Your privacy is critically important to us. At Authoract, 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.

Who We Are and What This Policy Covers

We are the folks behind a variety of products and services designed to allow anyone — from bloggers, to photographers, small business owners, and enterprises — to take full advantage of the power and promise of the open web. Our mission is to democratize publishing and commerce so that anyone with a story can tell it, and anyone can turn their great idea into a livelihood. We believe in powering the open internet with code that is open source and are proud to say that the vast majority of our work is available under the General Public License (“GPL”). Unlike most other services, because our GPL code is public, you can actually download and take a look at that code to see how it works. This Privacy Policy applies to information that we collect about you when you use:

  • Other users’ websites that use our Services, while you are logged in to your account with us.

This Privacy Policy also applies to information we collect when you apply for a job at Automattic. Throughout this Privacy Policy we’ll refer to our websites. Below we explain how we collect, use, and share information about you, along with the choices that you have with respect to that information.

Creative Commons Sharealike License

We’ve decided to make this Privacy Policy available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license. You can grab a copy of this Privacy Policy and other legal documents on GitHub. You’re more than welcome to copy it, adapt it, and repurpose it for your own use. Just make sure to revise the language so that your policy reflects your actual practices. If you do use it, we’d appreciate a credit and link to Automattic somewhere on your site.

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:

  • Basic account information: We ask for basic information from you in order to set up your account. For example, we require individuals who sign up for a WordPress.com account to provide an email address and password, along with a username or name — and that’s it. You may provide us with more information — like your address and other information you want to share — but we don’t require that information to create an Authoract.com account.
  • Public profile information: If you have an account with us, we collect the information that you provide for your public profile. For example, if you have an Authoract.com account, your username is part of that public profile, along with any other information you put into your public profile, like a photo or an “About Me” description. Your public profile information is just that — public — so please keep that in mind when deciding what information you would like to include.
  • Payment and contact information: If you buy something from us or earn revenue through your site, we’ll collect information to process those payments and contact you. If you buy something from us — a subscription to a Authoract.com plan, a premium theme, a custom domain — or if you pay fees to a person or business through their Authoract.com site (for example via the Payments feature or the Pay with PayPal block), you’ll provide additional personal and payment information like your name, credit card information, and contact information. We also keep a record of the purchases you’ve made. If you use our eCommerce Services, the WooCommerce Services extension, and WooCommerce Payments), you’ll have to create a WordPress.com account or connect an existing account and, for some Services, provide your site URL. You may also provide us with financial details to set up a payments integration, like the email address for your Stripe or PayPal account or your bank account information. If you participate in a revenue sharing opportunity for your site, like WordAds, you’ll provide some additional information — for example, a tax ID or other identifier so we can process payments to you.
  • Content information: You might provide us with information about you in draft and published content (a blog post or comment that includes biographic information about you, or any media or files you upload).
  • Credentials: Depending on the Services you use, you may provide us with credentials for your self-hosted website (like SSH, FTP, and SFTP username and password). Jetpack and VaultPress users may provide us with these credentials in order to use our one-click restore feature if there is a problem with their site, or to allow us to troubleshoot problems more quickly.
  • Communications with us : You may also provide us with information when you respond to surveys, communicate with our Team about a support question, post a question in our public forums, or sign up for a newsletter. When you communicate with us via form, email, Authoract.com comment, or otherwise, we store a copy of our communications as permitted by applicable law.
  • Job applicant information: If you apply for a job with us — awesome! You may provide us with information like your name, contact information, resume or CV, and work authorization verification as part of the application process.

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 about the actions that site administrators and users perform on a site using our Authoract.com or Jetpack services — in other words, who did what and when (e.g., [Authoract.com username] deleted “[title of post]” at [time/date]). 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 collect and use this information to, for example, calculate how many people visit our Services from certain geographic regions.
  • 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. Automattic uses 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. For example, to set up and maintain your account, host your website, backup and restore your website, provide customer service, process payments and orders, and verify user information.
  • To ensure quality, maintain safety, and improve our Services. For example, by providing automatic upgrades and new versions of our Services. Or, for example, by monitoring and analyzing how users interact with our Services so we can create new features that we think our users will enjoy and that will help them create and manage websites more efficiently or make our Services easier to use.
  • 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 and property of Authoract and others, which may result in us, for example, declining a transaction or terminating Services.
  • To fix problems with our Services. For example, by monitoring, debugging, repairing, and preventing issues.
  • To customize the user experience. For example, to personalize your experience by serving you relevant notifications.
  • To communicate with you. For example, by emailing you to ask for your feedback, share tips for getting the most out of our products, or keep you up to date on Authoract; to verify your payment; to share offers and promotions that we think will be of interest to you. If you don’t want to hear from us, you can opt out of marketing communications at any time. (If you opt out, we’ll still send you important updates relating to your account.)
  • To recruit and hire new Authoract employees. For example, by evaluating job applicants and communicating with them.

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 (like Stripe, which powers WooCommerce Payments, payment providers that process your credit and debit card information, payment providers you use for your own eCommerce operations, fraud prevention services that allow us to analyze fraudulent payment transactions, cloud storage services, email delivery services that help us stay in touch with you, customer chat and email support services that help us communicate with you, registrars, registries, data escrow services that allow us to provide domain registration services. 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 (like the extensions on WooCommerce.com), who may need information about you in order to, for example, provide technical or other support services to you. We require vendors to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them. Other vendors are listed in our more specific policies (e.g., our Cookie Policy).
  • Legal and regulatory requirements: We may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. Additionally, if you have a domain registered with Authoract.com, we may share your information to comply with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) regulations, rules, or policies. For example, your information relating to your domain registration may be available in the WHOIS database, or we may be required to share your information with ICANN-approved Dispute Resolution Service Providers.
  • 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 Authoract, 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 Authoract goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, 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.
  • Site owners: If you have an Authoract.com account and interact with another site using our Services, your information may be shared with the administrators of the site. For example, if you leave a comment on a site created on Authoract.com or your IP address and the email address associated with your WordPress.com account may be shared with the administrator(s) of the site where you left the comment. Or if you make a payment (like via the Payments feature) to a site, your public display name, user name, and email address may be shared with the administrator(s) of the site.
  • 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 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. Under a new California law, the California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA"), some personalized advertising you see online and on our services might be considered a "sale" even though we don't share information that identifies you personally, like your name or email address, as part of our advertising program.

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!

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 Authoract's website, 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 Authoract’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 Authoract.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. To enhance the security of your account, we encourage you to enable our advanced security settings, like Two Step Authentication.

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.
  • 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.
  • Close your account: While we’d be very sad to see you go, you can close your account if you no longer want to use our Services. Please keep in mind that we may continue to retain your information after closing your account, as described in How Long We Keep Information above — for example, when that information is reasonably needed to comply with (or demonstrate our compliance with) legal obligations such as law enforcement requests, or reasonably needed for our legitimate business interests.

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).

You can find more information about what we collect and sources of that information in the Information We Collect section above. We collect personal information for the business and commercial purposes described in the How and Why We Use Information section. And we share this information with the categories of third parties described in the Sharing Information section. 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.

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 in the Your Rights section above, please contact us through our web form or via email. These are the fastest ways to get a response to your inquiry.

Third-Party Software and Services

If you’d like to use third-party plugins or embeds, WooCommerce Payments (powered by Stripe), WooCommerce extensions that enable services provided by third parties, or other third-party software or services, please keep in mind that interacting with them may mean providing information about yourself (or your site visitors) to those third parties. For example, some third-party services may request or require access to your (yours, your visitors’, or customers’) data via a pixel or cookie. Please note that if you use the third-party service or grant access, your data will be handled in accordance with the third party’s privacy policy and practices. We don’t own or control these third parties, and they have their own rules about information collection, use, and sharing, which you should review before using the software or services.

Visitors to Our Users’ Websites

We also process information about visitors to our users’ websites, on behalf of our users and in accordance with our user agreements. Please note that our processing of that information on behalf of our users for their websites isn’t covered by this Privacy Policy. We encourage our users to post a privacy policy that accurately describes their practices on data collection, use, and sharing of personal information. Users control the content posted on their sites, so any disputes regarding content on a user’s site should be made directly to the site owner, through their “contact us” page, at an email address they provide, or by leaving a comment on the site.

Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, Authoract may change its Privacy Policy from time to time. Authoract encourages visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to its Privacy Policy. If we make changes, we will notify you by revising the change log below, and, in some cases, we may provide additional notice (like adding a statement to our homepage or the Authoract.com Blog, or sending you a notification through email or your dashboard). Your further use of the Services after a change to our Privacy Policy will be subject to the updated policy

Authoract.com is powered by the WordPress CMS which is an open source code. The folks at Automattic are the power behind WordPress, and some of the plugins used on Authoract.com. As such, any of their plugins or services used will follow their privacy policy.

That’s it! Thanks for reading.

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