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About.com - Privacy Policy - Version 1

Privacy Policy from About.com. The live version of this document is available at http://www.about.com/gi/pages/mprivacy.htm. This document is a part of Docracy's Terms of Service Tracker project, which tracks changes to terms of service and privacy policy documents of many of the world's top websites.

Updated December 10, 2012

We take your privacy seriously. Please take a moment to read this privacy policy, which discloses the privacy practices of the About, Inc. ("About") websites, including About.com, AllExperts.com, Consumersearch.com, CalorieCount.com, and Netplaces.com, as well as our downloadable software applications for supported devices, including mobile devices (collectively, the "Services"). Specifically, the policy outlines the types of information that we gather about you while you are using the Services, and the ways in which we use and share this information.

Information You Give Us

To enable you to enjoy certain features of our Services, we collect certain types of information, including personally identifiable information. For example, we collect information when you:

Information We Collect Using Technology

  • Device Information. We may collect information about the computer, mobile telephone, smartphone or other device you use to access the Services to measure the effectiveness of those Services.
  • Cookies. We use cookies, pixel trackers, server logs, and any Internet technology in order to measure the effectiveness of the Services and any advertising campaigns, as well as to target meaningful content and ads to our users.
  • Analytics. We may use third parties to provide us information, reports and analysis about the usage and browsing patterns of users of the Services. These reports contain aggregated data only, and do not identify individual users. Please read here for more information about these third parties and the information they may be collecting.
  • IP Addresses. We log Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, or the location of your computer on the Internet, for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes. We use this information in an aggregate fashion to track access to our Web sites and mobile applications.
  • Log Files. We may also automatically log certain usage information about your use of the Services. This information includes a reading history of the pages you view.

How We Use the Information We Collect

Providing the Services You Request
We use the information we gather about you to enable your use of the Services, fulfill your requests for certain products and services, such as sending out electronic newsletters and enabling you to participate in and renew paid services, polls, contests, and message boards. We reserve the right to disclose your opt-out information to third parties so they can suppress your name from future solicitations, in accordance with applicable laws. We may occasionally release personal information as required by law, for example, to comply with a court order or subpoena.
Statistical Analysis
We use the information, including analytics and statistical information, to analyze the use of the Services so that we may improve them. We also use this information to generally inform advertisers about the nature of our user base.
Customizing Your Experience
We use the information that we collect to allow advertising to be targeted to the users for whom such advertising is most pertinent. We may also use this information to customize certain features of the Services to provide you with an enhanced experienced based on the type of device you are using to access the Services, and to provide you with requested services.
Service Providers
We contract with other companies to provide services on our behalf, including credit-card and billing processing, shipping, e-mail distribution, list processing and promotions management. We provide these companies only with the information they need to perform their services. These service providers are restricted from using this data in any way other than to provide services for us, and they may not share, resell or use the data for their own marketing purposes.
Our Parent Company
About, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAC and an operating company of Ask.com. We share information we collect with Ask.com to better understand our users (their demographics, what they do on our websites, what site features they like, how they use them, etc.) and to improve the content and answers delivered on the Services and on Ask.com's services.

Third parties may collect information about you via the Services. In certain cases, we do not have access to, nor control over, these third parties' data collection practices and we do not assume any liability related to their collection or use.

In addition to our own systems, we use DoubleClick, DoubleClick Mobile, Google, Google AdMob, nRelate (which is an affiliate of About, Inc.) and other third-party A company that provides the technology to display advertisements on web sites and allows publishers and advertisers monitor ad performance.">Ad Servers to serve and display Advertisements. They may use A small piece of text that is stored on your computer by the web browser. Cookies contain specific information about your activity on a website, such as your site preferences or the items in your online shopping cart. Cookies are neither spyware nor viruses, although sometimes they are detected by anti-spyware products because they can track your visits to various sites over time.">cookies, A tiny, usually invisible graphic that is embedded on a web page that allows web publishers to track simple performance data, such as how many users have visited a web page in a given time period.">pixel trackers, or other internet technology to collect non-personal information about your use of the Services. You have options and choices about the collection and use of information by third parties on our Websites:

In addition to Ad Servers, other third parties, including analytics services providers, may collect information about you directly through the Services. They may use A small piece of text that is stored on your computer by the web browser. Cookies contain specific information about your activity on a website, such as your site preferences or the items in your online shopping cart. Cookies are neither spyware nor viruses, although sometimes they are detected by anti-spyware products because they can track your visits to various sites over time.">cookies, A tiny, usually invisible graphic that is embedded on a web page that allows web publishers to track simple performance data, such as how many users have visited a web page in a given time period.">pixel trackers, or other internet technology to collect non-personal information about your use of the Services.

In many cases, the information collected by these third parties is used to show you ads on other Web sites based on your demonstrated interests, or in some cases, your location. Please refer to the third party privacy policies for further details.

Other Privacy Considerations

In the future, we may sell, buy, merge or partner with other companies or businesses. In such transactions, we may include your information among the transferred assets.

Your California Privacy Rights
Under the California "Shine The Light" law, California residents may opt-out of About's disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. We do not currently engage in this practice. However, if we ever revise our current policy and begin to share such, you may choose to opt-out of the sharing of your personal information with third parties for marketing purposes at any time by submitting a request in writing to us here or by e-mailing us at [email protected]. This opt-out does not prohibit disclosures made for non-marketing purposes.
Compliance With Legal Process
We may disclose personal information if we are required to do so by law or we have a good faith belief that such action is necessary to (1) comply with the law or with legal process; (2) protect and defend our rights and property; (3) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of the Services; or (4) protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public (among other things, this means that if you provide false information or attempt to pose as someone else, information about you may be disclosed as part of any investigation into your actions).

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or our privacy practices, please visit us at:

Or you can contact us by mail at:

Customer Care

About.com, Inc.

1500 Broadway, 6th Floor

New York, NY 10036

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