Privacy Policy

Your privacy is critically important to us. At Social Advocate, we have a few fundamental principles:

  • We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal information that we collect about you through the operation of our services.
  • We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it.
  • We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control what information on your website is shared publicly (or kept private), indexed by search engines, and permanently deleted.
  • We help protect you from overreaching government demands for your personal information.
  • We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information.

Below is our Privacy Policy, which incorporates and clarifies these principles.

What This Policy Covers

This Privacy Policy applies to information that we collect about you when you use:

  • Our website

This Privacy Policy also applies to information we collect when you contact us.

Throughout this Privacy Policy we’ll refer to our websites, and other products and services collectively as “Services.”

Please note that this Privacy Policy does not apply to any of our accounts on other social media platforms, where the policy of those platforms will prevail.

Below we explain how we collect, use, and share information about you, along with the choices that you have with respect to that information.

Information We Collect

We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so — for example, to provide our Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better.

We collect this information from three sources: if and when you provide information to us, automatically through operating our Services, and from outside sources. Let’s go over the information that we collect.

Information You Provide to Us

It’s probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us directly. Here are some examples:

Information We Collect Automatically

We also collect some information automatically:

  • Log information: Like most online service providers, we collect information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available, including the browser type, IP address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information. We collect log information when you use our Services — for example, when you create or make changes to your website on WordPress.com.
  • Usage information: We collect information about your usage of our Services. For example, we collect information when you use our Services (e.g., page views, support document searches at en.support.wordpress.com, features enabled for your website, interactions with our Admin Bar and other parts of our Services) along with information about your device (e.g., screen size, name of cellular network, and mobile device manufacturer). We use this information to, for example, provide our Services to you, get insights on how people use our Services so we can make our Services better, and understand and make predictions about user retention.
  • Location information: We may determine the approximate location of your device from your IP address. We collect and use this information to, for example, calculate how many people visit our Services from certain geographic regions. We may also collect information about your precise location via our mobile apps (like when you post a photograph with location information) if you allow us to do so through your mobile device operating system’s permissions.
  • Information from cookies & other technologies: A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Pixel tags (also called web beacons) are small blocks of code placed on websites and emails. We use cookies and other technologies like pixel tags to help us identify and track visitors, usage, and access preferences for our Services, as well as track and understand email campaign effectiveness and to deliver targeted ads. For more information about our use of cookies and other technologies for tracking, including how you can control the use of cookies, please see our Cookie Policy.

How and Why We Use Information

Purposes for Using Information

We use information about you for the purposes listed below:

  • To provide our Services. To enable us to customise our content and remain in contact with those who subscribe to our mailing list.
  • To place and manage ads in our advertising program. For example, to place ads on our sites as part of our advertising program, and understand ad performance.
  • To market our Services and measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our marketing. For example, by targeting our marketing messages to groups of our users (like those who have a particular plan with us or have been users for a certain length of time), advertising our Services, analyzing the results of our marketing campaigns (like how many people purchased a paid plan after receiving a marketing message), and understanding and forecasting user retention.
  • To protect our Services, our users, and the public. For example, by detecting security incidents; detecting and protecting against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity; fighting spam; complying with our legal obligations; and protecting the rights.
  • To fix problems with our Services. For example, by monitoring, debugging, repairing, and preventing issues.
  • To communicate with you. For example, by emailing you to ask for your feedback, or to share new articles or reply to your queries or submissions.

Legal Bases for Collecting and Using Information

A note here for those in the European Union about our legal grounds for processing information about you under EU data protection laws, which is that our use of your information is based on the grounds that:

(1) The use is necessary in order to fulfill our commitments to you under the applicable terms of service or other agreements with you or is necessary to administer your account — for example, in order to enable access to our website on your device or charge you for a paid plan; or

(2) The use is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; or

(3) The use is necessary in order to protect your vital interests or those of another person; or

(4) We have a legitimate interest in using your information — for example, to provide and update our Services; to improve our Services so that we can offer you an even better user experience; to safeguard our Services; to communicate with you; to measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising; and to understand our user retention and attrition; to monitor and prevent any problems with our Services; and to personalize your experience; or

(5) You have given us your consent — for example before we place certain cookies on your device and access and analyze them later on, as described in our Cookie Policy.

Sharing Information

How We Share Information

We share information about you in limited circumstances, and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy. These are spelled out below:

  • Subsidiaries and independent contractors: We may disclose information about you to our subsidiaries and independent contractors who need the information to help us provide our Services or process the information on our behalf. We require our subsidiaries and independent contractors to follow this Privacy Policy for any personal information that we share with them.
  • Third-party vendors: We may share information about you with third-party vendors who need the information in order to provide their services to us, or to provide their services to you or your site. This includes vendors that help us provide our Services to you ; those that assist us with our marketing efforts (e.g., by providing tools for identifying a specific marketing target group or improving our marketing campaigns, and by placing ads to market our services); those that help us understand and enhance our Services (like analytics providers); those that make tools to help us run our operations (like programs that help us with task management, scheduling, word processing, email and other communications, and collaboration among our teams); other third-party tools that help us manage operations; and companies that make products available on our websites , who may need information about you in order to, for example, provide technical or other support services to you. We require these parties to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them .
  • Legal and regulatory requirements: We may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request.
  • To protect rights, property, and others: We may disclose information about you when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of others or us. 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 user 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 Policy would continue to apply to your information and the party receiving your information may continue to use your information, but only consistent with this Privacy Policy.
  • With your consent: We may share and disclose information with your consent or at your direction. For example, we may share your information with third parties when you authorize us to do so, like when you connected your site to a social media service through our Publicize feature.
  • Aggregated or de-identified information: We may share information that has been aggregated or de-identified, so that it can no longer reasonably be used to identify you. For instance, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our Services, or share a hashed version of your email address to facilitate customized ad campaigns on other platforms.
  • Published support requests: If you send us a request for assistance (for example, via a support email or one of our other feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish that request (preserving your anonymity) in order to clarify or respond to your request, or to help us support other users.

We have a long-standing policy that we do not sell our users’ data. We aren’t a data broker, we don’t sell your personal information to data brokers, and we don’t sell your information to other companies that want to spam you with marketing emails.

We show ads on some of our users’ sites as well as some of our own, and the revenue they generate lets us offer free access to some of our Services so that money doesn’t become an obstacle to having a voice.

Information Shared Publicly

Information that you choose to make public is — you guessed it — disclosed publicly.

That means information like your public profile, posts, other content that you make public on your website, and your “Likes” and comments on other websites are all available to others — and we hope they get a lot of views!

We also provide a “Firehose” stream of public data (like posts and comments) from some sites that use our Services to provide that data to Firehose subscribers, who may view and analyze the content (all subject to our Terms of Service), but do not have rights to re-publish it publicly. Find out more about opting out of the Firehose for WordPress.com and Jetpack sites. Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.

Please keep all of this in mind when deciding what you would like to share publicly.

How Long We Keep Information

We generally discard information about you when it’s no longer needed for the purposes for which we collect and use it — described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information — and we’re not legally required to keep it.

For example, we keep the web server logs that record information about a visitor to one of Automattic’s websites, like the visitor’s IP address, browser type, and operating system, for approximately 30 days. We retain the logs for this period of time in order to, among other things, analyze traffic to Automattic’s websites and investigate issues if something goes wrong on one of our websites.

As another example, when you delete a post, page, or comment from your WordPress.com site, it stays in your Trash folder for thirty days in case you change your mind and would like to restore that content, because starting from scratch is no fun. After the thirty days are up, the deleted content may remain on our backups and caches until purged.

Security

While no online service is 100% secure, we work very hard to protect information about you against unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so. We monitor our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.

Choices

You have several choices available when it comes to information about you:

  • Limit the information that you provide: If you have an account with us, you can choose not to provide the optional account information, profile information, and transaction and billing information. Please keep in mind that if you do not provide this information, certain features of our Services — for example, premium themes that carry an additional charge — may not be accessible.
  • Limit access to information on your mobile device: Your mobile device operating system should provide you with the option to discontinue our ability to collect stored information or location information via our mobile apps. If you choose to limit this, you may not be able to use certain features, like geotagging for photographs.
  • Opt out of marketing communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from us. Just follow the instructions in those communications or let us know. If you opt out of promotional communications, we may still send you other communications, like those about your account and legal notices.
  • Set your browser to reject cookies: At this time, Automattic does not respond to “do not track” signals across all of our Services. However, you can usually choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies before using Automattic’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of Automattic’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
  • Opt out of our internal analytics program: You can do this through your user settings. By opting out, you will stop sharing information with our analytics tool about events or actions that happen after the opt-out, while you’re logged in to your WordPress.com account. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.

Your Rights

If you are located in certain parts of the world, including California and countries that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (aka the “GDPR”), you may have certain rights regarding your personal information, like the right to request access to or deletion of your data.

European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are located in a country that falls under the scope of the GDPR, data protection laws give you certain rights with respect to your personal data, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the rights to:

  • Request access to your personal data;
  • Request correction or deletion of your personal data;
  • Object to our use and processing of your personal data;
  • Request that we limit our use and processing of your personal data; and
  • Request portability of your personal data.

You also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) requires us to provide California residents with some additional information about the categories of personal information we collect and share, where we get that personal information, and how and why we use it.

The CCPA also requires us to provide a list of the “categories” of personal information we collect, as that term is defined in the law, so, here it is. In the last 12 months, we collected the following categories of personal information from California residents, depending on the Services used:

  • Identifiers (like your name, contact information, and device and online identifiers);
  • Commercial information (your billing information and purchase history, for example);
  • Characteristics protected by law (for example, you might provide your gender as part of a research survey for us);
  • Internet or other electronic network activity information (such as your usage of our Services, like the actions you take as an administrator of a WordPress.com site);
  • Geolocation data (such as your location based on your IP address);
  • Audio, electronic, visual or similar information (such as your profile picture, if you uploaded one);
  • Professional or employment-related information (for example, your company and team information if you are a Happy Tools user, or information you provide in a job application); and
  • Inferences we make (such as likelihood of retention or attrition).

If you are a California resident, you have additional rights under the CCPA, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the right to:

  • Request to know the categories of personal information we collect, the categories of business or commercial purpose for collecting and using it, the categories of sources from which the information came, the categories of third parties we share it with, and the specific pieces of information we collect about you;
  • Request deletion of personal information we collect or maintain;
  • Opt out of any sale of personal information; and
  • Not receive discriminatory treatment for exercising your rights under the CCPA.

The CCPA & Personalized Advertising in Our Ads Program

Our mission is to democratize publishing and commerce, and that means making our Services accessible to as many people as possible. We show ads on some of our users’ sites as well as some of our own sites, and the revenue these ads generate lets us offer free access to some of our Services so that money doesn’t become an obstacle to having a voice. Our ads program also allows our users to earn revenue to support and grow their own sites. As part of our advertising program, we and our users do use cookies to share certain device identifiers and information about your browsing activities with our advertising partners, and those advertising partners may use that information to show you personalized ads on some of our users’ sites and some of our own.

The personal information we share includes online identifiers; internet or other network or device activity (such as cookie information, other device identifiers, and IP address); and geolocation data (approximate location information from your IP address). These disclosures may be considered a “sale” of information under the CCPA. We do not sell (or share) information through our ads program that identifies you personally, like your name or contact information.

Contacting Us About These Rights

You can usually access, correct, or delete your personal data using your account settings and tools that we offer, but if you aren’t able to or you’d like to contact us about one of the other rights, scroll down to “How to Reach Us” to, well, find out how to reach us.

When you contact us about one of your rights under this section, we’ll need to verify that you are the right person before we disclose or delete anything. For example, if you are a user, we will need you to contact us from the email address associated with your account. You can also designate an authorized agent to make a request on your behalf by giving us written authorization. We may still require you to verify your identity with us.

How to Reach Us

If you have a question about this Privacy Policy, or you would like to contact us about any of the rights mentioned please use the Contact Us Section