Privacy Notice for Visitors to Our Users’ Sites
Hi there! This Privacy Notice explains how we, at OPTe, process information about the visitors of our users’ websites in connection with the services we provide through OPTe Network. Read on!
Who’s Who and What This Privacy Notice Covers
Let’s talk first about who we are at OPTe, what we do, and what this Privacy Notice covers.
We are the people behind a variety of products and services designed to allow anyone–from bloggers, to small business owners, and enterprises–to create, publish, and manage their own websites:
- OPTe Network offers the design, features, and support to bring a website to life.
- With Jetpack, a third party plugin by Automattic, website owners can connect those websites to features and tools available through WordPress.com and WooCommerce Services.
- Akismet helps keep spam under control by filtering out spam comments–hundreds of millions, every day!
To keep things simple, in this Privacy Notice we’ll refer to the users of the services we provide through these products and services–such as a website’s administrator, contributor, author, or editor–as our “Users,” and we’ll refer to our Users’ websites as “Sites.” Visitors to those Sites can read published content and interact with the Sites through features such as comments, “likes,” poll/survey responses, and follows.
Alright, with those introductions out of the way, let’s turn to how we collect, use, and share information about visitors to our Users’ Sites.
Information We Collect About Visitors to Our Users’ Sites
We collect information about visitors to our Users’ Sites in a few different ways–we collect certain information that the visitors provide to the Site, we collect some information automatically, and we collect any information that our Users provide to us about their visitors.
Information a Visitor Provides to a Site
We’ll start with information that visitors provide directly to a Site, which primarily happens when visitors type into a text field on a Site, like a comment field or a sign-up form. Our Users may also implement other ways to allow Site visitors to provide information directly through their Sites.
Here are the most common ways in which a visitor directly provides information to a Site:
- Follower and Subscriber Information: When a visitor signs up to follow or subscribe to a Site using Jetpack, WordPress.com collects the sign-up information requested by the Site, which typically includes an email address, OPTe does not collect the sign-up information when using Jetpack. When a visitor signs up to follow or subscribe to a newsletter using a third party plugin such as Gravity Forms with the Mailchimp add-on, we collect the sign-up information requested by the Site, which typically includes an email address.
- Site Comments: When a visitor leaves a comment on a 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.
- Order and Shipment Information: If a visitor orders something (hooray!) from a Site using store and ecommerce features available through the third party plugin WooCommerce, we collect some information automatically, and we collect any information that our Users provide to us about their customers, such as name, address, and email. We may also use this information for other purposes on behalf of our Users–for example, to send marketing and other communications from our Users to their customers, and to provide our User with analytics information about their ecommerce site (e.g., the number of orders from particular geographic areas).
- Other Information Entered on the Site: We may also collect other information that a visitor enters on the Site–such as a contact form submission, a search query, or Site registration.
Information We Automatically Collect from the Site
We also automatically collect some information about visitors to a Site. The information we automatically collect depends on which of our services the Site uses. We’ve listed examples below:
- Technical Data from a Visitor’s Computer and Etcetera: We collect 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: We collect information about a visitor’s interactions with a Site, including the “comments” and “form submissions” left by visitors to a Site using third party plugins such as Gravity Forms or or Jetpack.
- Location Information: We may determine the approximate location of a visitor’s device from the IP address. We collect and use this information to, for example, to enable our Users via third-party plugins and services such as Jetpack or Google Analytics to tally how many people visit their Sites from certain geographic regions. If you’d like, you can read more about the Site Stats feature for Jetpack connected sites.
- Antispam Commenter Information: We collect information about visitors who comment on Sites that use third party plugins and services such as Akismet anti-spam service or Anti-spam bee. The information we collect depends on how the User sets up these plugins for the 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…oh, and the comment itself, of course).
Other Information Provided by Our Users
We also collect any other information that our Users provide to us about visitors to their Sites. For example, a User may upload a directory or other information about Site visitors and customers to the “backend” administrative platform for managing the Site.
How We Use Visitor Information
We use information about Site visitors in order to provide our Services to our Users and their Sites. Our users may use our Services to, for example, create and manage their Site, sell products and services on their Site, flag and fight comments from spammers, and collect information through polls, quizzes and other surveys.
We 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, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our services.
How We Share Visitor Information
We may share information collected about Site visitors in the limited circumstances spelled out below:
- Subsidiaries, Employees, and Independent Contractors: We may disclose Site visitor information to our subsidiaries, our employees, and individuals who are our independent contractors that need to know the information in order to help us provide our services to our Users and their Sites, or to process the information on our behalf. We require our subsidiaries, employees, and independent contractors to follow this Privacy Notice for information about visitors that we share with them.
- Third Party Vendors: We may share Site visitor information with third party vendors who need to know this information in order to provide their services to us. This group includes vendors that help us provide our services to our Users and their Sites. We require vendors to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them.
- Legal Requests: We may disclose Site visitor information in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how we respond to requests for information, please see our Legal Guidelines.
- To Protect Rights, Property, and Others: We may disclose Site visitor information when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of OPTe, our Users, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if we have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, we 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 our business by another company, or in the unlikely event that OPTe 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–you guessed it–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 OPTe Network username and Gravatar). Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.
Our Users’ Sites may contain ads from third party ad networks and advertisers, and our Users may integrate other tools and services on their Sites (such as Google Analytics and third party plugins). Please note that this Privacy Notice only covers the collection of information by OPTe, 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).
You can read more about how our products and services operate on the links at the top of this notice.
And we’d love it if you follow us on our blog for more information about privacy and transparency at OPTe.