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Brain Pickings

“privacy policy” & “terms”

Brain Pickings is my one-woman labor of love and it has always been noncommercial. But because it’s donation-supported, credit card companies require a “privacy policy.” So here it is, in human terms and as little tyrannical legalese as possible:

  • I don’t retain any of your personal information without your consent. The only such consent possible is signing up for my Sunday newsletter, in which case I’ll use the email address you enter to dispatch each issue of the newsletter to you. I never share my email list with “third parties” or other such euphemisms for commercial exploitation.
  • There are no ads on Brain Pickings, which means none of your behavior is being stalked by cookies and ad-trackers like it is on the vast majority of the internet.
  • If you choose to support what I do by making a donation, firstly, thank you from the bottom of my heart; secondly, I myself don’t keep or even have access to any of your payment information — the secure service processing the donations is called Braintree, a payment platform owned by PayPal and also used by Airbnb and Uber. You can read about how Braintree protects your personal information here.
  • “Refund Policy”: Since Brain Pickings is free and I don’t sell anything, any payment you can make on Brain Pickings is a voluntary donation — which means that there is no such thing as a “refund” in the transactional sense. But should you want your donation returned for any reason, you can email me and I’ll happily send you the amount via PayPal or personal check.


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Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated