BlogHer, Inc. Privacy Statement
Updated: 10 January 2010
Terms of Service
We want the BlogHer community to be built on trust. This online privacy statement (the “Privacy Statement”) tells you about the information BlogHer collects through its website, BlogHer.com, and all other websites of BlogHer with authorized links to this policy (the “Site”) and how we use that information. By using our services and accessing the Site, you are consenting to the information collection and use practices described in the Privacy Statement, as modified from time to time by us. To assist you in reading this document, here is a linked table of contents for your use:
Privacy Statement Overview
BlogHer adheres to the European Union Safe Harbor principles as set forth by the United States Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of Personal Information covered by the Privacy Statement from the European Union.
1. Information We Collect. Except as disclosed in this Privacy Statement, we do not sell or disclose information that identifies our users of the Site personally or makes it possible for other parties to contact them directly (“Personal Information”). We also collect non-personal information (“Anonymous Information”), such as pages visited, on the Site. We may also collect or develop aggregated information, which may include Anonymous Information and Personal Information, provided that such information does not personally identify you or any of our other users (“Aggregated Information”).
- a. A Note About Children. We do not intentionally gather Personal Information about users who are under the age of 13.
- b. Voluntarily Provided Information. As a visitor to the Site, you can engage in many activities without providing any Personal Information. However, when you register on the BlogHer.com site or apply to join the BlogHer Publishing Network, we will collect and retain information about you, some of which is Personal Information. For example, registration on the BlogHer.com site requires you to provide a valid email address, username, and password. This email address will only be used and disclosed in accordance with this Privacy Statement. The rest of the information you provide in your user profile will be visible to others, including anonymous visitors to the Site. If you provide us feedback or contact us via email, we will collect your name and email address, as well as any other content included in the email, in order to send you a reply. When you participate in one of our surveys or contests, we may collect additional profile information. When you post content (text, images, photographs, messages, comments or any other kind of content that is not your email address) on our Site, the information contained in your posting will be stored on our servers and other users will be able to see it. We may also collect Personal Information, such as demographic information, from you at other points on our Site that state that Personal Information is being collected. In addition, you may choose to provide us with additional information, including but not limited to, marital status, household income, education and employment status.
(i) Email Newsletters. If you subscribe to any BlogHer newsletter, you will be required to provide a valid email address as well as any other information that is relevant to the newsletter.
(ii) Surveys and Polls. BlogHer offers online surveys and questionnaires that ask users for opinions on various issues and/or other information. Occasionally, we may request demographic information (like zip code, age or gender) when you answer a survey. Such surveys are completely voluntary.
(iii) Sweepstakes and Contests. We regularly operate sweepstakes, contests and giveaways throughout the Site. We generally ask you for your email address and/or home number (to notify you if you win, or not). We may also ask for first and last names, and sometimes post office addresses to verify the entrant’s identity. In some situations, we may need additional information as part of the entry process, such as a prize selection choice. These sweepstakes and contests are completely voluntary. We recommend you read the rules for each sweepstakes and contest you enter.
(iv) BlogHer Publishing Network. If you apply to become a member of the BlogHer Publishing Network, we will also ask you for certain demographic, education, legal and other information.
Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies and most services that include similar devices are typically initially activated to collect data. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether or not to accept it. (For some web pages that require an authorization, cookies are not optional. Users choosing not to accept cookies or similar devices will probably not be able to access those pages or the related services).
BlogHer may also collect Anonymous Information, including IP Addresses, about your online activities and share this information with one or more third parties for use in tailoring ads to users on the Site and on third party sites and in analyzing and reporting on the advertising that you see. As a part of our commitment to respect privacy concerns, we will, and we will require such third parties to, provide users with the ability to opt out of such use. To opt-out of behavioral advertising, please visit the Network Advertising Initiative web site at www.networkadvertising.org.
- d. Click Tracking. As is true of most websites, BlogHer gathers certain information automatically and stores it in log files. This information includes IP Addresses, browser type, internet service provider (“ISP”), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, administer the Site, track users' movements around the Site and gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. Except as noted in this Privacy Statement, we do not link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information.
- e. IP Addresses. Your IP Address is a number that is assigned by your ISP(ISP) to your computer to identify its location. Each user's IP Address is logged with each visit and each action performed on the Site. This information is never provided to the third parties, except as otherwise stated in this Privacy Statement, and is logged only for a temporary period of time.
- g. Participation on a Public Website. You should be aware that any Personal Information you submit on the Site in blogs, comments, other posts and your user profile can be read, collected, or used by other users of the Site, including anonymous visitors, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. We are not responsible for the Personal Information you choose to submit on the Site.
- h. Aggregated Information. We may collect, compile, store, publish, promote, report, sell, or otherwise disclose or use any and all Aggregated Information. When we share such information with other companies, it is not traceable to any particular user, and will not be used to contact you.
- a. Use of Personal Information. In general, Personal Information you submit to us is used either to respond to requests that you make, or to aid us in serving you better. BlogHer uses your Personal Information in the following ways: to facilitate the creation of and secure your account on our Site; to identify you as a user in our system; to provide improved administration of our Site and services; to improve the quality of experience when you interact with our Site; to send you a welcome e-mail to verify ownership of the e-mail address provided when your account was created; to send you administrative e-mail notifications, such as security or support and maintenance advisories; to respond to your inquiries related to employment opportunities or other requests; to send promotional communications; to provide you with hardcopy or electronic newsletters, or surveys; to send and facilitate upgrades and special offers related to our services and for other marketing purposes, should you request to receive such communications from us; to make telephone calls to you, from time to time, as a part of secondary fraud protection or to solicit your feedback. When you receive newsletters or promotional communications from us, you may indicate a preference to stop receiving further communications from us and you will have the opportunity to “opt-out” by following the unsubscribe instructions provided in the e-mail you receive or by contacting us directly. Should you decide to opt-out of receiving future mailings, we may share your e-mail address with third parties to ensure that you do not receive further communications from third parties. Despite your indicated e-mail preferences, we may send you notices of any updates to our Privacy Statement. BlogHer also offers the ability to forward an article to another person via email. If you use this service, we will use the recipient’s email address in order to send the article and we will also ask for your email address. We do not use the recipient’s email address for any other purpose unless such recipient gives us permission to do so.
- b. Use of Anonymous and Aggregated Information. We may create Anonymous Information and Aggregated Information from Personal Information by excluding information (such as your name) that make the data personally identifiable to you. We use this Anonymous Information and Aggregated Information so that we may enhance the quality of our Site and services and improve Site navigation. BlogHer reserves the right to use and disclose Anonymous Information and Aggregated Information to third parties in its discretion.
- c. Use of Feedback. If you provide feedback on our Site or any of our services to us, we may use such feedback for any purpose, provided we will not associate such feedback with your Personal Information. BlogHer will collect any information contained in such communication and will treat the Personal Information in such communication in accordance with this Privacy Statement.
3. Disclosure of your Information. We do not sell Personal Information to third parties for any reason. We do not disclose your Personal Information to unaffiliated third parties who may want to offer you their own products and services unless you have requested or authorized us to do so.
- a. Co-branded Service Offerings. At some point, we may share Anonymous or Aggregated Information with certain businesses with which BlogHer has formed a strategic alliance. You may be able to identify these businesses because BlogHer has authorized them to display clearly identified and branded images on the Site and in its communications. These strategic partners are requested to clearly state their own privacy policies on their own websites or promotional materials, and if you provide them with your Personal Information, it may become subject to the policies of the respective company. BlogHer may receive information from these strategic partners and may add such information to information already collected from you. No Personal Information identifiable to a specific user is collected or shared by BlogHer with these strategic partners.
- b. Third Party Services. We reserve the right to offer third party services and products to you on the Site, such as via the conference sponsorship area and via newsletters or special offers, based on the preferences that you identify during the registration process and based on your subsequent preferences. We may share Aggregated Information about our user base with other entities, such as advertisers. This information does not identify individual users, except where you have given us prior, specific permission to do so. We do not link Aggregated Information with Personal Information. We may share Personal Information with third-party vendors and partners only in those situations where you have given us prior, specific permission to do so.
- c. Third Party Contractors. We may share your Personal Information with third party contractors or service providers to provide you with the services that we offer you though our Site; to conduct quality assurance testing; to facilitate creation of accounts; to provide technical support; or to provide specific services in accordance with your instructions. These third parties are required not to use your Personal Information other than to provide the services requested by BlogHer. You expressly consent to the sharing of your Personal Information with our contractors and third party service providers for the sole purpose of providing services to you.
- d. Affiliates. Although BlogHer does not currently have any subsidiaries, joint ventures, parent company, or other companies under a common control (collectively, “Affiliates”), we may in the future. We may share some or all of your Personal Information with these Affiliates, in which case we will require our Affiliates to honor this Privacy Statement. If another company acquires our company or our assets, that company will possess the Personal Information collected by it and BlogHer and will assume the rights and obligations regarding your Personal Information as described in this Privacy Statement.
- e. Legal Requirements. We reserve the right to disclose your Personal Information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect or defend our rights, property, or users and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on BlogHer.
- f. Public Areas. Any information disclosed in public areas of the Site is public information that may be viewed and collected by any party. We cannot control the use of information disclosed in the blogs, comments, reviews, or discussion portions of our Site. You should exercise caution when disclosing information, including photos or images, in these public areas and should refrain from disclosing Personal Information.
4. Links to Other Sites. BlogHer contains links to other sites that are not owned or controlled by BlogHer. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our Site and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects Personal Information. This Privacy Statement applies only to information collected by this Site.
5. United States Law. Much of BlogHer's membership, our servers and databases are primarily located in the United States. Like almost every other website, the Site may be accessed by an international audience. If you are a non-U.S. user of the Site, by visiting the Site and providing us with data, you acknowledge and agree that your Personal Information may be processed for the purposes identified in this Privacy Statement. In addition, such Personal Information may be stored on servers located outside your resident jurisdiction, which may have less stringent privacy practices than your own. By providing us with your data, you consent to transfer of such data.
6. Security. BlogHer is committed to protecting the security of your Personal Information. Our internal data security policies restrict access to your Personal Information to authorized employees and contractors (“Authorized Personnel”). Authorized Personnel may use our users’ Personal Information for BlogHer business purposes only and are bound by BlogHer policies that require them to maintain the confidentiality of our users’ Personal Information.
We use a variety of industry-standard security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. Despite these measures, you should know that BlogHer cannot fully eliminate security risks associated with Personal Information and mistakes may happen. As a result, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information that you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk.
7. Dispute Resolution. BlogHer takes its users’ privacy concerns seriously. If you believe that BlogHer has not adhered to the Privacy Statement, please contact BlogHer by e-mail at email@example.com. In your email, please describe in as much detail as possible the ways in which you believe that the Privacy Statement has not been complied with. We will do our best to address your concerns. If you feel that your complaint has been addressed incompletely, we invite you to let us know for further investigation. If you and BlogHer are unable to reach a resolution to the dispute, BlogHer will cooperate with JAMS pursuant to the JAMS International Mediation Rules, which are accessible on the JAMS website at www.jamsadr.com/rules-international-rules. JAMS mediation may be commenced as provided for in the JAMS International Mediation Rules. The mediator may propose any appropriate remedy, such as publicity for findings of non-compliance, payment of compensation for losses incurred as a result of non-compliance, or cessation of processing of the Personal Information of the individual who has brought the complaint. BlogHer will assume the costs of the administrative fees if the mediator makes a written recommendation that finds BlogHer in breach of its duties pursuant to the Safe Harbor. The mediator or the individual may refer the matter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has Safe Harbor enforcement jurisdiction over BlogHer.
BlogHer conducts periodic self-assessments to verify that the attestations and assertions it makes about its privacy practices are true and that such privacy practices have been implemented as presented. BlogHer will take steps to remedy any problems arising out of failure to comply with the Safe Harbor principles.
8. Access and Changes to Your Personal Information; Data Integrity. You may access your Personal Information by logging into your BlogHer account. BlogHer may limit access where providing such access is unreasonably burdensome or expensive or as otherwise permitted under the Safe Harbor principles. You may change any of your Personal Information by editing your profile or by sending an e-mail to BlogHer at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may request deletion of your Personal Information by BlogHer, but please note that we may be required (by law or otherwise) to keep this information and not delete it (or to keep this information for a certain time, in which case we will comply with your deletion request only after we have fulfilled such requirements). When we delete the account information, it will be deleted from the active database, but may remain in our archives. BlogHer takes reasonable steps to ensure that your Personal Information is relevant for the purposes for which it is to be used, reliable for its intended use, and accurate, complete and current. BlogHer depends on you to update and correct your Personal Information to the extent necessary for the purposes for which it was collected and subsequently authorized by you.
9. Privacy Statement Updates. If we decide to make material changes to our Privacy Statement, we will notify you by sending you an e-mail to the last e-mail address you provided to us and/or by prominently posting notice of the changes on the Site and updating the date at the top of the Privacy Statement. Therefore, we encourage you to check the date of our Privacy Statement whenever you visit the Site for any updates or changes. Any material changes to this Privacy Statement will be effective upon the earlier of thirty (30) calendar days following our dispatch of an e-mail notice to you or thirty (30) calendar days following our posting of notice of the changes on the Site. Please note that at all times you are responsible for updating your Personal Information to provide us with your most current e-mail address. In the event that the last e-mail address that you have provided us is not valid, or for any reason is not capable of delivering to you the notice described above, our dispatch of the e-mail containing such notice will nonetheless constitute effective notice of the changes described in the notice. In any event, changes to this Privacy Statement may affect our use or disclosure of Personal Information that you provided us prior to our notification to you of the changes. If you do not wish to permit changes in our use or disclosure of your Personal Information, you must notify us prior to the effective date of the changes that you wish to deactivate your account with us. Continued use of our services and access to the Site, following notice of such changes, shall indicate your acknowledgement of such changes and agreement to be bound by the terms and conditions of such changes.
If you have any questions or concerns about BlogHer's Privacy Statement, please contact us.