B. What Information is Collected on this Web Site?
1. User-Provided Information
We collect two types of personally identifying information from users: personal data (such as names and contact details) and aggregated data (such as information about traffic patterns on the Web Site, for example, how many users log onto the Web Site on a daily basis). We collect personal information from users of our Web Site, for example, through such users’ activities, transactions and completion of online forms on our Web Site. Such information is collected, for example, when users register or subscribe for accounts or features on our Web Site, make online purchases, enter sweepstakes and contests, complete surveys, contribute to a chat room, bulletin board, list serve, blog, wiki or other open forum that we may make available on or through our Web Site, submit a comment or question to us using a "contact us" or similar feature on our Web Site, send us an e-mail, or in any other way submit personal information to us via our Web Site.
2. Web Site Usage Information
We may use "cookies" to keep, and sometimes track, information about you. Cookies are small data files that are sent to your browser or related software from a Web server when you visit it and are stored on your computer's hard drive for record keeping purposes. Cookies track where you travel on our Web Site and what you look at and purchase. They may store the information in your shopping cart, and/or your username and password. A cookie may enable us to relate your use of our Web Site to other information about you, including your Personal Information. These purposes serve to improve and personalize your experience on our Web Site.
You may occasionally get cookies from our advertisers, which is standard in the internet industry. We do not control these cookies, and these cookies are not subject to our privacy policies.
Most Web browsers can be set to inform you when a cookie has been sent to you and provide you with the opportunity to refuse that cookie. Additionally, if you have a Flash player installed on your computer, your Flash player can be set to reject or delete Flash cookies. However, refusing a cookie may, in some cases, preclude you from using, or negatively impact the display or function of, the Web Site or certain areas or features of the Web Site.
(ii) Clear GIFs
We may use "clear GIFs" (aka "Web beacons" or "pixel tags") or similar technologies, in the Web Site and in our communications with you to enable us to know whether you have visited a web page or received a message. A clear GIF is typically a one-pixel, transparent image (although it can be a visible image as well), located on a web page or in an e-mail or other type of message, which is retrieved from a remote site on the internet enabling the verification of an individual’s viewing or receipt of a web page or message. A clear GIF may enable us to relate your viewing or receipt of a web page or message to other information about you, including your Personal Information.
(iii) IP Address and Clickstream Data
Any or all of these activities with regard to Web Site usage information may be performed on our behalf by our services providers.
C. How is the Personal Information Used?
We use both personal and aggregated information we collect for multiple purposes. The Personal Information may be used to improve the content of the Web Site, to customize the content and/or layout of the Web Site for each individual user, and to notify users about updates to the Web Site or promotional offers or opportunities that we believe will be of interest to you. We will use the Personal Information you provide to our Web Site, for example, to respond to your requests and to provide you with our product and service offerings. For example, we will process your orders, respond to your requests and inquiries and provide you with the services and features offered on or through our Web Site. We may also use your Personal Information to maintain our internal record keeping. We may also report information about your account to credit bureaus. Late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on your account may be reflected in your credit report. We may match information collected from you through different means or at different times, including both Personal Information and Web Site usage information, and use such information along with information obtained from other sources, including third parties. In addition, we may send you notices (for example, in the form of e-mails, mailings, and the like), and otherwise correspond with you, about products, services, companies and events, sponsored by us and others, that we think might interest you. You may opt-out of receiving such notices from us, at any time, by following the instructions in the Right to Opt-out section below.
We may analyze user behavior as a measure of interest in, and use of, our Web Site and e-mails, both on an individual basis and in the aggregate. We may also use information provided to us on an anonymous aggregated basis for purposes of analyzing traffic and usage patterns.
D. Do we Share Personal Information and Web Site Usage Information with Others?
(i) Public Forums
(ii) Third Party Offers
We may communicate with you on behalf of other entities not affiliated with The Chronicle that have goods, services and offers that we believe might be of interest to you. We will not share your individual Personal Information with these entities.
(iii) Co-sponsored Contests, Sweepstakes and Offerings
Some of our contests, sweepstakes and other offerings may be co-sponsored by another company. In those situations, the information we obtain from you in connection with such contest, sweepstakes or offering may be shared with our co-sponsor. In those situations, our co-sponsors will have the right to use your information for their own purposes, in accordance with their own policies. If you do not wish for the information we obtain from you to be shared with our co-sponsor, then do not enter such contest, sweepstake or other offering or otherwise provide to us any Personal Information in connection with such contest, sweepstake or other offering. We are not responsible for how our co-sponsors may use your information.
(iv) Service Providers
When you conduct e-commerce with one of the e-commerce affiliates or service providers to which the Web Site may be linked, certain personal information such as your e-mail and home address may be collected by the service provider’s server and made available to us. We do not, however, transfer credit card information you may provide to that service provider.
(v) Aggregate Statistics
We may disclose aggregate statistics regarding user behavior as a measure of interest in, and use of, our Web Site and e-mails to third parties in the form of aggregate data, such as overall patterns or demographic reports that do not describe or identify any individual user.
(vi) Legally Compelled Disclosures
We may disclose Personal Information to government authorities, and to other third parties when compelled to do so by government authorities, at our discretion, or otherwise as required or permitted by law, including but not limited to in response to court orders and subpoenas. We also may disclose Personal Information when we have reason to believe that someone has committed, or will commit, unlawful acts or acts that endanger the health or safety of another; is causing injury to, or interference with, our rights or property, other users of the Web Site, or anyone else that could be harmed by such activities. In some situations, we may share your Personal Information, on a confidential basis, with third parties who perform a particular service on our behalf, such as sending e-mails.
(vii) Business Transfer
In the event that The Chronicle, any affiliate of The Chronicle, or substantially all of its assets, are acquired by one or more third parties as a result of an acquisition, merger, sale, reorganization, consolidation or liquidation, Personal Information may be one of the transferred assets. For purposes of this policy, an "affiliate" of The The Chronicle is an entity that is under the control of, or under common control with, The Chronicle (and for these purposes, a company controlling twenty 20% percent or more of the voting stock of another entity shall be deemed to control such entity).
(viii) Third Party Ad Servers
We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our Web Site. If so, a list of these ad serving companies will be available here. These companies may use information (generally, not including your name, address, e-mail address or telephone number) about your visits to this Web Site and to other web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. These companies may employ cookies and clear GIFs to measure advertising effectiveness. Any information that these third parties collect via cookies and clear GIFs is generally not personally identifiable (unless, for example, you provide personally identifiable information to them through an ad or e-mail message). We encourage you to read these businesses' privacy policies if you should have any concerns about how they will care for your personal information. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, see the Network Advertising Initiative’s consumer web site at http://www.networkadvertising.org/consumer/.
E. Right to Opt-out
You have the right to "opt-out" of certain of our uses of your Personal Information. For example, at the time you are requested to provide Personal Information on this Web Site, you may have the opportunity to elect to, or not to receive periodic email products and opportunities from the Houston Chronicle on behalf of selected advertisers. You may also make this request by visiting your profile page at www.chron.com or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com and indicating that you opt not to receive any marketing correspondence from us or from affiliated and unaffiliated entities. In this e-mail, please indicate whether you would like to: (i) opt-out of receiving any correspondence from us or from entities affiliated with us or unaffiliated third parties for their marketing purposes; or (ii) opt-out of only selected products. You may also opt-out of The Chronicle’s promotional e-mails by clicking on an opt-out link within the e-mail you receive, or opt-out of The Chronicle’s SMS messages by texting STOP to chron (24766) Please understand that if you opt-out of receiving correspondence from us, we may still contact you in connection with your relationship, activities, transactions and communications with us.
Also, a request to have us stop sharing your Personal Information with other entities for marketing purposes will apply as of the date that is ten (10) business days after our receipt of your request, and we will not be responsible for any communications that you may receive from entities that received your Personal Information prior to such request. In these cases, please contact that entity directly.
No transmission of data over the Internet is guaranteed to be completely secure. It may be possible for third parties not under the control of The Chronicle to intercept or access transmissions or private communications unlawfully, including in the case of your contacting us by e-mail or a "contact us" or similar feature on our Web Site. Accordingly, though The Chronicle will take reasonable steps to protect the security and integrity of all Personal Information provided to this Web Site, due to the inherent nature of the internet as an open global communications vehicle, we cannot guarantee that information, during transmission through the internet or while stored on our system or otherwise in our care, will be absolutely safe from intrusion by others, such as hackers. Any such transmission is done at your own risk.
You may be able to create an account on our Web Site with a username and password. If so, you are responsible for maintaining the strict confidentiality of your account password, and you shall be responsible for any access to or use of the Web Site by you or any person or entity using your password, whether or not such access or use has been authorized by or on behalf of you, and whether or not such person or entity is your employee or agent. You agree to (a) immediately notify The Chronicle of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security, and (b) ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. It is your sole responsibility to control the dissemination and use of your password, control access to and use of your account, and notify The Chronicle when you desire to cancel your account on this Web Site. We will not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with this provision.
We will have no liability for disclosure of your information due to errors or unauthorized acts of third parties during or after transmission.
In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your Personal Information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development. If a notification is appropriate, we would endeavor to do so as promptly as possible under the circumstances, and, to the extent we have your e-mail address, we may notify you by e-mail or by other means as required by law. You consent to our use of e-mail as a means of such notification.
With identity theft a continuing problem, it has become increasingly common for unauthorized individuals to send e-mail messages to consumers, purporting to represent a legitimate company such as a bank or on-line merchant, requesting that the consumer provide personal, often sensitive information. Sometimes, the domain name of the e-mail address from which the e-mail appears to have been sent, and the domain name of the web site requesting such information, appears to be the domain name of a legitimate, trusted company. In reality, such sensitive information may be collected by an unauthorized individual to be used for purposes of identity theft. This illegal activity has come to be known as "phishing."
If you receive an e-mail or other correspondence requesting that you provide any sensitive information (including your Web Site password or credit card information) via e-mail or to a web site that does not seem to be affiliated with our Web Site, or that otherwise seems suspicious to you, please do not provide such information, and report such request to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
H. Wireless Addresses
If the e-mail address you provide to us is a wireless e-mail address, you agree to receive messages at such address from The Chronicle or entities affiliated with The Chronicle (unless and until you have elected not to receive such messages by following the instructions in the Right to Opt-out section above). You understand that your wireless carrier's standard rates apply to these messages, and that you may change your mind at any time by following the instructions in the Right to Opt-Out section above. You represent that you are the owner or authorized user of the wireless device on which messages will be received, and that you are authorized to approve the applicable charges.
I. Short Message Service
We may make available a service through which you can receive messages on your wireless device via short message service ("SMS Service"). If you subscribe to one of our SMS Services, you thereby agree to receive SMS Service messages at the address you provide for such purposes. Such messages may come from The Chronicle, the rest of the affiliates of The Chronicle (unless and until you have elected not to receive such messages by following the instructions in the Right to Opt-out section above).
You acknowledge and agree that the SMS Service is provided via wireless systems which use radios (and other means) to transmit communications over complex networks. We do not guarantee that your use of the SMS Service will be private or secure, and we are not liable to you for any lack of privacy or security you may experience. You are fully responsible for taking precautions and providing security measures best suited for your situation and intended use of the SMS Service. We may also access the content of your account and wireless account with your carrier for the purpose of identifying and resolving technical problems and service-related complaints.
By signing up for the SMS Service, you consent to receive, from time to time, further messages which may include news, promotions and offers from us, our affiliates and partners, and, unless and until you have opted-out of these activities by following the instructions in the Right to Opt-out section above. Please follow the instructions provided to you by third parties to unsubscribe from their messages.
J. Third Party "Linked-To" Web Sites
(i) Consent to Processing
(ii) Your Access Rights
You may review the Personal Information that is stored in your user account on this Web Site by visiting the "Member Profile" or equivalent area of your account on this Web Site or by e-mailing email@example.com Upon your written request, we will send you a copy of the Personal Information we have on file in your user account (if any). You may send us new or updated information at any time. We will endeavor to respond to your request to access, update or delete your information as soon as reasonably practicable. Before we are able to provide you with any information, correct any inaccuracies or delete any information, however, we may ask you to verify your identity and to provide other details to help us to respond to your request.
(iv) Contact Us
If you have any questions or comments regarding our privacy practices, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effective Date: December 19, 2007