Privacy and Data Collection Policy
Privacy Notice for Visitors
Hi there! This Privacy Notice explains how Automattic, the host of this blob/website, processes information about the visitors to this site in connection with the services provided through WordPress.com, Jetpack (including WooCommerce Services), IntenseDebate, Polldaddy.com, and Akismet. It also covers how I, Lila Shaw, collect and use your information as a customer of Automattic / WordPress.com. Please read on!
Who’s Who and What This Privacy Notice Covers
Let’s talk first about Automattic, what they do, and what their portion of the Privacy Notice covers.
They are the folks behind a variety of products and services designed to allow people like me–from bloggers, to small business owners, and enterprises–to create, publish, and manage their own websites:
- WordPress.com offers the design, features, and support to bring a website to life.
- With Jetpack, website owners that host their websites elsewhere can connect those websites to features and tools available through WordPress.com and WooCommerce Services.
- Polldaddy helps site owners create quizzes, surveys, and polls that fit their brand and vision.
- Intense Debate gives site owners tools to manage comments on their websites.
- Akismet helps keep spam under control by filtering out spam comments–hundreds of millions, every day!
To keep things simple, in this Privacy Notice I’ll refer to the users of the services Automattic provides through these products and services–such as a website’s administrator, contributor, author, or editor–as I, me, Lila Shaw or the “User,” and I’ll refer to my Lila Shaw website as the “Site.” Visitors to my Site can read published content and interact with my Site through features such as comments, “likes,” poll/survey responses, and follows.
With those introductions out of the way, let’s turn to how Automattic collects, uses, and shares information about visitors to this Site.
Information Automattic Collects About Visitors to My Site
Automattic collects information about visitors to my Site in a few different ways–they collect certain information that the visitors provide to the Site, they collect some information automatically, and they collect any information that I may provide to them about my visitors.
Information a Visitor Provides to a Site
Information that visitors provide directly to my Site, which primarily happens when visitors type into a text field anywhere on my Site, like a comment field or a sign-up form.
Here are the most common ways in which you as a visitor directly provides information to my Site:
- Follower and Subscriber Information: When a visitor signs up to follow or subscribe to my Site using Jetpack or WordPress.com, the sign-up information requested, which typically includes an email address, is collected.
- Site Comments: When a visitor leaves a comment on my Site, we collect that comment, and other information that the visitor provides along with the comment, such as the visitor’s name and email address is collected.
- PollDaddy Survey Responses: When a visitor completes a poll, quiz, or other type of survey I might prepare via Polldaddy.com, the visitor’s responses to those surveys, and other information that the I might require for a poll/quiz/survey response, like an e-mail address, is collected.
- Order and Shipment Information: If a visitor orders something from my Site using the store and ecommerce features available through WordPress.com or Jetpack (including WooCommerce Services), information to process that order, such as credit card and billing information, and an address for shipping the package along to the recipient and calculating applicable taxes, is collected by Automattic. Automattic may also use this information for other purposes on my behalf–for example, to send marketing and other communications to my customers, and to provide me with analytics information about my ecommerce site (e.g., the number of orders from particular geographic areas).
- Other Information Entered on my Site: Automattic may also collect other information that a visitor enters on my Site–such as a contact form submission, a search query, or Site registration.
Information Automattic Automatically Collects from my Site
Automattic also automatically collects some information about visitors to my Site. The information they automatically collect depends on which of their services my Site uses. Here are some examples of automatically collected data:
- Technical Data from a Visitor’s Computer and Etcetera: The information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available about visitors to a Site, such as the IP address, browser type, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information.
- Visitor Interactions: Information about a visitor’s interactions with my Site, including the “likes” and “ratings” left by visitors to my Site using WordPress.com or Jetpack.
- Location Information: The approximate location of a visitor’s device from the IP address may be determined. This information is collected to, for example, tally how many people visit my Site from certain geographic regions. You can read more about the Site Stats feature for WordPress.com sites and Jetpack sites.
- Akismet Commenter Information: Information about visitors who comment on Sites that use the Akismet anti-spam service. The information collected depends on how I’ve set up Akismet for my Site, but typically includes the commenter’s IP address, user agent, referrer, and Site URL (along with other information directly provided by the commenter such as their name, username, email address, and the comment itself).
- Polldaddy Response Information: Information about visitors who respond to a Polldaddy survey. The information collected typically includes IP address, browser type, operating system, user agent, and the web page last visited.
- Intense Debate Commenter Information: Information about visitors who comment on Sites that use Automattic’s Intense Debate service (not currently in use at this Site but information is provided in case it is used in the future.) The information collected would depend on how Intense Debate would be set up on this Site, but typically would include the IP address and account information on the Site, along with the comment.
Other Information I Might Provide to Automattic
Automattic also collects any other information that I provide to them about visitors to my Site. For example, I may upload a directory or other information about Site visitors and customers to the “backend” administrative platform for managing the Site.
How Automattic Uses Visitor Information
Automattic uses information about my Site visitors in order to provide Services to Users like me and my Site. I may use Automattic’s Services to, for example, create and manage my Site, sell products and services on my Site, flag and fight comments from spammers, and collect information through polls, quizzes and other surveys.
Automattic may also use and share information that has been aggregated or reasonably de-identified, so that the information could not reasonably be used to identify any individual. For instance, Automattic may publish aggregate statistics about the use of their services.
How Automattic Shares Visitor Information
Automattic may share information collected about my Site visitors in the limited circumstances spelled out below:
- Subsidiaries, Employees, and Independent Contractors: Automattic may disclose Site visitor information to its subsidiaries, employees, and individuals who are their independent contractors that need to know the information in order to help them provide services to Users and their Sites, or to process the information on their behalf. They require their subsidiaries, employees, and independent contractors to follow this Privacy Notice for information about visitors that we share with them.
- Third Party Vendors: Automattic may share Site visitor information with third party vendors who need to know this information in order to provide their services to Automattic. This group includes vendors that help them provide services to their Users and their Sites. Automattic requires vendors to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them.
- Legal Requests: Automattic may disclose Site visitor information in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how they respond to requests for information, please see their Legal Guidelines.
- To Protect Rights, Property, and Others: Automattic may disclose Site visitor information when they believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Automattic, their Users, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if they have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, they may disclose information related to the emergency without delay.
- Business Transfers: In connection with any merger, sale of company assets, or acquisition of all or a portion of its business by another company, or in the unlikely event that Automattic goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, Site visitor information would likely be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. If any of these events were to happen, this Privacy Notice would continue to apply to Site visitor information and the party receiving this information may continue to use this information, but only consistent with this Privacy Notice.
- Information Shared Publicly: Information that visitors choose to make public is disclosed publicly. That means, of course, that information like visitor comments and “likes” are all available to others, including information about the visitor that is displayed in connection with a comment or “like” (such as a visitor’s WordPress.com username and Gravatar). Automattic provides a “firehose” stream of public data (including comments) from Sites to provide that data to firehose subscribers, who may view and analyze the content, but do not have rights to re-publish it publicly. Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.
How I Use and Share Visitor Information
I may use Visitor Information to gauge reader interest in me or my writing–past, present or future–including ideas for books, characters, settings, plots, etc.
I DO NOT sell or share any data collected with any other parties other than data gathered by Automattic as previously discussed or as described below.
This Site may contain ads from third party ad networks and advertisers, and I may integrate other tools and services on this Site (such as Google Analytics and other third party plugins). Please note that this Privacy Notice only covers the collection of information by Automattic or by me, Lila Shaw, and does not cover the collection by any third party.
Ad networks and analytics providers may set tracking technologies (like cookies) to collect information about visitors’ use of a Site and across other websites and online services, such as a visitor’s IP address, web browser, mobile network information, pages viewed, time spent on pages, links clicked, and conversion information. This information may be used by those companies to, among other things, analyze and track usage, determine the popularity of certain content, and deliver advertisements that may be more targeted to visitor interests. For more information about how to manage and delete cookies, visit aboutcookies.org, and for more information on interest-based ads, including information about how visitors may be able to opt out of having their web browsing information used for behavioral advertising purposes, please visit aboutads.info/choices (US based) and youronlinechoices.eu (EU based).