Updated June 26, 2013
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:
- Sign up to receive email newsletters. When we send newsletters to subscribers we may allow advertisers or partners to include messages in those newsletters, or we may send dedicated newsletters on behalf of those advertisers or partners. All newsletters will come directly from About, Inc.: when we do this, we do not share your email with the respective advertiser or partner. To unsubscribe from a particular newsletters, click the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of that email newsletter.
- Register. When you register to use forums or other Services, we ask you to provide certain information, which may include your email address, home address, birth year, gender, health conditions, credit card number and zip code, as well as a password for your account. We will not provide advertisers or partners to this personal information without your permission.
- Engage in public activities on the Services. We offer you opportunities to engage in public activities on the Services that are designed to be visible to other users and the public at large, including comments, forums, recommendations, reader reviews, ratings or any other items that you submit. Any information you disclose in your public activities, along with your screen name or ID, or any image or photo, becomes public and may be used by us for online and offline promotional or commercial uses in any and all media. Information you submit is not private or confidential, nor is it protected by attorney-client, doctor-patient, or any other privilege and (regardless of restrictions we impose in our User Agreement or other policies) it might be read, collected and used by others, including through third party search engines which may index the information you post. You therefore should be aware that any personally identifiable information you submit there might be read, collected, or used by other users of these areas, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages, mine your data, communicate with or market to you in other ways. We are not responsible for safeguarding the personally identifiable information you choose to submit in these forums and About.com has no responsibility to publish, take down, remove or edit any of your public activities or any of your submissions that are a result of your public activities. For more information, see the About.com User Agreement.
- Provide Us Your Credit Card and Billing Information. To enable payment for certain Services, we or a service or payment provider acting on our behalf may collect and store billing and credit card information. This information will only be shared with the third parties who we have hired to perform these tasks.
- Contests, Sweepstakes and Special Offers. We may sponsor contests, sweepstakes, or promote special offers on the Service or on third party sites. If you elect to participate, we may require personal information from you, including, in most cases, your first and last name and e-mail address. If this information is also being collected by a third party (other than our service providers), we will notify you at the time of collection. If you do not want any personal information shared, you may always decline to participate in the sweepstakes, contests, or special offers.
Information We Collect Using Technology
- Device Information. We may collect information about the browser, computer, mobile phone, smartphone or other device you use to access the Services to measure the effectiveness of those Services.
- Geolocation Data. For certain mobile applications we offer, we may (or may enable a third party, including an advertiser to) request your geolocation information in order to provide you with ads, offers, search or other functionality. If you agree to such collection, we (or the third party) will maintain information regarding your precise geolocation and may use it to help enable that functionality, or other functionality we describe to you in a privacy notice provided with the mobile application.
In addition, we may (or may enable a third party, such as an advertiser to) capture IP Address level geo-location information when you access our Websites, and may use that geo-location information to targets ads or offers to you. That geo-location information might, for instance, be converted into country, region, or Zip Code-level data, in order to serve more relevant local ads or content.
- 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, and may also use it to infer your location, as discussed in the above section titled "Geolocation Data." This may help us to provide you with more geographically relevant content, ads or offers.
- 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.
Cookies, Web Beacons, and Similar Technologies
Like many websites, and web and mobile service, we may use (or work with third party partners who use) a variety of technologies to learn more about how people interact with our Services. This section provides more information about some of those technologies and how they work.
- Cookies. Cookies are small text files that websites and other online services use to store information about users on the users' own computers. Cookies can be used to store sign-in credentials so that you don't have to enter them each time you return to a Web site, or to store other information to make web viewing more customized or efficient upon future visits. Cookies also may store a unique identifier tied to your computer so that web services and advertising networks can recognize you across visits to different websites. You can configure your Internet browser to warn you each time a cookie is being sent or to refuse all or certain cookies completely.
We (or our partners) may use or support cookies as follows:
- To collect information about your browsing activities in order to deliver customized or relevant services, advertising or content to you;
- To relate the information collected by cookies to information we obtain from you directly or from commercially available sources;
- To work with third parties that serve advertisements (through our Services or across the Internet) or provide other services to us, such as providing users the ability to comment on content, allowing users to share content, or tracking site usage statistics. We do not control these third party technologies and their use is governed by the privacy policies of the third parties using such technologies. For more information about third party ad networks and services that use these technologies, see www.aboutads.info, and to opt out of such ad networks' and services' collection and advertising practices, go to http://aboutads.info/choices.
- Other Local Storage. We (or our partners) may use other kinds of local storage, such as Local Shared Objects (also referred to as "Flash cookies") and HTML5 local storage, in connection with the Services. These technologies are similar to the cookies discussed above in that they are stored on your computer and can be used to store certain information about your activities and preferences. However, these objects are stored in different parts of your computer from ordinary browser cookies. Many Internet browsers allow you to disable HTML5 local storage or delete information contained in HTML5 local storage using browser controls. For information about disabling or deleting information contained in Local Shared Objects, please click here.
- Web Beacons. We (or our partners) may use technologies called Web beacons that communicate information from your Internet browser to a web server. Web beacons can be embedded in web pages, videos, or emails, and can allow a web server to read certain types of information from your browser, check whether you have viewed a particular web page or email message, and determine, among other things, the time and date on which you viewed the Web beacon, the IP address of your computer, and the URL of the web page from which the Web beacon was viewed. These web beacons may be used for a variety of purposes, including to analyze the use of the Services and in conjunction with cookies to provide content and ads that are more relevant to you.
How We Use the Information We Collect
Communication with Guides and other Contributors to the Services
Third parties may collect information about you through the Services, including through use of the technologies described above. We may 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 the above, we have implemented on our Services certain "Google Analytics" features that support Display Advertising, including re-targeting. Visitors to our websites may opt out of Google Analytics, customize the Google Display Network ads by using the Google Ad Preferences Manager and learn more about how Google serves ads by viewing its Customer Ads Help Center. If you do not wish to participate in Google Analytics, you may also download the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on.
Other Privacy Considerations
We may transfer your information to a third party if we or any of our affiliates are involved in a corporate restructuring (e.g., a sale, merger, or other transfer of assets).
Or you can contact us by mail at:
1500 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036