Children should always get permission from their parents before sending any information about themselves (such as their names, email addresses, and phone numbers) over the Internet, to us or to anyone else. We won't knowingly allow anyone under 13 to register with our site or to provide any other personally identifying information. If you're under 13, please do not provide us with any personally identifying information about yourself (such as your name, your email address or your phone number).
The information we gather falls into two categories: (1) information (for example, your name and address) that you voluntarily supply when you register or initiate transactions, and (2) information gathered on usage patterns and preferences as visitors navigate through our sites or use our services. In some cases, it is an agent or affiliate of ours that collects the information on our behalf. Third party providers featured on or linked to by our site, such as vendors of products and services offered through our site, may be gathering the same kinds of information.
Registration Information. To make use of certain features on our site visitors need to register and to provide certain information as part of the registration process. We may also ask for information from those who buy products or services or conduct other transactions on our site. (We may ask, for example, for your name, email address, sex, age, zip code or credit card number, and we might request information on your interest in sports, personal finance, the performing arts, and the like.) The information you supply will help us to offer you more personalized features, to tailor our site to your interests and make them more useful to you, and to process e-commerce transactions.
The more you tell us about yourself, the more value we can offer you. Supplying such information is entirely voluntary. But if you don't supply the information we need, we may be unable to provide you with services we make available to other visitors to our site. And we can't send you email alerting you to a new service we're offering, or breaking news that may interest you if you don't tell us what you're interested in and give us your email address. Please see the "Shopping" section below to learn more about purchasing products or services on our site.
Contests and Other Promotions. From time to time, we may offer contests, sweepstakes or other promotions on our site. If you enter one of these promotions, you'll have to provide information about yourself (such as your name, address, telephone number and email address) so that we can contact you if you win. We may share this information with any wholly or majority-owned subsidiary of Cooke Communications and any co-sponsor of the promotion (we will identify any co-sponsor in the official rules for the promotion). If you don't want us to collect the information requested in the registration form or to provide it to any wholly or majority-owned subsidiary of Cooke Communications or contest co-sponsors, please do not enter the contest or sweepstakes.
Cookies. To help make our sites more responsive to the needs of our visitors, we use a standard feature of browser software, called a "cookie," to assign each visitor a unique, random number, a sort of user ID, if you will, that resides on your computer. The cookie doesn't actually identify the visitor, just the computer that a visitor uses to access our site. Unless you voluntarily identify yourself (through registration, for example), we won't know who you are, even if we assign a cookie to your computer. The only personal information a cookie can contain is information you supply. A cookie can't read unrelated data off your hard drive. Our advertisers and the third parties that provide products or services through our site may also assign their own cookies to your browser, a process that we don't control.
Other Methods of Collecting Information. Our web pages may contain electronic images (called "single-pixel GIFs" or "web beacons") that allow us and our vendors to count users who have visited particular pages or to access certain cookies. We may use these tools and other technologies to recognize which pages users visit, and which links they click on. We may also be able to verify your online purchases from us or from third party sites that have agreed to share such information with us.
Browser Level Information and IP Addresses. Our web servers automatically collect limited information about your computer configuration when you visit our site, including the type of browser software you use, the operating system you're running, the resolution of your computer monitor, the website that referred you, and your IP address. (Your IP address is a numerical address that is used by computers connected to the Internet to identify your computer so that data (such as the web pages you want to view) can be transmitted to you. We also use IP address information for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes. Your IP address does not tell us who you are.) We use this information to deliver our web pages to you upon request, to tailor our site (including our ads) to the interests of our users, and to measure traffic within our site. Such information is based on your browser's activities, such as type of pages viewed and categories of interests, so that the advertising you see is relevant to you.
We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn or more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising for some companies, you can visit www.networkadvertising.org and www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp
Why we want to know. As with any business, it's important for us to know our customers -- their needs, their likes, what they want and expect from us. Unlike most businesses, however, we deliver a valuable product to our customers without asking for anything in return. It's like prime-time television, only better for you! Since we make most of this site available without charge to you, we rely heavily on advertisers to produce the income necessary to operate our site. Advertisers are like most people: They expect something in return for the money they spend. They want to know how many people will see their ad and how often -- in other words, how effective their ad is likely to be. So it's important that we be able to tell advertisers who our audience is.
Advertisers. Without your permission, we will not share the personally-identifiable information you provide when registering on our site with advertisers. We will, however, take the information you provide and aggregate it with data from all the other people that use this site and associated services. Then we will use that pool of information to inform our advertisers about our audience without identifying you personally. For example, we'll be able to say to an advertiser: "We have 3,470 readers in this ZIP code," which happens to be your location.
Vendors and Service Providers. To make our sites more valuable to our visitors, we may offer some features in conjunction with other providers ("Provider Partners"). In some instances, our Provider Partners will have the same access to your information as we do. Their use of the information will be subject to the terms of their respective privacy policies, which you can find on their websites.
Our Affiliates. We may share the information that we collect from you with any wholly or majority-owned subsidiary of Cooke Communications so that we and they can provide you with products and services provided by these entities that we believe may be of interest to you.
Statistical Information. Much of the information we collect is in the form of aggregated statistics, such as the traffic that visits various pages within our sites, and the habits and preferences of our audience. Such aggregated information does not include any information that would identify you personally. We may use such aggregated information and disclose it to third parties as we see fit.
Other Disclosures. We may occasionally release information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with law, or to protect the rights, property or safety of visitors to our sites, the public, our customers, or our company and its employees, agents, partners and affiliates. As our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that our company, or the bulk of our assets relating to this site, is acquired by another company, information on our visitors would be among the transferred assets.
When you are ready to make a purchase on our site, we will ask you to provide us with certain information, including your contact details (such as your name, address, telephone and email), and your billing information (such as your credit card number and the date that your card expires). We may also ask you to provide additional information such as unique identifiers (such as your date of birth), and registration information (login name and password). You will be able to review, update, or delete the information you have provided us (except, of course any information that we do not store) at any time by contacting us by phone or email.
If you register with us, you will have the opportunity to review, update, or delete the information you have provided us at any time (except, of course, any information that we do not store). If you remove your registration information completely, you may not be able to continue using certain services that require registration. You agree that we may use your information to contact you for customer service, to inform you of important changes or additions to our site or the services offered over our site and to send you administrative notices or any communications relevant to your use of our site.
If you have submitted your information on a page provided in conjunction with one of our Provider Partners, the information you submit may be jointly maintained by us and the Provider Partner. If you decide to opt out on our site, you may also need to contact the Provider Partner separately to request the Provider Partner to remove your information from its database.
All information gathered on our site is stored within a database operated by us or by a contractor on our behalf. Sensitive information, such as your password is encrypted for storage. For e-commerce transactions, in certain instances we may transmit your billing information using encryption. Encryption scrambles your credit card number and personal information. However, as effective as encryption technology is, no security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our database, nor can we guarantee that information you supply won't be intercepted while being transmitted to us over the Internet.