This site is not intended for children under the age of 7. We will not knowingly collect personally identifiable information via this site from visitors in this age group. We encourage parents to talk to their children about their use of the Internet and the information they disclose to Web sites.
Information We Collect and How We Use It
Summary of Information We Gather and Track
We gather two types of data about users: personal information, which individual users provide (i) when registering as a member of our Websites, (ii) when registering as a subscriber to one of our premium subscription services, (iii) when using tools like Blogrums, (iv) when participating in surveys and polls, and (v) when participating in surveys or sweepstakes; and tracking information, which is automatically collected about all visitors to the Websites.
We collect personal information in several places on our Websites, which are set forth generally below. We will always provide a secure area of our Websites for you to enter your information.
Currently, we do not require users to become members in order to have access to the free editorial and reference articles available on our flagship site, onSponge.com. However, if you’d like to receive one or more of our free email newsletters, gain access to the community features on our site, or comment/rate editorial content on onSponge.com, we require you to register to become a member. In order to register, you’ll have to supply us with your name, email and postal addresses, a unique User Name and password, and some additional information about you (e.g., the reason for your visit to onSponge.com, what kind of educational materials you are interested in, etc.). Additionally, you will be required to verify your email address by clicking on the activation link in the Welcome Letter that will be sent to you upon your submission of a completed registration form.
If you’d like access to one or more of our premium subscription-based services, you first must register as a member as described above, and then create a unique User Name and password. We also require billing and other specified information to that we need to activate your free trial or paid subscription.
At certain times, you may be asked to participate in surveys, which are generally aimed at obtaining general information, such as your reactions to a particular article or feature set on our site. Because information obtained in these surveys is connected with individual subscribers and is used internally to better market our services, participation is voluntary. In addition, some columnists will on occasion take polls of their readers. Such polls are for the editorial use of the individual columnists, and participation is voluntary. We do not assure privacy of information voluntarily provided in response to a survey or poll.
Contests and Sweepstakes
We sometimes offer contests or sweepstakes in which certain personal information is required for registration, for purposes of verifying the entrants’ identities and notifying the winners. If the contest or sweepstakes is being administered by a third party, this information will be disclosed to that third party. However, entrants may select contest names distinct from their User Names, and the information is not connected with their User Names.
Tracking data consists of both individual and aggregated tracking information and is automatically gathered using “cookies.” A cookie is a small data file containing information, such as a user’s login name, that is written to the user’s hard drive by a web server and used to track the pages visited.
Tracking by our contractors and agents
Tracking by our Advertisers
Our advertisers may include a wide variety of companies, such as financial services companies (e.g., brokerage firms, banks, and mortgage companies), computer manufacturers, software companies, automobile makers, toy manufacturers, and retail stores. Our advertisers and advertising vendors display targeted advertisements. Although we do not provide any personal information to the advertiser or advertising vendor, by interacting with or clicking on an ad you consent to the possibility that the advertiser will assume you meet the criteria used to target the add.In addition to cookies placed by us or our agents, as described above, advertisers and advertising vendors that serve ads onto our web sites may use their own cookies or other tracking technologies. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of any such advertisers and vendors.
Use of the Information
We use personal information to enhance users’ experiences on our sites.
Free Newsletters (when available)
If you’re a registered member, we use your email address to send you free email newsletters containing selected editorial, educational content, advertisements and links to our sites. You can select which free newsletters you would like to receive or remove yourself from our free newsletter delivery list at any time by visiting your Member Profile page.
Premium Services (when available)
If you’re a subscriber, we use your email address, postal address or fax number, as applicable, to deliver our premium products and services. You can view your account information at any time by visiting your Member profile page.
Special Offers and Advertisements
We may from time to time send you special offers and advertisements for products or services offered by third parties. We will not disclose any of your personal information to such third parties when we do this. If you do not wish to receive third party offers and advertisements, please change your settings on your Member Profile page.
Disclosures of Information
Correcting and Updating Information
We offer members the ability to correct or update online certain information we collected during registration by visiting the Member Profile page.
We limit access to personal information about you to those employees whom we determine need access to that information to provide products or services to you. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with industry standards to guard your personal information. However, no security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our servers, nor can we guarantee that information that users supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted to us over the Internet.
Your Independent Relationship With Other Companies
Effective: 28 July 2008.