Off-Topic Archives - VertusTech

‘Off-Topic’ Category

Anyone for a game of Supermarket Sweep?!

Both Canon & Nikon gear up a massive support operation at major sporting events.. now you can see just how big, for Photographers at the Rio Olympics, in this video from Canon’s Instagram feed.

Over 950 DSLR bodies and 1,500 lenses in their Canon Professional Services storeroom, ready for action as loan kit. From the stories surfacing about crime at this years Olympics already, we hope they’ve got a good lock on the door!


#CanonCPS keeps professional sports #photographers ready for action. #news

A video posted by @canonusa on

Nikon, they’ve shown you theirs, now you show us yours…

Posted on: August 17, 2016 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Off-Topic

Anybody still using Kodachrome..??

If you are, hope your fridge is well stocked with supplies, because Magnum Photographer Steve McCurry has just shot the last roll ever produced!!

Here’s an interesting video on documenting this… we’ll admit to initially scrolling to the end to see the last ever frame.. but worth a watch for insights into McCurry’s shooting methodology

Posted on: January 19, 2013 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Digital Imaging News, Off-Topic

How to win (and lose) a National Geographic Photo Contest

“This is the story of how you can climb to the highest photographic peak and fall in only 72 hours. And why you should carefully read the rules of a contest…”
Seasoned  Travel Photographer Harry Fisch entered this image into the places category of National Geographics 2012 Photo Contest and was delighted to be find out he’d taken 1st palce…only to be disqualified after sending in the original file – for photoshopping out a plastic bag from the far right of frame.

The ‘winning’ image…

and the original capture…

Would leaving the pastic bag in have changed National Geographic’s judgement of the image? Probably not… but rules are rules.. remember to read them carefully when submitting images to competitions!!

Read more about this on Harry’s blog here: ,  and see more of his work or join him on one of his travel photography expeditions here:

Posted on: January 17, 2013 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Digital Imaging News, Off-Topic

Our Top Retouched Images

Sometimes they can be funny, sometimes thought provoking, other times they just mess with your mind. They’ll always take your breath away though and make you wonder at the skills of the people that created them. The following images are our favourite manipulated images. If you’ve seen better we’d love to hear from you.






Posted on: February 11, 2010 Discussion: 316 Comments Posted in: Off-Topic, Photoshop, Uncategorized

Worst Examples of Photoshop in Print

1- Fingerlicious…

I think I much preferred Christina when she was a plain-old genie in a bottle. That finger right there looks like it’s about to fulfil its God-given right and morph into the pigtail it was born to be.

Meanwhile, piggy finger’s ribbing the poor little doggie who feels it has no option but to leave a little brown surprise in Christina’s other hand in its desperate plea for help.

photoshop disaster

2- Got Milk?

1st possibility: Drink lots of milk and you too will not only have a hard body like mine plus a free swimsuit to boot, but your eyes will clear up so much that you actually get to see the ghost that’s been following me around for the past couple of years. Admittedly, it’s a shy ghost as all you can see is its 3 digits, but it’s a ghost nonetheless dammit.

2nd possibility: the mannequin-looking athlete in the middle won 2 gold medals in the ‘Stretchy Arms’ sports category.

3rd possibility: the designer’s an incompetent fool.


3- Beyonce, the Trapeze Artist…

Erm, Beyonce, babes, you’re drop-dead gorgeous and all and I’m sure you’re mad mad flexible (yoga seems to have nothing on you, sistah) – but come on now, there’s showing how supple you are and there’s showing off …and this is just downright uncalled-for showing off.

There’s a time and a place for that (like if you’re trying to get rid of the paparazzi), but this photo shoot ain’t it. Remember, you’re trying to SELL the perfume.


4- Boo Yaa…

Women have always smugly felt that they have the monopoly on multitasking. Well, men can be pretty good multi-taskers too when they set their minds to it.

And here’s a picture to prove it.

Do you know of any women out there who can throw down a mean slam dunk and decapitate their fellow team member at the same time?

I didn’t think so.


5- FHM…

Hmmm…looks like some FHM staff need to pop into their local Specsavers, perhaps.

Ok, arguably, the model was, erm, somewhat of a ‘hot babe’ – but I kind of drew the line when her belly button ate her finger.

Hurrah to her for putting on a brave face, gritting her teeth (as you can evidently see) and finishing the rest of the shoot.

What a woman.


6- A Maze of Legs…

Yes. The FHM model’s bellybutton is at it again. One of Leah Wood’s legs is gone (and half of Peaches Geldof’s brain. The jury’s still out on Kimberly.)

On a serious’ish note, this photo shoot probably got way too ambitious for the poor designer’s IQ. Probably tried his/her bestest best, then sent the boat out, crossed fingers and hoped that amongst the maze of legs and nudity, no-one would notice.

Couldn’t have picked a better mag.


7-I Came, I Jaw…

What happens when you try to cut corners in these crazy credit-crunching times by paying 99 cents for a teeth-whitening job at the shabby dentist’s place that just opened round the corner?

Her friend doesn’t quite know what to say to her, so she just smiles and says ‘Uh huh’. While her other friend’s pouting self-assuredly into the camera, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest one of them all’.


8- Who’s That Girl…

Our Material Girl has tried many looks in her time and I admire her for it. She definitely doesn’t need to come back in a next lifetime as she’s just about tried every look in the book…

…apart from this one.

This is what she looks like when she takes off all her makeup.

Guy Ritchie. You missed out. Big time.


Posted on: March 9, 2009 Discussion: 1 Comment Posted in: Off-Topic, Photoshop

Worst Photoshopped Celebrity Pictures

Ok, so we all know that most celebrity photos are touched up, but come on, this takes the biscuit (wafer-thin water biscuit, I might add. God forbid some are allowed to eat a butter shortcake).

1) Faith Hill – Redbook magazine (2007)

Faith Hill has left the building.

In her place is Faithazoid v1.0, complete with mannequin-thin arms, non-existent wrinkles and a perfect neckline and shoulder blades.

Oh, and the real Faith Hill didn’t have a right arm, but ‘Zoid does. ‘Zoid’s arms are also the same girth from shoulder to wrist.

Over-sized head. On a skinny body. Not a good look. No matter what the Photoshop demigods might say.

So much for that tagline under the mag: ‘Love your life’.

Yeah. Right.

worst edited celebrity pics- Faith Hill

2) Kate Winslet – GQ magazine (2003)

Nice legs, but, erm, don’t they belong to the wrong Kate? I’m thinking more Moss than Winslet.

Ok, so admittedly, Winslet has lost some ‘for-Hollywood’ weight over the years, but not THAT much.

“I can tell you they’ve reduced the size of my legs by about a third”, she said. It turns out that, apparently, she’d seen the original photos (pre touch-up) and had liked how her legs looked there, but hadn’t been consulted when the digital changes took place.

I think she should have sued GQ to the tune of “a third” of all copies of the magazine sold for that particular issue.

Kate Winslet worst edited picture

3) Andy Roddick – Men’s Fitness (2007)

Yes, male celebrities aren’t immune to the digital Frankensteinism going on with some mags. Even sports people can’t escape their clutches. Roddick’s biceps got more than a buffing up in Men’s Fitness magazine.

Maybe the mag was missing Popeye and tried to recreate him.

And, ahem, it’s absolutely no coincidence that there’s the title ‘How to Build Big Arms in 5 Easy Moves’ right next to Andy’s pic.

The thought never crossed their minds. Uh-uh. Not in the least.

worst edited celebrity pictures- Andy Roddick

4) Jennifer Aniston – Star Magazine (2007)

So Jen-Jen’s minding her own business, doing whatever celebrities called Jennifer Aniston do, which this time round was her making her way to an auction. In her hand is the auction catalogue.

But uh-uh, this scenario isn’t juicy enough for Star magazine. So they make one up. According to them, Jennifer’s on her way to see her book publisher to hand in a draft copy of her tell-all book about her life with Brad Pitt. Ta da!

But wait – what about the auction catalogue?

Oh that’s easy, Star thinks. Nothing a little bit of Photoshop can’t handle in its sleep. They simply airbrush the image in front of the catalogue away to make it look like a book manuscript and hey presto, Lisa Minelli’s your uncle.

worst edited celebrity pics- Jennifer Aniston

5) Katie Couric – Watch Magazine (2006)

At the time, Katie was about to become the new news anchor for America’s CBS evening news. Someone decided that she looked a bit too big-boned for the cover of CBS’s ‘Watch!’ magazine and decided to give her the Weight-Watchers treatment.

So, a little snip here and little snip there and voila, Katie became a shadow of her former self.

“I liked the first picture better because there’s more of me to love.”

Atta, girl!

worst edited celebrity images- Katie Couric

6) Harry Potter promotional poster (2007)

Wow, Emily – my, my, my, look how you’ve grown.

For the most recent Harry Potter release, Emily Watson’s chest was altered in one of the promotional posters, while it was left unaltered in another.

There is some speculation on several blogs as to which came first – whether her chest was flattened from the original or whether it was enlarged, but that’s really beside the point. It’s bad enough that a need is felt to physically alter pictures of women (and men – but it’s mostly women) – sometimes drastically. But to use the same formula on younger individuals is very worrying.

worst edited celebrity images- harry potter

7) Keira Knightley – King Arthur poster (2004)

What is up with people? Keira is a good-looking young woman and a great actress who I admit needs a bit more meat on her bones, but this is NOT the way to do it, guys.

In the 2004 film, King Arthur, Keira was digitally pumped up from a 32 whatever-she-is cup to at least a 34B.

If they didn’t like how she looked in the outfit, an idea might have been to alter the costume or something, not her.

In more recent times, she’s taken more of a stand and is plain refusing to have her breasts digitally altered in the future.

worst edited celebrity images- Keira Knightly

8) Nicolas Sarkozy – Match magazine (2007)

Oooh, it must be all that rowing, innit?


The original version of the photo (warts and all) was shown in most mags, but the Parisian mag, Match, seemed to have a problem with it and gave the French president a bit of in-house liposuction.

Actually, the French president didn’t look that bad in the first place, but in the retouched version, notice his love handle’s gone AWOL and his side looks unnaturally straight?

worst edited celebrity images- Nicolas Sarkozy

Posted on: November 13, 2008 Discussion: 9 Comments Posted in: Off-Topic, Photoshop

Famous Pictures that Turned Out to be Fake…

1) Loch Ness Monster

The shy and gentle Loch Ness monster, or Nessie as it’s affectionately called, was (apparently) a long-necked creature with fin-like limbs that swam the deep waters of Scotland.

Well, at least that’s what some believed.

This belief was strengthened when in 1933, a photographer took a picture of what he claimed to be Nessie. It had the signature long neck alright.

It went on to become one of the most famous pictures of the weird and the paranormal in the world.

Years later, the photographer, thinking he was on his deathbed, confessed it was all a hoax. He and a friend had used a toy submarine and their imagination to fool a lot of people.

loch-ness fake picture


2) Bigfoot

1967. Bluff Creek, California. Two men by the name of Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin claim to have caught Bigfoot on tape. The case and the ensuing image of the big hairy fella became one of the most famous reported sightings in a long time. Many believed the image was the real deal – including die-hard Bigfoot fans. However, it was later revealed by a colleague of Patterson and Gimlin (Bob Heironimus) that it wasn’t actually Bigfoot – that he’d donned an ape costume for the film.

bigfoot fake picture


3) The Battle of Gettysburg, Devil’s Den…

In July 1863, a famous photographer took a picture of a dead soldier (a sharpshooter). It became the most prominent picture to emerge from the Civil War.

To all intents and purposes, this is where the soldier had fallen. And the world had no reason to think otherwise. However, almost 100 years later, it emerged that, apparently, it wasn’t where he had fallen at all – there were a series of 5 other photos in which the body appeared to be in different locations. It is claimed the photographer had moved the body in order to achieve a better composition. The theory is that the picture where the photographer claimed the sharpshooter fell was the last location he was moved to (and the last picture taken).

sharp-shooter fake picture


4) Jane Fonda and John Kerry at an Anti-War Rally

None of this ever happened. Fonda and Kerry were never at the rally. Neither were they anywhere else together. The clever clogs who devised this collage got hold of one individual picture of Fonda and one of Kerry, and proceeded to combine the two together.

How very creative.

How very Blue Peter.

p.s.: One picture was also a year older than the other.


kerry_fonda fake picture


5) Alien Autopsy

This particular case was a bit freaky as the alien the autopsy was carried out on looked quite creepy with its big old eyes and head. It was unlike any alien people had been accustomed to. The filming of the autopsy got a lot of exposure; however, in 2006, the mastermind behind it all, Ray Santilli, owned up – well, sort of – the thing is he claimed the autopsy was a staged reenactment of one that actually took place at some point. I suspect that even if he was telling the truth about the real autopsy, with his track record, who would believe him?

alien autopsy fake picture


6) Ghosts at Hampton Court…

There are probably as many fake pictures of ghosts as there are ghosts themselves. One of the more famous ones (because of its location) was an apparition supposedly caught on a security camera at Hampton Court. The picture made it to the press but was proven to be fake. Hampton Court has more than its fair share of hauntings – King Henry VI’s 3rd wife, Jane Seymour, for instance, who died in the tower during childbirth – so I guess the person who orchestrated the hoax was probably thinking: what’s one more ghost added to the fold?

Big mistake.

hampton court ghost fake picture


7) George Bush

I wish this one was true, but alas, it’s not. Sadly, George Bush can read and the picture above was just someone’s wishful thinking.

So the little girl wasn’t telling him to keep up. And Georgie wasn’t asking her how to spell America.

He’s dumb. But not that dumb.

Darn it.

george bush fake picture


8) The Cottingley Fairies

In 1917, two girls (Frances and Elsie) took a series of pictures of what they claimed to be fairies that frequented the nearby brook where they lived.  How anyone could have thought the fairies in the picture were anything but fake is beyond me. Maybe it looked real back then as photographic technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today.

Much later, when Elsie was 83, she admitted that the picture was a fake –  and had been made out of magazine cut-outs and secured in place with hatpins. Frances, however, still continued to maintain that there was a real fairy amongst the pictures (in the 5th photo).

fairies fake picture


Posted on: September 30, 2008 Discussion: 4 Comments Posted in: Off-Topic

Olympics – History Captured On Film

There are SO MANY historical moments in Olympic history that they just can’t be squeezed into a Top 10 list.

So think of this list as ‘some’ of the moments that stuck in our minds, rather than a ‘this is the OFFICIAL Top 10. Fear me, now. Grrr’  kind of list.

Not listed in order of importance…as you will soon see…‘cos the first is…

1) Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards at the 1988 Calgary Ski Jumping Winter Olympics

Plasterer by trade, blind as a bat and a bit too chubby to ski-jump.

But in true Olympian style, he pressed on anyway, funding the whole feat out of his own pocket (as there was no sponsorship).

And ski-jump he did…

…pretty badly – so bad his shadow just plain refused to jump with him.

Eddie may well have come last in both jumps (the 70m and 90m) – but his feat endeared him to tens of thousands of people who loved him for trying, for believing he could do it when the odds were stacked up against him, for having the audacity to boldly go where no plasterer had gone before.

Eddie, I raise a carton of Ribena in your honour, man.

2) Why, Ben, Why?

Ben Johnson was a popular athlete with a number of medals under his belt including two silvers at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 1982, a bronze at the 1984 LA Summer Olympics and gold at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

So when he bagged gold at the World Championships in Rome in 1987 and at the Seoul Olympics the following year, it was no less than what he deserved …that’s, ahem, had he not flavoured his cup of Tetley’s with anabolic steroids.

All hell broke loose, the media had a field day, and Ben was stripped of his medals and shown the door (I wonder if he jogged, sprinted or walked out of it?)

He made a comeback in 1991 after his suspension ended, but bombed. In ‘93, he was kicked out for good after tests showed ‘Ben done did it again’ following a race in Montreal.

‘Stoopid’. Beyond.

3) Tommie Smith’s & John Carlos’ Black Power salute…

Mexico City. The 1968 Olympics. Tommie Smith & John Carlos, I’m sure, had made their mothers proud by bagging gold and bronze respectively in the 200m race.

Receiving their medals, they step onto the podium with no shoes on except for black socks.

Each has a black glove on.

Lowering their heads, they each raise a fist to the sky as the Star Spangled Banner plays.

Star Spangled Banner. Black Power.

Star Spangled Banner. Black Pride.

It was a bold and defining moment …a defining moment that greatly inspired many…

… and p*ssed off some…hugely… such that both men were banned from the Olympics and ostracized when they returned to the US (yep – the very country they were representing).

All the same, nothing takes away from that day in 1968 when the personal became political.

4) Cathy Freeman: 1994 Canada Commonwealth Games – 2000 Sydney Olympics…

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Freeman became the first Aboriginal to run for Australia, lighting the Olympic flame, then getting her groove on by winning gold in the 400m. It was an undeniably significant moment, an amazing moment, but a shame that it happened as recently as 2000 and not way, way, way before that.

Prior to that, bearing similar political echoes to Smith and Carlos, when Cathy won her first medal at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, she wore both the Aboriginal flag and the Australian flag over her shoulder as she ran her victory lap. Upon winning her 2nd medal in the same event, she ignored the warnings of the head of the Australian team and sashayed round the block again, head held high, with both flags in tow.

She won in more ways than one.

5) Jesse Owens – Berlin Olympics, 1936

Hitler sure didn’t know what he was in for when Jesse Owens turned up. No, siree.

Owens not only bagged a gold medal in the 100m, but won gold medals in the 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay, setting 3 world records and an Olympic record for good measure.

Definitely got a certain Aryan’s moustache a-twitching – what a novel way to well and truly SET YOURSELF UP.

6) Carl Lewis – Los Angeles Olympics, 1984

Is it a bird? Is it EasyJet? No, it’s King Carl!

Long jumper and sprinter, Carlton Lewis, is up next because almost 50 years later, he matched Jesse Owens’ Berlin achievements medal-for-medal. Yep, 100m, 200m, long jump and the 4x100m rely.

Both athletes were very close in age, too. Jesse Owens was 22 years old when he showed Hitler where it was at. Carl Lewis was 23.

7) Nadia Comaneci’s Perfect 10…
Nadia Comaneci was just 14 years old when she scored a perfect 10 in a gymnastic event at the Montreal Summer Olympics in 1976. It was the first time anyone had been awarded such a score.

To show how unexpected this lovely miracle was, the scoreboards weren’t even equipped to show 10s.

The Romanian gymnast went on to score six more 10s over the course of that competition, going home with five medals (3 gold, a silver and a bronze).

8) 1972 Olympic Games, ‘The Munich Massacre’ …

In the early hours of September 5th, and 2 weeks into the Games, a Palestinian terrorist group called ‘Black September’ broke into the Olympic village and abducted 11 Israeli team members.

Two hostages were shot dead after trying to attack some of the terrorist members. Then, in an unsuccessful attempt to free the hostages, nine abductees were killed along with 5 of the terrorists and one policeman.

The three remaining terrorists were caught but later released when a Lufthansa plane was hijacked by a group of Palestinians.

Surprisingly, the games weren’t cancelled or suspended for any significant amount of time. A deeply insensitive move? Or an impassioned middle-fingered response to terrorism? Who knows?

9) Abebe Bikila…the bare-foot runner…

It’s 1960. It’s the Summer Olympic Games in Rome.

Stifling hot, the 26.2 mile marathon had been set in the evening.

Abebe Bikila runs the marathon – barefoot – and wins, setting a new world record and becoming the first African to win a gold medal.

In all fairness, he tried wearing shoes before the race, but found the ones the sponsors (Adidas) provided quite uncomfortable.

He’d go on to successfully defend his title at the Tokyo Olympics 4 years later (with shoes on this time).

10) Steve Redgrave – 2000 Sydney Olympics…

The former British rower, Sir Steve, just didn’t know how to stop winning gold – which is why he just kept on doing it for five Olympic Games in a row (‘xcuse the pun) from 1984 to 2000 (Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney).

His 5th gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics was significant – monumentally so – as that win made him the first ever Briton to have achieved that milestone.

He retired soon after, aged 38.

What’s just as amazing is that he achieved these in the face of continuous ill health, having been diagnosed with colitis and diabetes.

What a spirit.

Posted on: August 7, 2008 Discussion: 1 Comment Posted in: Off-Topic

The Most Iconic Sporting Images?

In honour of the long and hopefully hot sporting sumer ahead we have picked our most iconic sporting images over the past few years. I’m sure not everybody will agree with all of these, if you want to suggest your own nominations in the comments, if we get enough we may open up a poll in a couple of weeks time to find your definitive sporting image!
(p.s. Not listed in order of importance)

1) Muhammed Ali vs Sonny Liston rematch (1965)

First minute, first round, an anchor punch, and the former heavyweight champ, Sonny, was down. He quite literally didn’t know what hit him (or stung him).

Adding insult to injury (‘xcuse the pun), Ali then stood over him and yelled for him to get up.

I personally would have stayed away after the first match, but obviously, Sonny boy had teeth to spare.

2) Maradona (Argentina v England – 1986 World Cup, Mexico)

The first goal in which Maradona touched the ball with his hand (or with the ‘Hand of God’ as he later on said)… well, God saw what happened. Unfortunately, the referees didn’t.

But let’s not let it distract us from the stunning 2nd goal, people.

Did you see it? Did ya? Sheer poetry in motion.

Maradona weaved himself past not 1, not 2, but 6 England players to score that amazing goal. Ok, so they might have been traumatised by the first goal, but WAKE UP ENGLAND, he’s about to score a second one ….with his feet this time.

Picture Credit

Picture Credit

3) Paul Gascoigne bawling at the World Cup semis.

It’s 1990. It’s the semi-finals. England’s playing against West Germany. Football widows abound.

Towards the end of the match, Gazza’s shown a yellow card, and realising what this means (potentially missing the final if England wins), cries his little heart out (while revealing a very fine six-pack indeed – yum!).

England went on to lose the semis, but the picture of Gazza crying remains a classic as it embodied the feelings of millions of fans.

Picture Credit

4) Flo Jo wins gold…

The 1988 Seoul Olympics. Florence Griffiths-Joyner wins the 100m gold and sets a world record of 10.49secs.

Though it was one of four medals she won at that particular event, it was the picture of her smiling – her multi-coloured fingernails raised to the sky in triumph – that remains in the hearts and minds of many.

5) Pele & Bobby Moore swap t-shirts…

1970. Mexico World Cup. England vs Brazil.

Final score: Brazil 1; England 0.

At the end of the game, Pele and Bobby Moore swap t-shirts.

A beautiful picture, it showed the great respect these two amazing players had for each other.

Picture Credit

6) Tommie Smith & John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics

Smith had won the 200m race, while Carlos had clinched the bronze. On the medal stand, each athlete wore a black glove. And as the US anthem played, they both bowed their heads and raised a fist in a Black Power salute to highlight the civil rights climate and celebrate black pride.

It caused a wave of uproar amongst many white Americans (proving Smith’s & Carlos’ point, don’t you think?). They were subsequently banned from the Olympics and ostracized upon returning to the US.

Nevertheless, their stand remains a defining moment, a powerful silent act of courage that empowered many black people in the US …and beyond.

Picture Credit

7) Bobby Moore – World Cup, 1966

England: 4. West Germany: 2.

Balanced on his team-mates’ shoulders, Bobby Moore raises the Jules Rimet cup in the air for England. He had the look of a man who really couldn’t ask for more, a man whose beans on toast wouldn’t taste quite the same the next morning, a man who, like Gazza, epitomised the nation’s love of the beautiful game.

Picture Credit

8) Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics, 1936

Oh dear, things didn’t quite go according to plan for Hitler at the Berlin Olympics, did they? The super-duper world-class athlete, Owens, disproved Hitler’s theories of Aryan superiority several times over by winning 4 gold medals (100m, 200m, long jump and 4 by 100m relay), breaking and setting 3 world records and one Olympic record in the process.

Picture Credit

Posted on: June 23, 2008 Discussion: 6 Comments Posted in: Off-Topic


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