Thank you for visiting sciencecafe.org. Here we explain what information WGBH (and our third-party vendors (collectively “we”) acting on our behalf to help deliver the services and operate and analyze use of the Site), collect, what we do with the information, and what controls you have over the information collected. We're committed to ensuring the privacy of your personally identifiable information, and to protecting your ability to make financial transactions and transmit your personal data with full confidence.
1. WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU
We may collect two types of information from you: a) Personally identifiable information, includes personal information (such as your name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, credit card information and/or other identifying information) you voluntarily supply upon request when you register for our website, make a donation, complete a survey, register for an online discussion, enter a contest or sweepstakes or provide your e-mail address; and b) Non-personally identifiable information, for example IP Addresses and cookies, which includes tracking information collected as you navigate through our site. Uses of this information are discussed in Section 2 below.
A. Personally Identifiable Information
We will not collect personally identifiable information from you, other than what you supply to us on a voluntary basis upon request.
Registration for our websites:
Paid Products and Services:
While the majority of our Site is free, we may now or in the future, charge fees for select products and services, such as purchases made through an online shop. To enable the purchase of these and other products we collect your telephone number, e-mail address, billing address and credit card information.
Forums, Feedback and Content Submissions:
On certain pages within the Site you may have an opportunity to submit content to be published, make community postings, comments, suggestions, and vote. We may collect your name, address, and e-mail addresses in connection with these activities. We will indicate which information is required and which is optional. We may contact users regarding their submissions in certain circumstances.
Your submission of others’ Personally Identifiable Information:
On certain pages within the Site you may be able to submit information about other people. For example, you may submit a person’s name and email address to send an article. This information will only be used for your intended purpose.
Contests, Sweepstakes, Surveys and Special Offers:
On occasion, we may collect personal information from users in connection with optional sweepstakes, surveys, contests or special offers. We will indicate which information is required and which is optional. Such information will be used as indicated at the time of collection.
E-Mail and E-mail Newsletters:
On occasion, we may collect personal information from users in connection with optional email and e-mail newsletters. We will indicate which information is required and which is optional. Such information will be used as indicated at the time of collection.
Marketing and Promotional Communications:
On occasion, we may collect personal information from users in connection with optional marketing and promotional communications from WGBH, PBS, a public broadcasting station or other entities. We will indicate which information is required and which is optional. Such information will be used as indicated at the time of collection.
B. Non-personally Identifiable Information
In addition to information that you provide to us, we (again, this is WGBH and third party vendors) may also collect and store certain non-personally identifiable information automatically when you use the Site. This information helps us improve the experience you and other visitors have with the Site.
For example, we may collect your IP address, browser information and reference site domain, as well as related information such as the date on which you visit the Site. This information does not identify you personally and is only used in the aggregate.
As is common practice among web sites, we use “cookies” and similar technologies. In general, cookies -- the informational files that your web browser places on your computer when you visit a website -- are used on this Site to track and analyze how you and other visitors use our Site. We use these cookies in order to improve the Site, to identify the source of visitors and what pages you use while on our site, to offer visitors interactive and/or personalized features that would not be possible without the cookies, to recall specific information to save visitors time when they return to the Site, to provide our sponsors targeted sponsorship opportunities, to provide visitors customized sponsorship messages or list of customized videos of interest, and to identify usage and statistical trends. By looking at this traffic we can better understand our community, which allows us to improve our Site and to provide you with an optimal experience and better service. Our sponsorship service vendors, which serve sponsorship messages onto our site, and third party vendors that measure and analyze the use of the Site for us, may also use their own cookies. At no time does the cookie reveal your name, address, or e-mail address (even if you have entered these in specific areas of the Site). The Site pages cannot extract any personally identifying information about you from what we receive via a cookie and your browser.
2. HOW DO WE USE INFORMATION GATHERED ON THE SITE
Neither WGBH, nor our third-party vendors acting on our behalf to help deliver the services and operate the Site, will willfully disclose any personally identifiable information about our online users to any non-affiliated third party without first receiving the user's permission, unless required by law. WGBH’s affiliates include our local and national productions (such as NOVA), PBS, and other public broadcasting stations or programming.
In terms of our own use of information, we may use your personally identifiable information for the activities described in the previous sections, for the activities described when you submitted the information, or for internal and marketing promotional purposes as further described in this policy.
We will typically explain the extent of use at the time you are asked to provide personal information. If you do not want this information to be collected or used by us for these purposes, you can simply “opt out.” Under certain circumstances, opting out may prevent your participation in activities for which personal information is needed, as in contests.
As mentioned, in certain cases, we contract with other companies to provide services on our behalf. These service providers maintain customer databases with e-mail addresses of Site visitors who have provided them to us by registering at our site, signing up for a newsletter or email, e-mailing us questions about the service, donors who submit online contributions, or online buyers who make a purchase. We (which includes our service providers) will use these addresses to respond to the general purposes for which we collected the information, to provide services and to operate the Site, including to respond to inquiries; to process credit card payments, billing, and shipping; to process e-mail distribution; for list processing and analysis; for promotions management; to send information about WGBH’s programs, services, or your local public broadcasting station’s membership/fundraising; or to correspond about a purchase or product offers. Our service providers have access to your personally identifiable information as necessary to provide certain services on our behalf. They are required to maintain the privacy of all such information in their possession or control and can only use the information on our behalf for the purpose that we have contracted them, for example sending you a newsletter. They are not authorized to use your information for any other purpose.
Similarly, personally identifiable information provided in connection with a donation will be shared with third parties who perform services to process the donation.
Like many nonprofits, we occasionally exchange some of our donors' names and postal addresses with carefully selected nonprofit educational, cultural, health, and social service organizations. When you make an online contribution, your name and postal address will be included as eligible for an exchange. Our exchange program provides other nonprofits with only your name and postal address.
We will not sell, exchange, or lend e-mail addresses to any non-affiliated third party, without your permission. However, we or our service providers may release personally identifiable information if we believe in good faith that the law or legal process requires it, we have received a valid administrative request from a law enforcement agency, or such release is necessary to protect anyone’s rights, property or safety.
On certain pages, we may now or in the future, offer visitors the opportunity to provide comments, messages or other user-generated text, content or materials (collectively “User Materials”). Any information that you disclose when posting a message to these areas, such as your name, screen name or ID used, becomes public. In addition, the information that you disclose in these areas may be used by us for promotional and marketing purposes. We are not responsible for any personally identifiable information that you choose to disclose in these public areas. Further, WGBH, its production units, public broadcasting station affiliates and their licensees, may use, copy, sublicense, modify, transmit, publicly perform, display, create derivative works of, host, index, cache, tag, encode, and/or adapt any User Materials, and any information contained therein, in any and all media formats or channels, whether now known or hereafter devised, including, but not limited to, the Site, public broadcasting station web sites, other third party web sites, over the air (on radio or television), and on mobile platforms.
We offer several e-mail newsletters and emails. We will always provide a clear and convenient method of unsubscribing to our e-mailings. If you no longer wish to receive a specific newsletter, follow the "unsubscribe" instructions located in each newsletter or email, or by going to the Site's Contact Us page and send us a message. We will update our records as soon as possible.
WGBH, with the assistance from time to time of its third party service vendors, uses non-identifying aggregate information to analyze use of and better design the Site and to share with third parties in aggregate form only as appropriate. For example, we may tell a third party that a certain number of users accessed a particular video on our Site. However, we will not disclose any information that could be used to identify those users.
3. SECURITY OF INFORMATION
WGBH has in place what we believe to be appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. Credit card information provided on the Site is protected against unauthorized use by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security features. The SSL protocol is the industry standard method for creating an encrypted, secure connection between your web browser and a web server, such as the Site’s server. You should, however, keep in mind that no Internet or e-mail transmission is ever fully secure or error free. Because most e-mail is not encrypted, you should take special care in deciding what information you send to us via e-mail.
4. CORRECTIONS TO PERSONAL DATA; OPTING OUT
Please Contact Us to a) correct or update any personal information in the WGBH database that you state is erroneous, b) opt-out of future communications from WGBH, or c) request WGBH to make reasonable efforts to remove your personal information from the WGBH online database, thereby canceling your profile, newsletter registration and any other WGBH registrations related to this Site. This will not necessarily remove previous public comments and other User Materials submitted for public display on the Site. You should understand that it may be impossible to delete personal information entirely because of backups and records of deletions.
DISCUSSION AND COMMENT POLICY
This is the discussion policy for users of sciencecafe.org's social networking tools. All participants offering comments on sciencecafe.org are required to follow these guidelines. Those violating the following guidelines may have their comments removed or blocked.
Our guidelines are intended to facilitate a sense connection and sharing within the science cafe online community. You can contribute to and be part of our community by participating on sciencecafe.org with these guidelines in mind:
- Be respectful and civil. If polite language isn’t possible, please don’t post. Engage points, focus on ideas, debate, and discuss. Never resort to name-calling, slander, or obscenities. Messages that include anything WGBH determines to be hate speech, a threat, harassment, or anything illegal will be removed and the poster will be blocked.
- Post clear, concise comments (posts longer than 200 words tend to be ignored by readers anyway). Long posts may be edited by WGBH. Before submitting, take a moment to re-read your post for clarity, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. And please avoid typing in all caps; it's the online version of shouting.
- Stay with the topic at hand. Keeping your posts focused contributes to the best possible discussion.
- Write your own posts. A link or quote from another source can be a meaningful addition to the discussion; copying and pasting an entire article from elsewhere does not contribute in a meaningful way (also see guideline 2, above). In addition, it often violates the author’s copyright. Help keep the conversation lively and focused by posting only one link per comment.
- Promote the discussion, rather than your own interests. Sciencecafe.or’s online community is not an appropriate venue for posters’ advertisements, promotions, campaigns, solicitations, or proselytizing. There can be a fine line between discussion and promotion of personal interests; use your best judgment and we’ll use ours.
All comments are moderated, and WGBH will not publish comments that don’t meet these guidelines. Our guidelines are adapted in part from NPR’s Guidelines for Commenting. Thanks for being part of sciencecafe.org’s online community!