Your privacy is critically important to us. At SFBay, 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.
Who We Are and What This Policy Covers
* Our websites (including sfbay.ca, sfbayca.com, sfbay.biz, sfbay.media);
* Our mobile applications;
* Our other products and services that are available on or through our websites; and
* Other users’ websites that use our Services, while you are logged in to your account with us.
Creative Commons Sharealike License
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 information in three ways: 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. The amount and type of information depends on the context and how we use the information. Here are some examples:
- Basic Account Information: We ask for basic information from you in order to set up an account to comment on SFBay content. We require individuals to provide a username and email address — and that’s it. You may provide us with more information — like your name — but we don’t require that information to create a WordPress.com account.
- Public Profile Information: If you have an account with us, we collect the information that you provide for your public profile. Your public profile information is just that–public–so please keep that in mind when deciding what information you would like to include.
- Communications With Us: You may also provide us information when you respond to surveys or communicate with us about a support question.
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, such as the browser type, IP address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information.
Usage Information: We collect information about your usage of our Services. We use this information to, for example, provide our Services to you, as well as get insights on how people use our Services, so we can make our Services better.
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 (when, for example, you post a photograph with location information) if you allow us to do so through your mobile device operating system’s permissions.
Stored Information: We may access information stored on your mobile device via our mobile app. We access this stored information through your device operating system’s permissions. For example, if you give us permission to access the photographs on your mobile device’s camera roll, our Services may access the photos stored on your device when you upload a really amazing photograph of the sunrise to your website.
Information We Collect from Other Sources
We may also get information about you from other sources. For example, if you create or log into your SFBay account through another service (like Google) or if you connect your website or account to a social media service, we will receive information from that service (such as your username, basic profile information, and friends list) via the authorization procedures used by that service. The information we receive depends on which services you authorize and any options that are available. We may also get information, such as a mailing address, from third party services about individuals who are not yet our users, which we may use, for example, for marketing and advertising purposes like postcards and other mailers advertising our services.
How And Why We Use Information
Purposes for Using Information
We use information about you as mentioned above and 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, or charge you for any of our paid Services;
To further develop and improve our Services–for example by adding new features that we think our users will enjoy or will help them to create and manage their websites more efficiently;
To monitor and analyze trends and better understand how users interact with our Services, which helps us improve our Services and make them easier to use;
To measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising, and better understand user retention and attrition—for example, we may analyze how many individuals purchased a plan after receiving a marketing message or the features used by those who continue to use our Services after a certain length of time;
To monitor and prevent any problems with our Services, protect the security of our Services, detect and prevent fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities, fight spam, and protect the rights and property of SFBay and others, which may result in us declining a transaction or the use of our Services;
To communicate with you, for example through an email, about offers and promotions offered by SFBay and others we think will be of interest to you, solicit your feedback, or keep you up to date on SFBay and our products; and
To personalize your experience using our Services, provide content recommendations, target our marketing messages to groups of our users (for example, those who have a particular plan with us or have been our user for a certain length of time), and serve relevant advertisements.
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 our 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 better understand 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.
How We Share Information
We do not sell our users’ private personal information. We share information about you in the limited circumstances spelled out below and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy:
- Third Party Vendors: We may share information about you with third party vendors who need to know information about you in order to provide their services to us, or to provide their services to you or your site. This group includes vendors that help us provide our Services to you (like payment providers that process your credit and debit card information, fraud prevention services that allow us to analyze fraudulent payment transactions, postal and 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, and data escrow services that allow us to provide domain registration services, and your hosting provider), 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), those that help us understand and enhance our Services (like analytics providers), 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.
- Legal Requests: 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 SFBay, 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.
- 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 with which you authorize us to do so, such as the social media services that you connect to your site through our Publicize feature.
- Aggregated or De-Identified Information: We may share information that has been aggregated or reasonably de-identified, so that the information could not reasonably be used to identify you. For instance, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our Services and we may share a hashed version of your email address to facilitate customized ad campaigns on other platforms.
- Published Support Requests: And if you send us a request (for example, via a support email or one of our feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish that request in order to help us clarify or respond to your request or to help us support other users.
Information Shared Publicly
Information that you choose to make public is–you guessed it–disclosed publicly. That means, of course, that 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 you get a lot of views! For example, the photo that you upload to your public profile, or a default image if you haven’t uploaded one, is your **G**lobally **R**ecognized Avatar, or Gravatar—get it? :). Your Gravatar, along with other public profile information, will display with the comments and “Likes” that you make on other users’ websites while logged in to your WordPress.com account. Your Gravatar + public profile information may also display with your comments, “Likes,” and other interactions on websites that use our Gravatar service, if the email address associated with your account with us is the same as the email address that you use on the other website. We also provide a “Firehose” stream of public data (like posts and comments) from 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. 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.
How Long We Keep Information
We generally discard information about you when we no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collect and use it—which are described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information—and we are not legally required to continue to keep it. For example, we keep the web server logs that record information about a visitor to SFBay, such as 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 SFBay and investigate issues if something goes wrong on one of our websites. As another example, when you delete a post, page, or comment from SFBay, it stays in your Trash folder for thirty days just in case you change your mind and would like restore that content—because starting again from scratch is no fun, at all. After the thirty days are up, the deleted content may remain on our backups and caches until purged.
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, such as monitoring our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.
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, paid, premium themes–may not be accessible.
- Limit Access to Information On Your Mobile Device: Your mobile device operating system should provide you with the ability to discontinue our ability to collect stored information or location information via our mobile apps. If you do so, you may not be able to use certain features (like adding a location to a photograph, for example).
- Opt-Out of Electronic Communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional messages from us. Just follow the instructions in those messages. If you opt out of promotional messages, we may still send you other messages, like those about your account and legal notices.
- Set Your Browser to Reject Cookies: At this time, SFBay 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 SFBay websites, with the drawback that certain features of SFBay may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
- Close Your Account: While we’d be very sad to see you go, if you no longer want to use our Services :( :( :( :(, you can [close your WordPress.com account](https://en.support.wordpress.com/account-deactivation/). 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.
If you are located in certain countries, including those that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (AKA the “GDPR”), data protection laws give you 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 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 do that, or you would 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. EU individuals also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.
How to Reach Us
Ads and Analytics Services Provided by Others
Visitors to Our Users’ Websites