As I ask for your email addresses in my blog response form, I thought I’d write a little about what I do with them. Although more importantly is what I don’t do with them.
When you enter your email address in the form I don’t actually save it, not anywhere. So it wont be shown on my site, anywhere, any time, ever!
Why? Because as we become more dependant on the web, we should become more sensitive about where and who we tell our email address about. Its usually the primary bit of information for any login, so keeping that secret usually goes a long way to keeping bad things from happening.
So as you enter your email address, I run it through a mathematical function that converts it from useful data to an arbitrary string of characters, I then store that string. This conversion process, called hashing, is one way, which means no one can re-calculate your email address even if my server is hacked and the database stolen.
This process is very different from data encryption, a process where the original meaning of the data is mathematically changed, but can be undone to return the original meaning.
As even I can’t access your email address once you’ve written it, it means I won’t be sending you any spam mails either. You’ll get your initial email when you write your comment and that’s it, nothing else.
So you can rule out the possibility of me flogging your email address to any of those foreign Mafia types, contacting you for any organ replacement schemes, or even performing any black magic rituals.