Types of Information
We collect two types of information through our Site. " PII" means "personally identifiable information," which is information that identifies you personally, either alone or in combination with other information available to us (including without limitation your name, address, email address, telephone number, age, background, or other personal information). "Non-PII" means "non-personally identifiable information" or information which alone does not identify you (however, in some circumstances Non-PII may be combined with PII in order to identify a specific individual).
Information Examiner.com Gathers and Tracks
In order to access or use certain services and capabilities on our Site or to participate in certain programs, you may be required to voluntarily submit certain PII through our Site. The use of these services or capabilities or participation in these programs is purely optional, so you are not required to submit any PII to Examiner.com if you do not wish to do so. For example, you may wish to provide PII to Examiner.com in connection with applying to become an Examiner on our Site (or providing further information once you are an Examiner, such as information in an Examiner's "bio"); creating a profile on our Site; applying to become an advertiser or sponsor on our Site; sharing content from our Site; participation in online forums, commenting features, communities, surveys, contests, sweepstakes, referral programs or other promotions; registration on our Site for any other reason; or submitting feedback to us. This information may include your name, address, email address, and other information you voluntarily provide to us, as well as information we may track regarding the articles you have viewed on our Site.
We also collect Non-PII through our Site. The Non-PII collected does not by itself identify you personally. However, if you have registered on the Site, it may be possible for us to link certain Non-PII to information that identifies you personally. Non-PII collected by Examiner.com includes: information sent to us automatically by your web browser such as your IP address, the address of the web page you were visiting when you accessed our Site, information on your operating system (e.g., Microsoft Windows or Mac OS), the browser you are using (e.g., Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari); the date and time of your visit; user traffic patterns and content accessed throughout our Site; and search terms you may enter in our Search function. This information allows us to better tailor our content to readers' needs and to help our advertisers and sponsors better understand our audience.
We track additional information regarding certain actions by Examiners on or through our Site, such as usage of various environments and tools offered to Examiners, participation in our educational offerings for Examiners, participation in loyalty programs offered to Examiners, posting of content on our Site, and other actions on our Site. Certain third party service providers also track Non-PII of users who visit our Site. This is described further below.
How Information is Gathered
Third Party Advertising; Targeting of Ads and Content
The Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”), a cooperative group of ad serving providers that has developed a set of privacy principles to which its members adhere, provides a website offering more information about behavioral advertising practices and your choices about not having certain Non-PII used by certain companies in order to target advertisements to you, as well as information about NAI and third party ad servers in general. You may visit the NAI site at www.networkadvertising.org/optout_nonppii.asp.
Use of Information
Examiner.com or our third party service providers may use PII or Non-PII collected on our Site:
- To enhance or personalize your experience using our Site;
- To inform you of offers or new features that we believe may be of interest to you;
- To provide information or services you have requested;
- To process or maintain your registration on the Site;
- To process orders and facilitate advertisements or sponsorships on our Site;
- In connection with various programs, promotions or contests in which you participate;
- For targeting of advertising or content, or other advertising or marketing purposes;
- To study the use and popularity of various areas of our Site and to improve our Site;
- To analyze where we are getting our audience (by reviewing IP addresses);
- For other purposes related to the business of Examiner.com;
Examiner.com creates aggregate reports on user demographics and traffic patterns for advertisers, sponsors and partners. This allows our advertisers to advertise more effectively, and allows our users to receive advertisements that are pertinent to their interests. We will not intentionally collect (nor intentionally provide to an advertiser or sponsor) information that a personally-identified user clicked on any particular ad. However, by clicking on, otherwise interacting with or viewing an ad, you are consenting to the possibility that the advertiser will make the assumption that you meet the targeting criteria used to display the ad, and this may lead to similar ads being targeted to you on our Site and potentially on other Sites.
Sharing of Information
We may share your PII with: (i) our current or future affiliates, subsidiaries, parent company, or other related entities ("Examiner.com Entities"); (ii) companies and organizations that perform services on our behalf (such as data storage, web hosting, Examiner application processing, or other services); and (iii) carefully selected third parties for purposes relating to content creation or distribution deals, selected Examiner.com or third party promotions we believe would be of interest to you, reward programs (such as the "Examiner Perks" program offered to current Examiners), marketing activities, ad targeting as described above, or other purposes relevant to the business of Examiner.com. PII submitted by purchasers of advertisements on our Site may be shared with companies processing such orders, and companies otherwise enabling such advertisements on behalf of Examiner.com.
An Examiner’s participation in the Examiner referral program represents the referring Examiner’s consent to the disclosure of that Examiner’s name to any person he or she refers who inquires as to the source of the referral.
We may share analyses of our server logs, including details regarding Site usage and general information about our audience, with current or potential advertisers or business partners. Such disclosures will refer only to general, aggregate usage data from these analyses - never specific identifying information.
User Profiles; Examiner Bios; Comments; and Other PII Posted by You
If you choose to participate as an Examiner on our Site you choose to register and create a profile as a user of our Site, or you choose to post comments on our Site, please be aware that your profile, your Examiner bio (if applicable) and any information you post on our Site (within your profile, comments, or otherwise), including without limitation your name, photo, and any PII you provide in your public profile, as well as certain information regarding your actions on our Site (such as your favorite Examiners or subscriptions to Examiners), will automatically be visible to the general public, and will potentially remain on the Site indefinitely. Without limitation, this means that if you are an Examiner, your name, photo, and bio information you submit in connection with the articles you post on our Site, will remain on our Site even following termination of your status as an Examiner.
To the extent you have posted PII in your public user profile, in articles or comments on the Site, or otherwise in a publicly displayed manner on our Site, that information is available to the general public and can be used in connection with distribution and promotion of such content to third parties, for news reporting related to the article or comment in which the PII is located on our Site, or for other similar purposes, due to the fact that the information became public when you posted it on our Site. If you choose to make your comments available to view on third party websites, such comments are subject to those third parties’ websites’ policies, and responses to such comments made on those third parties’ websites’ may also appear on our Site.
Third Party Websites
Third party websites, including our partners, advertisers, affiliates and other content providers featured on our Site or accessible through links on our Site, may have their own privacy and data collection policies and practices. You may encounter these third party sites through links in Examiners’ articles, third party content widgets or excerpts on our Site, advertisements, features, contests, sweepstakes or other promotions featured or accessible via links from our Site. We do not have any control over these third parties’ use of the information you may provide to them. Examiner.com is not responsible for the actions or policies of such third parties and is not liable to you for any claims that may arise from your interaction with those third parties or their sites. You should exercise caution and check the applicable privacy policies of those third parties when providing PII or another party’s information on a feature or page operated by a third party.
International Users – Transfer of Information
Consistent with the Federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), we will never knowingly request PII from anyone under the age of 13 without requesting parental consent. The Site is not directed at nor targeted to children under the age of 13 and we do not use the Site to knowingly solicit PII from or market to children under the age of 13. If you are under the age of 13, do not provide us with any PII. If we learn that someone under 13 has provided PII to the Site, we will use reasonable efforts to remove such information from our databases.
How We Protect Information
Examiner.com operates secure data networks protected by industry standard firewall and password protection systems. Our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary. Only authorized individuals have access to the PII provided by our Site’s users.
Accessing and Modifying Personal Information
We respect your right to make choices about the ways we collect, use and disclose your PII. If you have registered on our Site in any manner (including as an Examiner), you may update or modify your information or change your preferences at any time by logging in to the applicable section of our Site using your user name and password, and updating your user profile. If you have not registered on our Site or you are having trouble updating your profile and you wish to review or modify PII we may have collected about you, please email us at [email protected].