1. Information GMN gathers and tracks
GMN gathers two types of information about users: data that users provide through optional, voluntary registration on several of our sites and in certain contests and sweepstakes; and data GMN gathers through aggregated tracking information derived mainly by tallying page views throughout our sites. Such information enables us to better tailor our content to readers' needs and to help our advertisers better understand the demographics of our audience. Because GMN derives its revenue mainly from advertising, providing such aggregated demographic data is essential to keeping our service free to users. The only situation in which GMN divulges information about an individual user to a third party is with certain contests and sweepstakes--and then, only with the user's express consent.
GMN gathers user information in the following processes:
• Optional registration
GMN offers free, voluntary registration to users. Users can enter the sites without having to log on each time; they gain access to the polling area; and they can take advantage of personalization (the ability to select content according to a user-supplied profile).
During registration the user is required to supply a username, password, and email address, and must answer mandatory survey questions about age, gender, income, Internet connection, zip code, country, employment status, and other employment information.
During registration the user has the option of supplying a first name, last name, and password hint. In addition, the user can opt to subscribe to various GMN electronic newsletters and to have his or her email address and/or URL appear in postings.
Several GMN sites offer interactive polls to users so they can easily share their opinions with other users and see what the GMN audience thinks about important issues. GMN uses a system to "tag" users after they have voted, so they can vote only once on a particular question. This tag is not correlated with information about individual users.
• Message boards/forums
Users of the GMN Message Boards must register separately for these services (free of charge) in order to post messages, although they needn't register to visit the site. During registration the user is required to supply a username, password, and email address.
• Electronic newsletters (Dispatches)
GMN offers a free electronic newsletter to users. GMN gathers the email addresses of users who voluntarily subscribe. Users may remove themselves from this mailing list by following the link provided in every newsletter that points users to the subscription management page. Users can also subscribe to the newsletters at the time of registration.
Occasionally GMN conducts user surveys to better target our content to our audience. We sometimes share the aggregated demographic information in these surveys with our advertisers and partners. We never share any of this information about specific individuals with any third party.
• Contests and sweepstakes
GMN offers contests and sweepstakes in which we request certain personal information. At a minimum, the required information includes name and email address; in some cases, the user must answer mandatory survey questions about a range of other personal data. The information gathered in the entry form is used to verify the entrant's identity, to send the entrant an email notification that their entry has been received, and to contact winners and/or prize recipients. There are two situations in which GMN will divulge this information to a third party--provided the user gives express consent:
(1) A user may expressly choose to receive additional information from the contest sponsor, in which case the user's personally identifiable information is divulged to the advertiser.
(2) Some of the contests may be hosted on the GMN site but administered by the sponsor; in such cases, the information a user provides is passed on to the third party as long as that user gives express consent.
Because the rules and terms of each contest can vary, all information about each contest is clearly posted during the event. All contests and sweepstakes are conducted in full accordance with relevant laws.
• Usage tracking
GMN tracks user traffic patterns throughout all of our sites. However, we do not correlate this information with data about individual users. GMN does break down overall usage statistics according to a user's domain name, browser type, and MIME type by reading this information from the browser string (information contained in every user's browser).
GMN sometimes tracks and catalogs the search terms that users enter in Search, but this tracking is never associated with individual users.
Registration: when you register, GMN uses a cookie to store a unique, random user ID. We do not store passwords or any personal information about you. We use this ID to identify you anonymously in our database and to track the pages you visit on our site. Cookies also enable you to enter GMN sites as a member without having to log on each time, and to visit member-restricted areas of the sites. We encrypt the user ID for added security.
Ads: GMN's advertising system delivers a one-time cookie to better track ad impressions and click rates.
If you've set your browser to warn you before accepting cookies, you will receive the warning message with each cookie.
2. Use of the information
GMN uses any information voluntarily given by our users to enhance their experience on our site, whether to provide interactive or personalized elements on the sites or to better prepare future content based on the interests of our users. As stated above, GMN uses information that users voluntarily provide in order to send out electronic newsletters and to enable users to participate in polls, contests, message boards, and auctions. We send out newsletters to subscribers on a regular schedule (daily or weekly, depending on the newsletter), and occasionally send out special editions when we think subscribers might be particularly interested in something we are doing. GMN never shares newsletter mailing lists with any third parties, including advertisers or partners. When we use tracking information to determine which areas of our sites users like and don't like based on traffic to those areas. GMN does not track what individual users read, but rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us continue to build a better service for you. We track search terms entered in Search.com as one of many measures of what interests our users. But we don't track which terms a particular user enters. GMN creates aggregrate reports on user demographics and traffic patterns for advertisers and partners. This allows our advertisers to advertise more effectively, and allows our users to receive advertisements that are pertinent to their needs. Because GMN doesn't track the usage patterns of individual users, an advertiser will never know that a specific user clicked their ad.
3. Sharing of the information
GMN uses the above-described information to tailor our content to suit your needs and help our advertisers better understand our audience's demographics. This is essential to keeping our service free. We do not share information about individual users with any third party, except in the case of some contests and sweepstakes--and then, only with a user's express consent. GMN does not control the practices of our advertisers. If you have questions about how one of our advertisers uses information about you when you click their ad and go to their content, please contact them directly. (GMN will divulge information only as necessary to comply with state and federal laws.)
4. Opt-out policy GMN gives users options wherever necessary and practical. Such choices include: Opting not to receive our electronic newsletters when registering for a site Opting not to provide certain personal information when registering for a site or when participating in some contests (see above) Opting not to participate in certain interactive areas, which completely alleviates the need to gather any personally identifiable information from our users
5. Correct/update policy
GMN offers users the ability to correct or change the information collected during registration for any site (see above). The instructions for doing this can be found in our Subscribe area. Users may change this information at any time and as often as necessary. Users who are experiencing problems or who have any questions about how our services work can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Delete/deactivate policy
Users may unsubscribe to any of our electronic newsletters at any time by following the instructions contained at the end of every newsletter.
Currently, GMN does not offer users a means by which to completely delete personal information established at the time of registration.
7. 3rd Party Advertisers Statements