Personally Identifiable Information
There are limited pieces of information in this Policy that we collect from you that is "Personally Identifiable Information," or "PII". These are your name, home address, your email address, your telephone numbers, your picture if you upload it directly to Countable, your unique mobile device ID number, and your social media account IDs. We take our collection of PII and your privacy expectations very seriously, and therefore have very restricted rules for handling, using and sharing this information, as described in this Policy. It is up to you whether to disclose PII to us, although if you do not do so, certain products and services may not be available for your use.
Information that you post to Countable
There are many functions and areas of our website and applications where you can post information about yourself, your views, and your affiliations. It is important to remember that some of these areas are publicly viewable to other users and organizations. Countable does not control which information you post to publicly viewable areas. For instance, we enable you to create a publicly viewable username. If you create a username that identifies you individually, such as your real name, or add contact information to your bio, anyone with access to Countable will be able to see that. Similarly, sharing actions that you take on Countable via your social networks will enable access to that information to third parties in a manner that we cannot control. It is important to distinguish your provision of PII to us directly, which we can control under this Policy, versus information you post publicly or provide to other people, to organizations, or via other services, which Countable cannot control.
Your views and affiliations
In addition to PII, there is other information that you may share through Countable that we consider sensitive, and to which we apply strict rules. While this information cannot be used to identify you personally, it does provide insights about the views of people who use Countable. We refer to this information in this Policy as "Your Views", and it includes your stated political party affiliation and the issues you vote on. Your Views do not include any information that you post publicly or share through your social networks or through message exchanges with other users. Because Countable does not collect such information directly from you and because, once posted, such information may be immediately accessible by parties that we do not manage, Countable cannot control such information in the way we control information provided to us.
We also collect information about the use of the Countable platform which does not reveal your identity. This information includes browser and device information, information collected through cookies, pixel tags, and other technologies, and demographic information and other non-identifying information provided by you such as a zip code or general geographic area.
How we may use your information
There are multiple ways we use your information to provide the best service possible to you. In doing so, we may use your PII and Your Views to draw your attention to issues in which we believe you may be interested, and to communicate directly with you through email, via our apps, or in your usage of our services. Here are some examples of the ways we might use your information:
- We use your information to respond to your inquiries and fulfill your requests, such as when you vote on a bill, author an opinion, or participate in other activities.
- We use your information to communicate directly and provide to you information regarding our services and changes to our terms, conditions, and policies.
- We use your information for data analysis, developing new services, enhancing, improving or modifying our platform, identifying usage trends, and determining the effectiveness of campaigns.
- We use your information to personalize your experience by presenting legislation, issues and offers tailored to you based on what we know about you. We may also send you promotional communications that we believe may be of interest to you.
- We use your information to facilitate social sharing functionality, such as sharing content and bills through the Countable platform and other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- We use your account information to allow you to send email messages to your email contacts through our platform, such as to share a bill or opinion.
- We use information about your computer or device to ensure that our site, apps and APIs function properly and are optimized for your computer or device.
- If you are using one of our mobile applications, we use your device ID to recognize you when you use the application and to store your preferences and settings.
- We use IP Addresses for administration and security purposes, such as calculating usage levels of our sites, apps and API, helping diagnose server problems and detecting fraud and spam behavior.
- We may use and share aggregated and anonymized information to better understand and serve our users or for optimization of our marketing and ad targeting efforts. For example, we may compile statistics about the percentage of our users in a state or county who care about animal rights, or the age range of those users.
Who may receive your PII and Your Views
a. The Countable community
Your username, general geographic location (such as city, state, country), and a link to your Countable user profile may be displayed on your profile page, on contributions you make and on related areas. This information will be viewable to any user of Countable, including the media, search engines, and other organizations that access Countable. If you do not wish to have your personal information displayed, you may choose not to reveal your name on your profile page by selecting a username other than your name. Our platform provides an open forum for communication by users. We do not perform any background checks on users.
b. Your other social media platforms
You may voluntarily share information on message boards, chat, profile pages and blogs, and other services to which you are able to post information and materials (including the Countable pages on Facebook and other social media platforms). Please remember that any information you post or disclose through these services will become accessible to the public, and may be available to other Countable users, social media platform users and to the general public. We urge you to be very careful when deciding to disclose any information about yourself via the social sharing features of our platform.
c. Advertisers and ad networks
We may share information about you with advertisers and advertising networks on our platform, except that we will not provide PII to advertisers or ad networks without your approval. Also, advertising companies may place cookies on your browser. If you would like more information about this practice and to learn about your choices in connection with it, please visit http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp and http://www.aboutads.info/.
If you are using one of our mobile applications, our ad network partners may use and store your mobile device ID to show ads that they consider relevant to you in various mobile services that you use.
d. Organizations and Lawmakers
Countable maintains pages, widgets, and applications, for organizations and lawmakers, with which you can interact. Only Countable, the lawmakers, and organizations to whom you have provided PII via the Countable platform will receive your PII. For instance, if you send a message to your lawmakers when sharing your voting preference or advocating on issues, and include your email address and name, that information will be made available to Countable, the organization, and your lawmakers. Countable may also share Your Views with lawmakers and organizations. For instance, if you take action via the Countable platform, we will share your PII and Your Views with the sponsoring organization and/or lawmakers. Countable may also share anonymized data with select organizational affiliates.
e. Administrative purposes
We may share information about you with our services providers who process information to provide services to us or on your behalf. We have contracts with our service providers that prohibit them from sharing your information with anyone else or from using your information for any purposes other than providing contracted services.
We may disclose the personal information we collect about our users when we believe disclosure is necessary to investigate, prevent, or respond to suspected illegal or fraudulent activity or to protect the safety, rights, or property of Countable, our users, or others.
If requested or required by government authorities, such as law enforcement authorities, courts, or regulators, or otherwise to comply with the law, we may have to disclose any information we have about our users. We also may disclose information collected about you in order to exercise or protect legal rights or defend against legal claims.
We have no plans to sell our business. In this unlikely event, we may transfer your personal information to a third party if we or any of our company affiliates are involved in a corporate restructuring (e.g., a sale, merger, or other transfer of assets).
f. Social media
You can edit or remove the permissions you have granted to us to use information from your social media accounts by using your application privacy settings on your social media accounts.
If you’ve signed in through Facebook connect, you are likely cookied by Facebook. You can modify or change those cookies through the settings on your Facebook account. For more details on cookies, please see our Cookies Policy.
g. Email settings
If you no longer want to receive marketing-related emails from us or our affiliate companies going forward, you may opt out of receiving these by following the instructions contained in any such email or by clicking "unsubscribe" from the footer of our emails.
We will comply with your request(s) as soon as it is reasonably practicable. Please also note that if you do opt out of receiving marketing-related emails from us, we may still send you important administrative messages (such as updates about your account or service changes), and you cannot opt out from receiving these messages.
h. Advertising networks
You may opt out of receiving targeted online advertising from advertising networks that may be delivered on our platform and other websites by visiting the following websites:
Network Advertising Initiative (http://www.networkadvertising.org/)
Digital Advertising Alliance (http://www.aboutads.info/consumers)
Please bear in mind that there are many more companies listed on these sites than those that place cookies on your computer when you access our platform.
We may also place ads within our present or future applications. If you are using an iOS device and you do not want to receive tailored in-application ads that relate to your interests, you may opt-out by accessing the following link on your device: http://oo.apple.com. If you are using an iOS6 device or later, you also may limit the delivery of tailored ads through the following process: Open Settings and tap "General" then tap "About"; Scroll to the bottom of About and tap "Advertising"; Flip "Limit Ad Tracking" to ON. If you are using an Android device and you do not wish to receive tailored in-application ads, you can visit Google’s Ads Preferences page from a browser on your device and make your choices there. We do not control how the applicable platform operator allows you to control receiving tailored in-application ads; thus, you should contact the platform provider if the above options are no longer available.
i. Third-party analytics companies
To opt out of Google Analytics, please go to https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. These opt-outs may be provided through the use of specific tracking opt-out cookies. Please note that if you get a new computer, install a new browser, or erase or otherwise alter your browser's cookie file (including upgrading certain browsers), this may also clear the opt-out cookie.
External data storage sites
We may store your data on servers provided by third party hosting vendors with whom we have contracted.
Your privacy responsibilities
To help protect your privacy, be sure:
- not to share your user ID or password with anyone else;
- to log out of Countable applications when you are finished;
- to take customary precautions to guard against "malware" (viruses, Trojan horses, bots, etc.), for example by installing and updating suitable anti-virus software.
Notice to European Union users
Countable’s operations are located primarily in the United States. If you provide information to us, the information will be transferred out of the European Union (EU) to the United States. By providing personal information to us, you are consenting to its storage and use as described herein.
Information collected from children
You must be at least 13 years old to use Countable’s website(s) and service(s). Countable does not knowingly collect information from children under 13. (See the [U.S.] Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.)
Questions or comments?