Who’s Who and What This Privacy Notice Covers
Automattic 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:
- WordPress.com offers the design, features, and support to bring a website to life.
- With Jetpack, website owners that host their websites elsewhere can connect those websites to features and tools available through WordPress.com and WooCommerce Services.
- Polldaddy helps site owners create quizzes, surveys, and polls that fit their brand and vision.
- Intense Debate gives site owners tools to manage comments on their websites.
- Akismet helps keep spam under control by filtering out spam comments–hundreds of millions, every day!
In this Privacy Notice, Automattic refers to the users of the services they provide through these products and services – such as a website’s administrator, contributor, author, or editor – as “Users,” and they refer to their 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. Automattic put together this Privacy Notice to help their Users understand the information they collect about their Site visitors (a/k/a our Users’ users), and how that happens on their Sites.
Information Automattic Collects About Visitors to Their Users’ Sites
Automattic collects information about visitors to their Users’ Sites in a few different ways – they collect certain information that the visitors provide to the Site, they collect some information automatically, and they collect any information that our Users provide to us about their visitors.
Information a Visitor Provides to a Site
Information that visitors provide directly to a Site includes 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 or WordPress.com, Automattic collects 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, Automattic collects that comment, and other information that the visitor provides along with the comment, such as the visitor’s name and email address.
- PollDaddy Survey Responses: When a visitor completes a poll, quiz, or other type of survey prepared by a User via Polldaddy.com, Automattic collects the visitor’s responses to those surveys, and other information that the survey owner requires for a poll/quiz/survey response, like an e-mail address.
- Order and Shipment Information: If a visitor orders something (hooray!) from a Site using Automattic’s store and ecommerce features available through WordPress.com or Jetpack (including WooCommerce Services), they may collect information to process that order, such as credit card and billing information, and an address for shipping the package along to the recipient and calculating applicable taxes. They may also use this information for other purposes on behalf of their Users – for example, to send marketing and other communications from their Users to their customers, and to provide their User with analytics information about their ecommerce site (e.g., the number of orders from particular geographic areas).
- Other Information Entered on the Site: Automattic 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 Automattic Automatically Collects from the Site
Automattic also automatically collects some information about visitors to a Site. The information they automatically collect depends on which of their services the Site uses. Examples listed below:
- Technical Data from a Visitor’s Computer and Etcetera: Automattic collects 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: Automattic collects information about a visitor’s interactions with a Site, including the “likes” and “ratings” left by visitors to a Site using WordPress.com or Jetpack.
- Location Information: Automattic may determine the approximate location of a visitor’s device from the IP address. They collect and use this information to, for example, tally for their Users how many people visit their Sites from certain geographic regions.
- Akismet Commenter Information: Automattic collects information about visitors who comment on Sites that use their Akismet anti-spam service. The information they collect depends on how the User sets up Akismet 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).
- Polldaddy Response Information: Automattic collects information about visitors who respond to a Polldaddy survey. The information that they collect typically includes IP address, browser type, operating system, user agent, and the web page last visited.
- Intense Debate Commenter Information: Automattic collects information about visitors who comment on Sites that use their Intense Debate service. The information that they collect depends on how the User sets up Intense Debate for the Site, but typically includes the IP address and account information on the Site, along with the comment.
Other Information Provided by Automattic Users
Automattic also collects any other information that their Users provide to them 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 Automattic Uses Visitor Information
Automattic uses information about Site visitors in order to provide their Services to their Users and their Sites. Their users may use their 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. They 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.
How Automattic Shares Visitor Information
Automattic may share information collected about Site visitors in the limited circumstances spelled out below:
- Subsidiaries, Employees, and Independent Contractors: Automattic may disclose Site visitor information to their subsidiaries, their employees, and individuals who are their independent contractors that need to know the information in order to help them provide their services to their Users and their Sites, or to process the information on their behalf. They require their subsidiaries, employees, and independent contractors to follow this Privacy Notice for information about visitors that they share with them.
- Third Party Vendors: Automattic may share Site visitor information with third party vendors who need to know this information in order to provide their services to Automattic. This group includes vendors that help them provide their services to their Users and their Sites. They require vendors to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them.
- Legal Requests: Automattic may disclose Site visitor information in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how they respond to requests for information, please see their Legal Guidelines.
- To Protect Rights, Property, and Others: Automattic may disclose Site visitor information when they believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Automattic, their Users, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if they have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, they 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 their business by another company, or in the unlikely event that Automattic 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 WordPress.com username and Gravatar). Automattic provides a “firehose” stream of public data (including comments) from Sites to provide that data to firehose subscribers, who may view and analyze the content, but do not have rights to re-publish it publicly. Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.
Automattic’s Users’ Sites may contain ads from third party ad networks and advertisers, and their 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 Automattic, 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).