StarTribune.com has a firm commitment to privacy. We take your privacy concerns seriously and want to make every effort to address them as we strive to offer our site visitors a high quality, interactive and personalized experience. That is why we have adopted the following policy, which explains our position on information gathering and how we intend to use and share any information we collect. It is important to note that this policy applies only to information collected by StarTribune.com and does not apply to information obtained or used by Star Tribune or its affiliates through other means.
What information we collect and how it is used
Access to the majority of content, services and features on StarTribune.com requires users to become registered members. Member registration requires you to provide certain Personally Identifiable Information, such as your name, e-mail address, street address, gender, and date of birth. You will be asked to select a member name and password so that you have access to this information and can revise it in the future. To complete the registration process, we will send you a validation e-mail message. You must click the link in the e-mail to fully activate your membership account. You will also have the opportunity to subscribe to e-mail newsletters and alerts and elect to receive e-mail Offers sent to you on behalf of StarTribune.com advertisers. Some features and services may require additional Personally Identifiable Information or other demographic information. We may collect other personal information when you provide feedback, comments, engage in chat, message boards, interactive forums or participate in surveys, or if you contact us offline. For example, when you enter contests you will be asked to also provide your phone number so that we can reach you in the event you've won a prize. All users may decline to share such information with us by choosing not to register on the Web site or use our services. Only registered members, however, may access certain content, services and features.
If you wish to forward an article to a friend, we will ask that you provide your friend's name and e-mail address. While we collect statistics on which articles are forwarded, we do not sell, rent, or market your friend's personal information, and retain the information only as long as necessary to provide this service.
Passive Data Collection and Use
Like most Web sites, StarTribune.com also collects and logs information automatically and through the use of electronic tools that may be transparent to you, such as your IP address, the name and location of your Internet Service Provider, the type and version of your browser, the length of time that you stay on startribune.com, search queries, your click-stream data, the location that referred you to StarTribune.com and the average number of pages viewed. If you visit another Web site prior to browsing startribune.com, that Web site might place personally identifiable information within a URL, which may be logged by us. Your IP address is the identifier assigned to your particular computer when you access the Internet. Depending on how you connect to the Internet, your IP address may always be the same, or it may change each time you access the Internet. Note that logging your IP address does not in and of itself provide us with your name, e-mail address or home or work address. We use this log information for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes and may also use it to gather general demographic information about you such as your general location and your Internet Service Provider. In order to better provide our services to you and to develop member profiles that enable us to focus our site, services and advertisements on your interests, we may correlate this log information with other information about you, such as your registration information or newspaper subscription records.
Most standard Web browsers contain a feature called "cookies," which allow a Web site to place information about a user's visit to that Web site in a small data text file that is stored on the user's computer. Our use of cookie technology will likely be transparent to you and is used to recognize you and hold information from one visit to the next in an effort to increase your ease of use of StarTribune.com and to allow us to better understand how people use our site through click-stream analysis. For example, cookies are used to store your member name and password, sparing you from having to re-enter that information each time you visit. Another example is that we may use cookie technology to control the number of times you see a particular advertisement while visiting StarTribune.com. You can turn the cookies feature off by using your browser preference options, but doing so will severely limit your access to StarTribune.com and may prevent you from registration.
Use of Personally Identifiable Information
Personally Identifiable Information may be accessed by the user who entered it, by Star Tribune and StarTribune.com personnel, and by certain third parties, such as those who provide technical support or content services to StarTribune.com. We ask these third parties to keep any personal information supplied by us confidential. We also endeavor to keep your Personally Identifiable Information inaccessible to other users or advertisers of StarTribune.com. Note that your member name may be displayed on our homepage when you visit StarTribune.com as a logged in member. We will also display your e-mail address and contact information in your Member Center. We make every effort to make the Member Center secure; it can only be accessed by logging in with your member name and password.
We also reserve the right to disclose Personally Identifiable Information when deemed necessary or appropriate to comply with the law, respond to claims, protect our computer systems and customers, ensure the integrity and operation of our business and systems, or protect the rights, property or safety of startribune.com, its affiliates, or others.
Use of Aggregated information
In order to describe our services to prospective partners, advertisers and others, we may use your Personally Identifiable Information to create a compiled, aggregate view of the StarTribune.com audience and their usage patterns. We use Aggregated Information to operate our services and to better understand our audience as we develop new content and services. Aggregated Information may also be shared with third parties we contract with to provide content and services on StarTribune.com as well as advertisers so that they can better understand our audience. For example, we might disclose that a certain percentage of our users are female or within a certain age range or live within a cluster of zip codes.
StarTribune.com is particularly concerned with providing a safe online environment for children. Children under the age 13 will not be allowed to register and become a member of StarTribune.com in order to access general StarTribune.com content, features and services.
In the future, parents and legal guardians of children under age 13 who register are able to establish a member account for their child by accessing the Member Center. Other areas and services operated by StarTribune.com that do not require registration but that ask for Personally Identifiable Information from children under age 13 will require a parental consent before collecting the information. Star Tribune does not ask children under age 13 for more personal information, as a condition of participation, than is reasonably necessary to participate in a given activity or promotion. Further, we limit most of our contests to people who are at least 18 years of age, making children ineligible to enter. An example of an instance in which we sought parental consent to collect user data from children was the Star Tribune Cranial Cram scholarship contest, in which prizes were awarded to schoolchildren. In this instance, the information was used only to award scholarships and prizes.
Parental consent to allow registration and collect information about children can be provided by faxing or mailing a copy of the completed Parental Consent Form, including your signature, to the address or facsimile number provided on the Parental Consent Form. This form will be available in applicable areas of our site.
StarTribune.com will not knowingly disclose personal information about users under the age of 13 without prior parental or legal guardian consent, except as required by law. If for any reason you wish to access, update or remove information about your child that has been previously provided to startribune.com, you may fax us (at 612-673-4840), call us at 612-288-2830 or use our e-mail Feedback Form.
StarTribune.com strongly recommends parental supervision when a child uses the Internet, particularly when a child enters a forum or uses e-mail. We also encourage parents to instruct their children not to give out personal information in these areas.
StarTribune.com does not rent, sell, barter or give away its user or member lists or its users' or members' names, e-mail addresses or mailing addresses for use by advertisers and other third parties for the purpose of solicitations, unless the user has previously given his or her consent at the time of general registration or registration for a specific contest or service. If a user granted permission to receive solicitations (referred to as e-mail Offers) at the time of registration but subsequently wishes to opt out from receiving such solicitations, the user may go to the Member Center and change one or more of the category-specific permissions related to receiving e-mail sent on behalf of StarTribune.com advertisers.
All registered users may receive Membership Notices via e-mail related to their membership account or various features and services on StarTribune.com that their membership entitles them to access. Because Membership Notices are an important part of our service to you, users cannot opt-out of receiving them.
Star Tribune FYI provides information and opportunities related to the newspaper. If you don't want to receive this information, you can opt out by changing your permission setting for Star Tribune FYI e-mail in the Member Center.
When a user specifically authorizes e-mail solicitations (for example, in the user license for our Jobs service) we make available the user names and other Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with the applicable license. Please refer to the legal notices and license terms of our Jobs service for further details.
Our HTML-encoded e-mail messages include graphic files, which we use to gather information about e-mails sent our members. When such a message is opened in an HTML-capable e-mail program, the recipient's computer accesses our server to retrieve the graphic file, and allows us to record and store the date and time, the recipient's e-mail address, and other standard logging information. These HTML-encoded e-mail messages may also read cookies.
Affiliated sites, linked sites and advertisements
StarTribune.com expects its partners, providers of content and services and advertisers to respect the privacy of our users. Be aware, however, that third parties, including our partners, providers of content and services, advertisers and others accessible through our site may have their own privacy and data collection policies and practices. For example, during your visit to StarTribune.com you may link to, or view as part of a frame on a StarTribune.com page, certain content that is actually created or hosted by a third party. Also through StarTribune.com you may be introduced to, or be able to access information, services, Web sites, features, contest or sweepstakes offered by other parties. Star Tribune and StarTribune.com is not responsible for the actions or policies of such third parties. You should check the applicable privacy policies of those third parties when providing information on a feature or page operated by a third party.
Electronic commerce with the Star Tribune
For certain electronic commerce services on startribune.com, such as placing classified ads electronically, subscribing to the Star Tribune newspaper or to our premium online services or ordering Star Tribune merchandise, we require additional information. To complete these transactions, we may collect information from you such as your name, credit card number and other financial or Personally Identifiable Information. We endeavor to protect the security of your payment information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, which encrypts information you submit. The Star Tribune uses the credit card and shipping information for the purpose of completing the transaction and does not provide this information to third parties except for the issuers of credit cards in order to process the transaction, or as otherwise set forth in this policy.
Electronic commerce with other merchants
StarTribune.com provides Internet hosting services to a number of online merchants that sell a variety of goods and services. These stores may collect information from you such as your name, credit card number and other contact information. StarTribune.com does not collect, use or disclose this information, nor does it own or control the stores or have responsibility for transactions made by those merchants. If you would like to know more about the information collected when you participate in electronic commerce on or through startribune.com, you should check directly with those online merchants, as their privacy policies govern the usage of those merchants' online stores.
Changing your personal information
In general, a registered member may return to his or her account information page in the Member Center to update the information he or she previously provided to us. To prevent minors from improperly entering contests for which they are not eligible, we may require additional proof from people asking to change their birth date information. Information you provide to StarTribune.com may be stored by us for an indefinite time. This information includes the registration data as well as information provided in conjunction with various membership services, contests or features available on StarTribune.com.
You can delete your StarTribune.com membership account in Member Center by clicking on the link labeled "delete my account." By doing so, all but a transactional record of your membership account will be removed from our databases, though some records may remain on back-up media. Note that by deleting your account, you will cancel your membership and no longer be able to access StarTribune.com.
If after visiting your Member Center you are unclear on how to change your information or have other questions, please contact us via e-mail using our Feedback Form or by phone at 612-673-4920.
Remember the risks when you use the Internet
You should know that when you voluntarily disclose personal information on the StarTribune.com Web site (for example, in the Talk discussion forums), that information can be collected and used by others and may result in unsolicited messages from other people. While we do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot be responsible for information that you choose to publicly disclose. Further, you are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of any passwords or other account information. Although we make good faith efforts to store the information we collect in a secure operating environment that is not available to the public and to work with responsible third parties, we cannot guarantee complete security for your information.
In addition, our advertisers, content providers, partners and other Internet sites or services that may be accessible through StarTribune.com have separate data and privacy practices that are independent of us, and we disclaim any responsibility or liability for their policies or actions. Please contact those sites directly if you have questions about their privacy policies.
Platform for Privacy Preferences.
StarTribune.com endorses and abides by the privacy principles approved by the Interactive Services Association and the Direct Marketing Association. If you have any questions or comments about our policies, we may be reached at:
Effective Date: May 14, 2003