Effective Date: May 25, 2018
Thank you for trusting Switchboard with your asks, your offers, and your personal information. We take protecting your privacy seriously.
We collect your information only with your consent; we only collect the minimum amount of personal information that is necessary to fulfill the purpose of your interaction with us; we don’t sell it to third parties; and we only use it as this Privacy Statement describes.
If you’re just browsing the website, we collect the same basic information that most websites collect. We use common internet technologies, such as cookies and web server logs. This is stuff we collect from everybody, whether they have an account or not.
The information we collect about all visitors to our website includes the visitor’s browser type, language preference, referring site, additional websites requested, and the date and time of each visitor request. We also collect potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
If you create an account, we require some basic information at the time of account creation. You will create your own password, and we will ask you for a valid email address. You also have the option to give us more information if you want to, and this may include “User Personal Information.”
“User Personal Information” is any information about one of our users which could, alone or together with other information, personally identify him or her. Information such as your real name, password, an email address, and a photograph are examples of “User Personal Information.”
User Personal Information does not include aggregated, non-personally identifying information. We may use aggregated, non-personally identifying information to operate, improve, and optimize our website and service.
- We need your User Personal Information to create your account, and to provide the services you request.
- We use your User Personal Information, specifically your email address, to identify you on Switchboard.
- We use it to fill out your profile and share that profile with other users if you ask us to.
- We will use your email address to communicate with you, if you’ve said that’s okay, and only for the reasons you’ve said that’s okay. Please see our section on email communication for more information.
- We limit our use of your User Personal Information to the purposes listed in this Privacy Statement. If we need to use your User Personal Information for other purposes, we will ask your permission first. You can always see what information we have, how we’re using it, and what permissions you have given us in your user profile.
We do not intentionally collect sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers, genetic data, health information, or religious information. Although Switchboard does not request or intentionally collect any sensitive personal information, we realize that you might share this information on Switchboard, such as in an ask, offer, message or comment. If you store any sensitive personal information on our servers, you are consenting to our storage of that information on our servers, which are in the United States.
We do not intentionally collect information that is stored in your posts, comments, or messages. Information in your posts, comments, messages, and stories belongs to you, and you are responsible for it, as well as for making sure that your content complies with our Terms of Service. Switchboard employees do not access private messages unless required to for security or maintenance, or for support reasons, with your consent.
If your community’s Switchboard is public, anyone (including us) may view your posts, comments, and stories. If you have included private or sensitive information in your posts, comments, or stories, such as email addresses, that information may be indexed by search engines or used by third parties. These are also indexed in our search and may be searchable within your community’s Switchboard.
If you’re a child under the age of 13, you may not have an account on Switchboard. Switchboard does not knowingly collect information from or direct any of our content specifically to children under 13. If we learn or have reason to suspect that you are a user who is under the age of 13, we will unfortunately have to close your account. Please see our Terms of Service for information about account termination.
We do share User Personal Information with your permission, so we can perform services you have requested or communicate on your behalf. For example, you may opt-in to sharing your email address with your community’s stewards.
We do not share, sell, rent, or trade User Personal Information with third parties for their commercial purposes.
We do not host advertising on Switchboard.
We do not disclose User Personal Information outside Switchboard, except in the situations listed in this section or in the section below on Compelled Disclosure.
We do share aggregated, non-personally identifying information with third parties. For example, we share the number of hearts on a post, or in the event of a security incident, we may share the number of times a particular file was accessed.
We do share User Personal Information with a limited number of third party vendors who process it on our behalf to provide or improve our service, and who have agreed to privacy restrictions similar to our own Privacy Statement by signing data protection agreements. Our vendors perform services such as payment processing, customer support ticketing, network data transmission, and other similar services. If you would like to know who our third party vendors are, please see our page on Subprocessors.
We may share User Personal Information if we are involved in a merger, sale, or acquisition. If any such change of ownership happens, we will ensure that it is under terms that preserve the confidentiality of User Personal Information, and we will notify you on our website or by email before any transfer of your User Personal Information. The organization receiving any User Personal Information will have to honor any promises we have made in our Privacy Statement or in our Terms of Service.
If your commmunity is a publicly accessible Switchboard, your content is public-facing, and third parties may access and use it in compliance with our Terms of Service. We do not sell that content; it is yours.
A cookie is a small piece of text that our web server stores on your computer or mobile device, which your browser sends to us when you return to our site. Cookies do not necessarily identify you if you are merely visiting Switchboard; however, a cookie may store a unique identifier for each logged in user. The cookies Switchboard sets are essential for the operation of the website, or are used for performance or functionality. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your computer or device. If you disable your browser or device’s ability to accept cookies, you will not be able to log in or use Switchboard’s services.
We use Google Analytics as a third party tracking service, but we don’t use it to track you individually or collect your User Personal Information. We use Google Analytics to collect information about how our website performs and how our users, in general, navigate through and use Switchboard. This helps us evaluate our users’ use of Switchboard; compile statistical reports on activity; and improve our content and website performance.
Google Analytics gathers certain simple, non-personally identifying information over time, such as your IP address, browser type, internet service provider, referring and exit pages, time stamp, and similar data about your use of Switchboard. We do not link this information to any of your personal information such as your user name.
Switchboard will not, nor will we allow any third party to, use the Google Analytics tool to track our users individually; collect any User Personal Information other than IP address; or correlate your IP address with your identity. Google provides further information about its own privacy practices and offers a browser add-on to opt out of Google Analytics tracking.
Certain pages on our site may set other third party cookies. For example, we may embed content, such as videos, from another site that sets a cookie. While we try to minimize these third party cookies, we can’t always control what cookies this third party content sets.
We use the reCAPTCHA service provided by Google Inc. (Google) to protect your submissions via internet submission forms on this site. This plugin checks if you are a person in order to prevent certain website functions from being (ab)used by spam bots (particularly comments). This plugin query includes the sending of the IP address and possibly other data required by Google for the Google reCAPTCHA service. For this purpose your input will be communicated to and used by Google. However, your IP address is previously truncated by Google within member states of the European Union or in other states which are party to the agreement on the European Economic Area and is, as such, anonymized. Only in exceptional cases is a full IP address transmitted to a Google server in the United States and truncated there. On behalf of the operator of this website, Google will use this information to evaluate your use of this service. The IP address provided by reCaptcha from your browser shall not be merged with any other data from Google.
By using the reCAPTCHA service, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.
“Do Not Track” is a privacy preference you can set in your browser if you do not want online services to collect and share certain kinds of information about your online activity from third party tracking services. We do not track your online browsing activity on other online services over time and we do not permit third-party services to track your activity on our site beyond our basic Google Analytics tracking, which you may opt out of here. Because we do not share this kind of data with third party services or permit this kind of third party data collection on Switchboard for any of our users, and we do not track our users on third-party websites ourselves, we do not need to respond differently to an individual browser’s Do Not Track setting.
If you are interested in turning on your browser’s privacy and Do Not Track settings, the Do Not Track website has browser-specific instructions.
Please see our section on email communication to learn about our use of pixel tags in marketing emails.
Switchboard takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect User Personal Information from unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction; maintain data accuracy; and help ensure the appropriate use of User Personal Information. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it.
No method of transmission, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
Information that we collect will be stored and processed in the United States in accordance with this Privacy Statement. However, we understand that we have users from different countries and regions with different privacy expectations, and we try to meet those needs.
We provide the same standard of privacy protection to all our users around the world, regardless of their country of origin or location, and we are proud of the levels of notice, choice, accountability, security, data integrity, access, and recourse we provide.
- Switchboard provides clear methods of unambiguous, informed consent at the time of data collection, when we do collect your personal data.
- We collect only the minimum amount of personal data necessary, unless you choose to provide more. We encourage you to only give us the amount of data you are comfortable sharing.
- We offer you simple methods of accessing, correcting, or deleting the data we have collected.
- We provide our users notice, choice, accountability, security, and access, and we limit the purpose for processing. We also provide our users a method of recourse and enforcement.
If you have concerns about the way Switchboard is handling your User Personal Information, please let us know immediately. We want to help. You may contact us by filling out the Privacy contact form. You may also email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Privacy Concerns.” We will respond within 45 days at the latest.
Switchboard may disclose personally-identifying information or other information we collect about you to law enforcement in response to a valid subpoena, court order, warrant, or similar government order, or when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect our property or rights, or those of third parties or the public at large.
In complying with court orders and similar legal processes, Switchboard strives for transparency. When permitted, we will make a reasonable effort to notify users of any disclosure of their information, unless we are prohibited by law or court order from doing so, or in rare, exigent circumstances.
Switchboard will retain User Personal Information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services.
We may retain certain User Personal Information indefinitely, unless you delete it or request its deletion. For example, we don’t automatically delete inactive user accounts, so unless you choose to delete your account, we will retain your account information indefinitely.
If you would like to cancel your account or delete your User Personal Information, you may do so in your user profile. We will immediately delete all of your information if you chose to delete your account.
We will use your email address to communicate with you, if you’ve said that’s okay, and only for the reasons you’ve said that’s okay. You have a lot of control over how your email address is used and shared on and through Switchboard. You may manage your communication preferences in your settings.
Depending on your email settings, Switchboard may occasionally send notification emails about new posts, new comments, new messages, new features, requests for feedback, important policy changes, or offer customer support. We also send marketing emails, but only with your consent. There’s an unsubscribe link located at the bottom of each of the emails we send you.
Our emails might contain a pixel tag, which is a small, clear image that can tell us whether or not you have opened an email and what your IP address is. We use this pixel tag to make our email more effective for you and to make sure we’re not sending you unwanted email. If you prefer not to receive pixel tags, please opt out of marketing emails.
Although most changes are likely to be minor, Switchboard may change our Privacy Statement from time to time. We will provide notification to Users of material changes to this Privacy Statement through our Website at least 30 days prior to the change taking effect by posting a notice on our home page or sending email to the email address specified in your Switchboard account. For changes to this Privacy Statement that do not affect your rights, we encourage visitors to check this page frequently.
This Privacy Statement is licensed under this Creative Commons Zero license.
Questions regarding Switchboard’s Privacy Statement or information practices should be directed to our Privacy contact form.