Read this thing. Seriously, you should.
We’ve created this policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to both our guiding principles and to protecting your privacy and personal information. (And because left with nothing better to do, our staff will just toss things at each other until somebody goes to the hospital.) We urge you to read this in its entirety because, frankly, we had to. And, it’s useful to understand how the site operates.
What are we talking about?
When you visit our web site some information about your computer, such as its location, your web browser and operating system, is automatically transmitted to our servers where it is stored. None of this information is personally identifiable. We will only use this information for operational purposes related to the web site and the improvement of our services. And, frankly, gentle reader, Google and your iPhone already know everywhere you’ve been since you were conceived.
At present, we do not collect financial information such as credit card numbers, because as a non-profit we have nothing to sell. However, in the future we may come up with some cool t-shirts and hats.
Protecting your Privacy because we love you
We use reasonable security practices to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of data used by our system, and we host our web site and other services with qualified, reputable service providers. Also, we’re thinking of getting a big dog to hang out near the servers, but then we’d have to feed him. Maybe a Rover-bot.
Sharing of Account Information? Not us.
We will never share or sell your personal account information with anyone without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law (we’re just trying to get a little civic engagement going, officer). Information submitted to us, other than that which is publicly available on our web site, is only available to our employees for the purpose of managing our services. In such cases it is only available as-needed and will only be used for that purpose.
No information from children under age 13. Please.
If you are under age 13, please do not subscribe to the Civic Commons website or provide any personal information about yourself to our site. (You’re supposed to be glued to your Xbox, not making the world a better place!) In cases where we discover that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will promptly delete that information. If you believe that we may have any information from a child under age 13, please contact us.
Content gets shared.That’s just how we roll.
Because citizens use the Civic Commons to share content with others, citizen uploaded content including text, photos, videos, audio files and other digital data is public and may therefore be linked with user names or other meta-data in search engine search. If you do not want us to store metadata associated with content you share on the Civic Commons (such as photos), please remove the metadata before uploading the content.
Monitoring User Activity for the Good of Humanity
To help our users engage on the topics of interest to them, we monitor some user activities to trigger our data-generated components. For example, once a user contributes to a conversation or opts to “follow” that conversation, that user will receive a daily digest summarizing further comments or contributions to that conversation. Generally, we keep track of what people are doing so we can figure out how to make the site work better for more people. So it’s not so much tracking you in a creepy Big Brother kind of way; think of it more as us observing so we can make the improvements that will help everybody, like attentive service at your favorite restaurant.
We Got Your Numbers
When you access The Civic Commons from a computer, mobile phone, or other device, we may collect information from that device about your browser type, location, and IP address, as well as the pages you visit. As noted above, that information is automatically transmitted to our servers where it is stored. None of this information is personally identifiable. We will only use this information for operational purposes related to the web site and the improvement of our services.
Me Love Cookies
We use “cookies” (small pieces of data we store for an extended period of time on your computer, mobile phone, or other device) to make The Civic Commons easier to use and to protect users and The Civic Commons. For instance, cookies are used to store your login ID (but not your password) to simplify login when you return to our site. We also use them to understand how you are interacting with the Civic Commons site, in order to improve your experience. You can remove or block cookies using the settings in your browser, but in some cases that may reduce your ability to make full use of the Civic Commons site.
When You Join The Civic Commons
When you join the Civic Commons, we will add your email address to our general mailing list to send you updates, bulletins and other information related to our activities and events in your community. We also may use your personal information to contact you about relevant activities and events in your community. If you do not want us to keep this information, we will remove it at your request.
Third Party Providers
We may provide information to service providers that help us bring you the services we offer. For example, we may use third parties to help host our website, send out email updates about the Civic Commons, or provide search results or links. These service providers may have access to your personal information for use for a limited time, but when this occurs we implement reasonable contractual and technical protections to limit their use of that information to helping us provide the service.
Risks Inherent in Sharing Information (we are well-intended but mortal)
Although we take all reasonable precautions to protect your data, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. We cannot control the actions of other users with whom you share your information. We cannot guarantee that only authorized persons will view your information. We cannot ensure that information you share on the Civic Commons will not become publicly available. We are not responsible for third party circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures on the Civic Commons. You can minimize this inherent risk by using common sense security practices such as selecting a strong password, using different passwords for different services, and using up-to-date antivirus software.