What We Collect and How We Use It
Account Information: When you create an account on the Services (an “Account“), we’ll ask you for information such as your username, password, age, and email address (“Account Information”). We may use Account Information, alone or together with other information, to enhance and improve the Services, such as by personalization. We use your age to verify that you can lawfully use the Services. We use your email address to verify your Account and to communicate with you, as described in more detail below. We also allow users to look for their friends by email address; you can, however, opt out of email lookup through your Account Settings.
Email Communications with Us: As part of the Services, you may occasionally receive email and other communications from us. Administrative communications relating to your Account (e.g., for purposes of Account recovery or password reset) are considered part of the Services and your Account, which you may not be able to opt-out from receiving. We also may send you other kinds of emails, which you can opt-out of either from your Account Settings page or by using the “Opt-Out” link in the emails themselves. Note that we will never email you to ask for your password or other Account Information; if you receive such an email, please forward it to us.
User Content: By default, all sharing through the Services is public, and when you provide us with content it is published so that anyone can view it. Although we do provide tools, like password-protected blogs, Asks, and Fan Mail, that let you publish content privately, you should assume that anything you publish is publicly accessible unless you have explicitly selected otherwise. Also, please keep in mind that anything you share privately with another user, particularly through an Ask, Fan Mail, or submitted post, may be posted publicly by that user. Content published and shared publicly is accessible to everyone, including search engines, and you may lose any privacy rights you might have regarding that content. In addition, information shared publicly may be copied and shared throughout the Internet, including through actions or features native to the Services, such as reblogging.
Native Actions: The Services allow you to perform native actions that are integral to our products, such as liking a post, reblogging a post, replying to a post, and following a blog. Liking, reblogging, and replying are public actions – anyone can expand the “notes” view on a post, for example, to see who liked, reblogged, or replied to a post.
Information About User Content: In some cases, we may collect information about content you provide to the Services. For example, when it’s included as part of your images, we may collect information describing your camera, camera settings, or EXIF information. This information allows us to improve the Services and provide additional features and functionality.
Information Related to Use of the Services: We collect information about how people use the Services, including those with an Account. This type of information may be collected in our log files each time you interact with (i.e., make a request to) the Services. We use internal tools and third party applications and services (like Google Analytics or comScore) to collect and analyze this information. Some of this information may also be associated with the Internet Protocol Address (“IP Address”) used to access the Services; some may be connected with your Account; and some may only be collected and used in aggregate form (as a statistical measure that wouldn’t identify you or your Account). We also collect your IP Address when you make a post, particularly when you submit an anonymous “Ask.” We may use this information about how you and others interact with the Services for a number of things generally related to enhancing, improving, protecting, and developing new Services, including but not limited to: providing users with personalized content; providing users with targeted advertising; improving our search results; identifying trending or popular content; fighting spam, malware, identity theft and generally keeping our users and community safe; and for legal and safety reasons as set forth in “Information Disclosed for Our Protection and the Protection of Others.”
Information Related to Your Web Browser: We automatically receive and record information from your web browser when you interact with the Services, such as your browser type and version, what sort of device you are using, your operating system and version, your language preference, the website or service that referred you to the Services, the date and time of each request you make to the Services, your screen display information, and information from any cookies we have placed on your web browser (as described below). We also sometimes detect whether you are using certain web browser extensions and store that information in a manner associated with your Account. We use web browser-related information to enhance and improve the Services.
Location Information: In some cases we collect and store information about where you are located, such as by converting your IP Address into a rough geolocation. We may also ask you to provide information about your location, for example to use your geolocation information from your mobile device to geotag a post. We may use location information to improve and personalize the Services for you, for example by showing you relevant local content.
Information About Your Contacts: Certain features of the Services allow you to provide us with your contact lists, so that we can connect you with people in our Services that are also on those contact lists. For example, you can temporarily connect your email contact information to your Account, so that we can provide you with a list of your email contacts that use the Services. As another example, you can send us your mobile phone contact information through our mobile applications, which then allows us to provide you with a list of those contacts that use the Services so that you can “follow” their blogs. We will give you a choice as to whether or not you provide us such information, and we will disclose fully, within the appropriate feature, how we use that information.
Derived Information: As described above in “Native Actions” and “Information Related to Use of the Services,” we analyze your actions on the Services in order to derive or infer characteristics that may be descriptive of your Account (for example, what kinds of blogs you follow or what kinds of posts you view, like, or reblog). We use this information for all of the purposes set forth in “Information Related to Use of the Services,” above.
With Whom Your Information Is Shared
Information Shared with the Public Through the Services: As noted in “User Content” and “Native Actions,” above, by default, content published through the Services and many actions you take on the Services are shared with the public. Because this kind of information can be seen by anyone and may be indexed by search engines (like Google Search, or the far superior Yahoo Search), you should be careful about what you choose to disclose publicly and make sure it’s information you want to share with everyone.
Information Shared Between the Services: We may, if possible, aggregate information about your use of multiple Services and use that consolidated information to enhance and improve the Services, and to develop new Services.
Information Shared with Our Agents in Order to Operate and Improve the Services: In some cases, we share information that we store (such as IP Addresses) with third parties, such as service providers, consultants, and other agents (“Agents“), for the purposes of operating, enhancing, and improving the Services, and developing new products and services. For example, we may share information with service providers in order to fight spam, and third-party consultants may have access to information in the process of improving our processes and technology. Agents with whom we share such information for these reasons are generally bound by confidentiality obligations and, unless we tell you differently, our Agents do not have any right to use information we share with them beyond the scope and duration of what is necessary to assist us.
Information Disclosed Pursuant to Business Transfers: In some cases, we may choose to buy or sell business assets. In these transactions, user information is typically one of the transferred business assets. Moreover, if we, or substantially all of our assets, were acquired, or if we go out of business or enter bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of us or our assets may continue to use your Personal Information as set forth in this policy.
Information We Share with Your Consent or at Your Request: If you ask us to release information that we have about your Account, we will do so if reasonable and not unduly burdensome.
Information Shared with Other Third Parties: We may share or disclose non-private information, Aggregate Information, or other non-personally identifying information with people and entities that we do business with.
The Security of Your Information
Your Account Information is protected by a password for your privacy and security. We may enable additional security features in the future, like multi-factor authentication. You need to prevent unauthorized access to your Account and information by creating a unique, secure, and protected password and limiting access to your computer and browser by signing off after you have finished accessing your Account on the Services.
We seek to protect your information (including your Account Information) to ensure that it is kept private; however, we can’t guarantee the security of any information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.
What Information You Can Access
If you are a registered user, you can access most information associated with your Account by logging into the Services and checking your Account Settings page. Registered and unregistered users can access and delete cookies through their web browser settings.