address, our respectives ISPs do.

    We explain this in more detail below, but we don't transmit any information about you to advertisers.

    We do format links in a particular way, but only to allow an advertiser to identify Grollige.com as a referrer. This is how a transparent internet advertising model works. Only referrer information is transmitted to the advertiser, no information about the user.

    We need to track the popularity of searches in order to have an effective auto-suggestion function. Without doing so, we would either have to forego auto-suggestions altogether or list suggestions by something other than popularity (e.g. alphabetically).

    When you conduct a search, it's transmitted to our Auto-Suggest server. This server looks at the search and compares it to a table of other searches which have been conducted and, depending on how many times it has seen that search before, will increase the position of your search in the table.
    No information about you (not even your IP address) is recorded.

    So, we know your IP address (and therefore your rough geo-location), your search term and your political preference. In addition, knowing the time of your search, we can work out your rough local time. We obviously also know the day of the week.

    Using this information, we build a temporary profile which we use to select advert(s) to display alongside your search results. No data is shared with advertisers other than that Grollige is the referrer.

    Please note the following:

  • We never have a profile of a person. Our system has no concept of a 'user', only of a communications session which has been conducted.
  • All profiles are temporary. They only last as long as it takes to select a relevant advertisement(s) to display on a results page. No information is stored which could later identify you (either to ourselves or to advertisers).
  • No information about the search is communicated or shared in any way with an advertiser. If you look at the link text behind any advertisement, you will only see the advert destination and the text denoting Grollige.com as the referrer.

    You're right, it's probably not. Other companies play their cards close to their chests, so we don't know exactly what they record and how they do so, but it's fair to assume that they know more about you than we do.

    These companies make a lot of money doing so. Google's annual income for 2019-2020 has been reported at $160 Billion.
    Tragically, Grollige doesn't make quite that much money but even if we processed as many searches as Google does, we still wouldn't make as much, as our ability to target searches is compromised by our better (in our opinion) Privacy Policy.

    If you are interested, here are some examples of unscrupulous ways to identify users without using cookies or asking users to log in to your service. In case you were wondering, we don't use any of them.