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This statement discloses the privacy practices of Earth Networks, Inc. and its WeatherBug properties ("WeatherBug"). These include the website http://www.weatherbug.com, and the WeatherBug desktop and mobile applications (collectively, "the Services").
- What is our Privacy Philosophy?
The Internet continues to evolve and change the way all of us communicate and interact with each other. While the Internet allows each of us access to more information and services than ever before, these new online activities raise new challenges, such as the privacy issues addressed in this policy. WeatherBug is committed to working with public policy organizations, industry groups, and government institutions to understand and address these challenges as they arise. Most importantly, we believe that having a relationship with our customers that is founded on trust is good business. Any feedback you would like to provide to help us better meet your expectations in this area is welcomed.
- What information is collected and how is it used?
WeatherBug wants to make your experiences with us satisfying and safe. Our data collection policies allow you to choose how much personal information to provide to us, and to control how we use that information. Our goal is to provide you with a satisfying experience while allowing you to control your privacy. WeatherBug collects and uses information primarily to make it easier and more rewarding for you to use our services. If you choose to register with us, you may be asked at various times to provide information such as your name, email address, and/or information about what you like and do not like. We request this information to provide our strongest value to you - a personalized experience. Customers who personalize our service come back more often - and it's the customers that visit us often who make us successful - so we do everything we can to make WeatherBug your service and to give you just the content you want.
Information collected online is often defined as being either personally identifiable or anonymous:
Personally Identifiable Information refers to information that identifies specifically who you are, such as your name, e-mail address, or mailing address. We may also ask you for demographic information such as ZIP Code, gender and year of birth. In many cases we need this information to provide the personalized or enhanced service that you have requested. We hope that, like many of our customers, you will find it beneficial to judiciously provide Information to WeatherBug so that we may provide more valuable free content and products to you.
The amount of Personally Identifiable Information that you choose to disclose to WeatherBug is completely up to you. The only way we know something about you personally is if you register for a personalized service or promotion. In other words, we will know Personally Identifiable Information about you only if you choose to share this type of information with us.
Use of Information From Third Parties: Earth Networks/WeatherBug may use consumer information obtained from third party providers for a variety of purposes, including improving the accuracy of our customer database, to increase our understanding of our customer database, to increase our understanding of our customers, to identify potential new customers and to better tailor our advertising to our customers.
Third-Party Optimization Providers and Cookie Opt-Out: We currently contract with several online partners to help manage and optimize the Services. We use these services to help us measure how visitors use our Services. To do this, we use Web beacons and cookies provided by our online partners on the Services. The type of information we collect includes information provided by the customer, IP addresses, cookie information (and other information that tracks browsing history). By supplementing our records, this information helps us learn things like what pages are most attractive to our visitors, which of our products most interest our customers, and what kinds of offers our customers like to see. Although our online partner logs the information coming from our Services on our behalf, we control how that data may and may not be used.
Location Information. In certain instances in our Services, you will be able to input specific location information in order for us to bring up the weather for that location. For that Service, we will ask you to input specific location such as address, city and state or zip code. When you use a location-enabled WeatherBug service, such as one of our mobile applications, we may collect and process information about your actual location, like GPS signals sent by a mobile device. We may also use various technologies to determine your approximate location, such as sensor data from your device that may, for example, provide information on nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers. To offer you certain Services, provide advertisements based on your physical geographic location, and engage in the other uses described below, on some devices we provide you the option to opt-in to allow us to use your physical geographic location using GPS, cellular network location based services on your device, or browser services. You may at any time opt-out from these geo-location services by going to the Preferences section of your WeatherBug application or the Settings section of your device.
Content Submissions. If you upload, rate or share videos or photos, you have to be registered and logged into this feature, and you will be required to provide us with a user name and email address. If you provide us with content, including, without limitation, submissions and user comments, any metadata, including, without limitation, geo-location and tags, in that content may become publicly available.
How Else Does WeatherBug Use Information That It Collects from the Services? As well as using information about you for the specific purposes set out above, we may also use information about visitors to the Services to monitor consumer interest in our range of products and services, to troubleshoot problems that may arise on our Services, to protect against fraud or other criminal activity on our Services and other websites, to customize your user experience on the Services, to notify you of product or service offerings that we think may be of interest to you, to inform you about special promotions, and to assist us in tailoring our product lines, our services, and the content of the Services to our online visitors' needs by collecting information about their preferences through tracking patterns of page-viewing on the Services. To assist in this, at certain times, we create a profile relating to you in order to show you the content that we think you might be interested in and to display the content according to your preferences. We may also share data we collect about you, your devices and other visitors to the Services in an anonymous or aggregated form with our business partners and others.
We may also share your personal information to companies that provide services to help us with our business activities such as shipping your order or offering customer service. These service providers are authorized to use your personal information only as necessary to provide these services to us.
Your Rights You can correct factual errors in your Personal Information by sending us a request that credibly shows any error. If you wish to access, update,correct or delete your Personal Information that we collect online, please contact us by mail at the address shown in the How to Contact section below. To protect your privacy and security, we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.
Opt Out: From time to time, WeatherBug may notify you by email of special promotions, changes to our Services, new product lines or products or service offerings that we think may be of special interest to you. If you decide you no longer want to receive emails notifying you of this information, click here to unsubscribe or follow the instructions in each promotional message.
We will never knowingly request Personally Identifiable Information from anyone under the age of 13.
- Why is the information collected?
Our services have been designed to enable WeatherBug to provide hyper-local, personally relevant weather related content to those customers who wish to receive it. The majority of the services that are provided for free through WeatherBug are supported by advertising revenues. Our ability to provide enhanced services and content to our customers is dependent on our ability to provide venues for our advertising partners that reach specific demographic segments of our customer base. Generally, advertisers have little interest in reaching a specific customer of our services - and as a matter of policy we provide no mechanism for an advertiser to reach you individually or any other specific customer. Instead, our advertising partners have the need to reach customers who share common demographic or behavioral characteristics such as a specific gender or age range. For instance, certain products, such as sporting goods, may be purchased more often by men then by women, and therefore when advertising those types of products, the advertiser would prefer to target their messages just to men. The better job WeatherBug does in providing a mechanism for advertisers to reach specific sub-segments of our users, the more revenue we can generate from advertising and that, ultimately, is what allows you to get the free content that is available from WeatherBug.
Most importantly, at no time is your Personally Identifiable Information used to determine what advertising you receive nor do we use it to determine what type of advertising any other customer of WeatherBug will receive.
Below is a description of the uses of the information that we collect and how our visitors and advertisers benefit from these actions:
We provide personalized content in the form of weather conditions, forecasts, storm warnings, camera images, and related relevant content to our users. We pay attention to what our customers do and do not use on our service and modify our content appropriately. We match the patterns of usage that our consumers exhibit on any website where we serve advertising to create anonymous profiles about our customers. The creation of an anonymous profile allows WeatherBug to statistically model the demographic characteristics of a customer, without ever knowing that customer's name or any other Personally Identifiable Information about them. These anonymous profiles are used to target advertising to those customers, both on the WeatherBug domain and any of the other Internet domains where we serve advertising.
The power and popularity of smartphones has enabled us to take our hyper-local weather information and present it customers on the move. These types of services are typically known as "location based services", and they require and are enabled by the collection of specific location data from the device itself. The location data is collected anonymously, in a way that does not identify you. We use this data to send precise, location-specific weather information to our customers who activate this feature. We also share anonymous location data with advertisers to enable more relevant advertising to be served to the applications.
- What choices are available to you regarding collection, use, and distribution of the information?
If you choose to upload photograph(s), participate in blogs, chat rooms or other forums, on the WeatherBug community section, we will collect the Personally Identifiable Information that you wish to share with us. This may include: name, location where the photo was taken and ZIP Code where the photo was taken. If you have participated in the WeatherBug Community and wish to have a photo removed, please send your request to email@example.com.
Information provided within the community section of the site that is Personally Identifiable Information can be read, collected, or used by other users of these forums, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. We are not responsible for the Personally Identifiable Information you choose to submit in these forums.
WeatherBug does offer you the ability to control the email communications we make to you. It is our intention to give you as much control over our relationship as possible. First, as mentioned earlier, the consumer always has the final word on whether WeatherBug - or any Internet company - knows who you are. It is your choice to share Personally Identifiable Information with WeatherBug, and we encourage you to consider only sharing information with any site on the Internet in which you feel you receive true value in exchange for that information and if you respect the privacy practices of the firm.
WeatherBug will always give you a chance to unsubscribe to any email communication from us - clear directions for doing so will appear in any email message we send to you. At times, WeatherBug may enter into co-branding arrangements with other companies, and if so, an opt-in question may be present for contact from these firms as well. Their opt-out features are specific to each organization, but you should never receive email from these organizations unless you have indicated that it is acceptable. All email from WeatherBug, or from co-brand partners who gain your permission to send you commercial email, will include an opportunity to opt out of future communications.
We may post customer testimonials on our website from time to time, which may contain personally identifiable information such as the customer's name. We do obtain the customer's consent prior to posting the testimonial to post their name along with their testimonial.
WeatherBug does reserve the right to send a one-time registration confirmation email, and infrequent Service Alert messages to its customers to inform them of specific changes that may impact their ability to use a service they have previously signed up for, regardless of email contact opt-in status. We may also periodically contact you regarding new or upgraded services or product offerings. We also reserve the right to contact you if compelled to do so as part of a legal proceeding or if there has been a violation of our Terms of Service. WeatherBug is retaining these rights because in limited cases we feel that we may need the right to contact you as a matter of law or regarding matters that will be important to you.
If your personally identifiable information changes you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the necessary changes.
If you no longer desire our service, or wish to delete/deactivate our service please do the following: (1) uninstall the application and (2) send an email to email@example.com requesting full removal from all WeatherBug databases.
We will retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services. We will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.
- What kind of security procedures are in place to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information under the company's control?
WeatherBug 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, and only authorized individuals have access to the information provided by our customers. Secure Socket Layer or SSL encryption is used as appropriate. No method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure, however. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. If you have any questions about security on our Web site, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time, so please review it frequently. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here, by email, or by means of a notice on our home page prior to the change becoming effective.
Updated July 15, 2014
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