We provide a variety of online web services, mobile applications, and services for location-enabled and other types of devices (collectively, the "Services") from news and weather to interactive entertainment to electronic commerce via our relationship with TownNews.com. TownNews.com is the host of this Web site. Because the success of the Services is dependent on building and maintaining goodwill with our customers, this website and TownNews.com (hereinafter collectively referred to as "we" or "us" or "our") are committed to implementing measures designed to protect the privacy of those using our services. Moreover, we see it as our responsibility to set examples and help establish the standards for privacy on the Internet.
The information we gather
We gather two types of information about the users of the Services:
(1) Non-personally identifiable information: When you use the Services, we may collect and aggregate information indicating, among other things, which pages were visited, the order in which they were visited, and which hyperlinks were "clicked." Collecting such information involves the logging of IP addresses, operating system and browser software used by each user. Although such information is not personally identifiable, we can determine from the IP address a visitor's Internet Service Provider and the geographic location of his or her point of connectivity.
The non-personally identifiable information we collect helps us diagnose problems with our server, administer the Services, identify the most popular areas or features of the Services, and determine the effectiveness of our promotional activities. In addition, we may disclose some of this information to advertisers to inform them of the number of people who have seen and/or clicked through their advertisements.
For the same purposes, we use "cookies"---that is, small text files placed on your computer's hard drive---to help us determine the type of content and sites to which you link, the length of time you spend at any particular area or feature of the Services, and your usage of the Services. Cookies also tell us which advertising you have seen on the Services. At certain times, we may use outside advertising companies to display advertisements on the Web site that may contain cookies ("banner ads"). These banner ads collect information stored by the advertising company and we do not have access to this information.
Essentially, cookies are your identification cards for our computers, or servers, that placed them there. Cookies are only read by the server that placed them, and are unable to execute any code or virus. Cookies allow us to serve you better and more efficiently, and to personalize your experience on the Services. Nevertheless, you are able to control how and whether cookies will be accepted by your web browser or device. For more information on how to do so, please refer to the documentation accompanying your browser or device.
At this time, this website and the Services do not recognize automated browser signals regarding tracking mechanisms and preferences, which may include "do not track" instructions. However, you may adjust the privacy preferences of your browser, including the control of how and whether cookies will be accepted by your web browser or device. For more information on how to do so, please refer to the documentation accompanying your browser or device.
(2) Personally identifiable information: Certain features of the Services, such as surveys and contests, may require that you provide personally identifiable information (including, for example, zip code, age, income, and e-mail address, and when applicable, credit card information). TownNews.com, as host of the Web site, has access to this information. In addition, when registering to set up an account to use certain services of the Web site such as e-mail, chat rooms, and forums, or to receive certain newsletters or specifically targeted information, we do require that you provide a valid e-mail address.
In addition, we may collect information about your location when you access any of our mobile applications. If you do not enable the service to use your location information or if the app does not have that feature, we will not collect or store your location information.
We do not control the acts of users of the Services. All users should be aware that, when they disclose personally identifiable information in a bulletin board, chat room, guestbook, or other forum, the information may be collected and used by others to send that person unsolicited e-mail from other parties outside of the Services. In the event that you encounter any user of the Services who is improperly collecting or using information about you or other users, please contact email@example.com.
How we use (and do not use) the information we gather
Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the different ways we use the information that we gather. We cannot and do not assume any responsibility for any actions or omissions of third parties, including the manner in which they use information received either from us or independently. Nevertheless, in the event you encounter any third party associated with, or who claims association with us who you feel is improperly collecting or using information about you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org; we will be happy to forward your message to the third party.
(1) How we use (and do not use) non-personally identifiable information: We use non-personally identifiable information in aggregate form to build higher quality, more useful Services by performing statistical analyses of the collective characteristics and behavior of the users of the Services, and by measuring demographics and interests regarding specific areas and features of the Services. We provide statistical information based on this data to advertisers, affiliates, and other current and potential business partners. We also use the aggregate data to inform these third parties as to the number of people who have seen and clicked on links to their web sites.
The Services may contain links to other Internet websites and services, including co-branded or other affiliated sites that may or may not be owned or operated by us. Unless otherwise explicitly stated, we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites or services, including their use of any information (such as IP number, browser type, or operating system) collected when users or visitors to the Services click through links to those sites. Even though such information might not identify you personally, we strongly encourage you to become familiar with the privacy practices of those sites and services.
We limit our own e-mail contact and solicitations to those customers who have "opted in" to receiving such communications. The solicitations are limited in that they, among other things, will clearly indicate the originator of the e-mail and provide the customer with a method of "opting out" of receiving future communications of a similar nature.
In addition, as our businesses change, we may buy or sell various assets. In such cases, personally identifiable information about our users of our Services may be disclosed to the other party(ies) of the transaction.
In addition, we sometimes use demographic data to decide which advertisements and sponsor messages to show to which members. As an example, if Sponsor XYZ wishes to display their advertising only to female members of the Services, we may use member registration data to ensure that Sponsor XYZ's ads are displayed only to female members.
Finally, we may use individual members' data to "pre-populate" forms, which are displayed for the purpose of collecting individual data by us and/or our sponsors. In no case does pre-populating a form transfer any data to any advertiser or third party. Only if the member voluntarily requests that such data be transferred will any transfer take place---for example, if/when a member clicks a "submit form" button or other button.
In addition, we may use information about your location when you access our mobile applications to provide location aware products or services and for advertising purposes, and if you submit video or images for the news, for news reporting purposes. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, we may provide your location information to third parties who provide goods or services that we believe may be of interest to you.
We reserve the right to release any and all information contained within our access logs concerning any visitor or member when that visitor or member is in violation of our Terms of Service or other published guidelines, or partakes (or is reasonably suspected of partaking) in any illegal activity, even without a subpoena, warrant, or other court order, and to release such information in response to discovery requests, or in response to any circumstance which we, in our sole discretion, deem an emergency. We cooperate with law enforcement agencies in identifying those who may be using the Services for illegal activities. We also reserve the right to report any suspected illegal activity to law enforcement for investigation or prosecution. We also reserve the right to comply with subpoenas, warrants, and other court orders requesting information obtained or any information obtained or stored by us.
Changing/deleting personal information
If you would like to have your personally identifiable information changed or removed from our database, please contact us at email@example.com, and we will use reasonable efforts to comply with your request. Keep in mind, however, that there will be residual information that will remain within our databases, access logs, and other records, which may or may not contain such personally identifiable information. The residual information will not be used for commercial purposes; however we reserve the right, from time to time, to recontact former customers or users of this Web site.
Third-Party Ad Serving
We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit the Website. These companies may use information (not including any Personally-Identifying Information) about your visits to the Website and other websites that are contained in Web Cookies in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. Using a tool created by the Network Advertising Initiative, you can opt out of several third-party ad servers' and networks' Web Cookies simultaneously. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, please complete the following links: http://networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp, http://preferences-mgr.truste.com/, or http://www.aboutads.info/choices/. Please contact us if you would like to know the identity of the third-party advertising companies we are currently using to serve ads.
We may allow advertisers to choose the characteristics of users who will see their advertisements, and we may use any of the Non-Personally Identifying Information we have collected (including information you may have decided not to show to other users, such as your birth year or other sensitive personal information or preferences) to select the appropriate audience for those advertisements. We do not identify you to the advertiser.
If you would like more information about this practice and to know you choices about not having this information used by these companies, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.