Online Privacy Standards. While there are no official standards governing privacy practices on the Internet, we follow the principles supported by the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Information Practices Principles, currently available here.
What This Policy Covers. This policy covers Greater Good’s treatment of personally identifiable information that we obtain when you visit our website or register as a member. We regard personally identifiable information as information that someone can use to identify or contact you in person, such as real name, telephone number, birth date, email address, or physical mailing address. Information that we use internally to identify you as a member in our system, such as your selected username, is not considered personally identifiable information.
What This Policy Does Not Cover. This policy does not cover the privacy practices of third parties that we do not own or control, such as our partners and advertisers. In addition, we may provide links to other services and on occasion to other sites that may interest you. All of these sites operate independently of Greater Good and they have their own privacy or security practices. For your best on-line experience, we encourage you to review their policies before submitting any personal information to them.
1. Information You Provide.
Information Submitted During A Transaction. During a payment transaction (for example, when you make a donation to Greater Good through this website), we collect information including your name, email address, telephone number, and credit card information. This information is collected and used to process your payment transaction, and also for shipping any gifts to you.
2. Information We Do Not Collect.
Children. As explained further in our Terms of Service, currently available here, you must be 18 years of age or older to use our website. Therefore, we do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information about children. If you believe that we have information from or about anyone under 13 years of age, please notify us by email at greater [at] Berkeley.edu.
Social Security Number. We do not ask for or require your social security number to use any of our services or to access any part of our site.
3. Information We Track.
Log Files. Similar to many websites, we gather certain anonymous, non-personal information automatically and store it in web server log files. This information includes Internet protocol addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), site entry/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and clickstream data. We use this information to improve our site, analyze trends, administer the site, track users’ movements around the site, and gather aggregate information about our user base as a whole. Aggregate information is data we collect about a group or category of services or members from which individual member identities have been removed, and therefore does not include your personally identifiable information.
Cookies. A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user’s computer for record-keeping purposes. It can also help us understand how our site visitors click to our site, and what pages they view during their visit. Similar to many websites, we store an encrypted cookie on your computer so we can remember you when you come back to our website without requiring you to log-in every time. Cookies also allow us to track and understand the interests of our users to enhance the overall experience on our site.
You can set your web browser software to disable cookies. To do so, please refer to the help section of your specific browser for more information on how to manage or disable cookies. If you disable cookies, you may still view our site, but some areas of our site will not work properly.
HOW INFORMATION IS USED
1. In Company Communications.
We use emails and/or prominent notifications on our website as our primary means to inform our members of important service and promotional announcements.
System-related Announcements. We may use your email address to deliver important system-related announcements. Example system-related announcements include: email verification, important security or server maintenance updates, or policy changes. These service-related announcements are considered a fundamental part of our service, and members cannot opt-out of these email announcements.
Promotional Announcements. In order to improve the experience for our members, we will offer you the ability to sign up for optional email communications, such as updates from periodic (typically monthly) newsletters, or invitations to subscriber events. These communications are enhancements to our service and are entirely optional. We will ask for your consent before sending you promotional communications, and will make it easy for you to unsubscribe from these communications, either through the emails or though your member profile.
2. On Our Website.
Identification Of Authors By Username. Greater Good offers opportunities for members to comment on content found in Greater Good and engage in dialogue with other users. This means that to some extent we depend on the contributions and actions of our members to improve the quality of the site experience. When you make a contribution to the site, you will be identified by your username as the author of that contribution. In these circumstances, we will only identify you by your username. Other than the username which can be entirely made up, in using our service, you are not required to provide or publicize any personally identifiable information in connection with your contributions and actions on our website.
Site Statistics. As noted above, we may use information collected from our web log files to calculate and publish anonymous, non-personal, aggregate statistics that we believe our community is interested in viewing. For example, we may track and publish the total number of users who have viewed a particular web page. We publish this data in aggregate form only, and do not tie it to any personally identifiable information.
3. For Internal Reporting And Analysis.
As noted above, we use information gathered from log files and cookies to improve our site, analyze trends, administer the site, track users’ movements around the site, and to gather aggregate information about our user base as a whole. We do not tie this data to personally identifiable information.
HOW INFORMATION IS SHARED AND DISCLOSED
1. On Our Website.
Public Messages. Some of our features allow you to communicate with other members by posting public messages (specifically comments on the Practices offered on the website). Please be aware that what you write in these public messages can be viewed, collected, or used by anyone who visits our website. We are not responsible for any personally identifiable information that you submit or permit others to submit through public messages.
2. With Third Parties.
Sharing, Renting, And Selling Information We Collect. Occasionally we may share anonymous, non-personal, aggregate information about our user base with partners, and we may publish these aggregate usage statistics on one of our websites for the interest of our users. We will not tie this shared or published data to personally identifiable information.
Linked Services. In some cases, we allow you to access or link to other web services through our website. We make it easy for you to determine when you are accessing or linking to these other web services through or website. In all of these cases, our partners may choose to collect your personal information as they deem appropriate. As noted above, we are not responsible for or in control of how our partners collect, use, or disclose your information obtained through these linked services. We encourage you to be aware when you are using these partner services and, for your best on-line experience, we encourage you to review their policies before submitting any personal information to them.
3. As Necessary In Certain Legal Circumstances.
Legal Requirements. We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our website.
HOW INFORMATION IS KEPT SECURE
Network Security. We have implemented a variety of commercially standard encryption and security technologies and procedures to protect information, including your personal information, stored in our computer systems from unauthorized access. Please be aware that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure, thus we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, but we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
Management Procedures. We also maintain standard physical and electronic procedural safeguards that limit access to your personally identifiable information to our employees (or people working on our behalf and under confidentiality agreements) who, through the course of standard business activities, need to access your personally identifiable information.
YOUR PERSONAL CHOICES
Receiving Communications. If you subscribe to any optional promotional communications, you will be able to unsubscribe from them through your member profile or through the emails we send you.
FOR OUR CANADIAN USERS
Canadian citizens, except under circumstances defined by law, are entitled to access their own personally identifiable information collected by Greater Good by writing to greater [at] Berkeley.edu. We may ask you to pay an administrative fee for accessing or copying your information, but will inform you of the anticipated charges and confirm that you want us to proceed before processing your request. If you believe that the personally identifiable information about you that we have collected is incomplete or inaccurate, we will correct the information upon verification of the omission or error and of the identity of the person requesting the change.
SPECIAL NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL USERS
Greater Good is intended for and directed to users in the United States. If you are accessing Greater Good from the European Union, Asia, or any other region with laws or regulations governing personal data collection, use and disclosure that differ from United States laws, please be advised that through your continued use of Greater Good, which is governed by U.S. law, this Privacy Notice and our Terms of Service, you are transferring your personal information to the United States and you consent to that transfer.
In general, we ask you to please be excellent to each other. Here’s more detail on what that means.
Comments We Like:
We want comments and that are brave, hopeful, intelligent, thoughtful, informative, funny, and/or passionate. In other words, we want words that will carry the conversation forward and help make Greater Good a community in which people are constantly trying to bring out the best in each other. Here are specific kinds of writing that we especially like:
- More information or new developments about the subject of the post!
- Opinions that take the debate to the next level. We actually love disagreement—that’s how ideas get refined—but please don’t write anything you wouldn’t say to the face of a human being. We want to be impressed by your grace and insight.
- Comments that connect the entry to other practices or threads on Greater Good. Because we look at sharing in many spheres of life, from home to school to work to cities to ecosystems, we are always interested in emerging patterns or narratives.
- Factual corrections! We love hearing about mistakes, because then we get to correct them. (Note that we do not correct quoted text unless there is a special reason to do so. Certain kinds of correction may require documentation.)
- Funny observations and entertaining personal stories are great, because life is short and we like to laugh.
Comments We Don’t Like:
Greater Good is a moderated community. That means, in part, that we may delete or seek (with the commenter’s permission) to edit certain kinds of comments. What kinds of comments will draw this kind of attention?
- Offensive or inappropriate comments. What is “offensive” or “inappropriate,” you ask? It’s any comment that makes someone uncomfortable because of who they are—their eye color, complexion, religious heritage, IQ, accent, sexuality, age, body shape, inability to rub their stomachs and pat their heads at the same time, and so on. Just don’t go there, please.
- Insults, threats, or harassment. What’s an insult? Calling someone an “idiot” is one depressingly common example. Please refer to a dictionary for further clarification. Threats and harassment fall into the category of knowing it when we see it.
- Spam. What is spam? It’s promotional boilerplate that does not add anything to the discussion. (If you are working on a project that is directly relevant to the topic, then please, do share. We want to hear about good work!)
- Comments that encourage or advocate illegal activity or propose illegal activity. This is actually a tough one, because laws do not always make sense. For example, copyright law probably ought to evolve so that fewer people are deemed criminals. The solution here is to be clever and conscious. The community managers will be the judges of how well you succeeded in this task.
Links are allowed in comments as long as they’re relevant to the topic at hand.
Links to the front page of your personal blog or website are discouraged—instead, we encourage you to add this information in your user profile.
Mislabeled links will be treated as spam. In other words, setting up a link on the word “gratitude” but leading the innocent reader to a porn site is something that we frown upon.
We will delete urls pasted in without description or context.
Links to offensive material such as racist or anti-Semitic websites, images, or videos will be deleted. The moderators will judge intent from the content of the comment and the nature of the link.
The web is a big, open place. If you feel that your comment has been unjustly deleted from Greater Good, we suggest you post in an environment with looser standards or start your own blog or website.