TheHighRoad.Org is an online community that is funded primarily by advertising. The information we collect can be broken down into three main categories:
- Information used to run the site.
- Information we have third parties collect and collate for us to help improve the site.
- Information advertisers collect as part of their advertising campaigns.
Below you will find more details about these categories, along with some ways you can opt out of data collection when possible.
The information THR collects
Users may browse our site anonymously, but in order to participate we require that users provide a valid e-mail address as part of the registration process. This is the only piece of personally identifiable information we require from users.
We also collect statistics from each visit which are used to help us understand our audience. The information collected includes the ip address used to connect to the site, the browser used, referring/exit pages, date and time of the connection, and operating system.
As a contributor you may choose to post personally identifiable information in the content of your posts. If you wish to remove this information after the time allowed to edit posts, please contact a staff member for assistance. In most cases we are happy to help however we can, but you should be aware that Google often indexes new posts within minutes of their publication, and Google's search index can be really slow to purge old data. We have no control over search engine data.
What we use this information for
E-mail addresses are used so that staff can communicate with members if problems arise, and to allow members to manage their accounts. For example, users can ask this site to e-mail them in order to:
- Use the password reset function.
- Notify them when they receive a new private message, or when a thread they are interested in is replied to.
- Allow other users to e-mail them without disclosing the recipient's e-mail address to the sender
Other data collected is used for statistical and quality control purposes.
- Understand and save your preferences for future visits. This includes remembering who you are and keeping you logged in between visits if you choose.
- Compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer a better experience in the future.
We contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to provide aggregate data about the site and help us improve our service.
How we protect this information
We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction, during transmission and once we receive it.
Information we disclose to outside parties
We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, in response to a subpoena, to enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others' rights, property, or safety. However, aggregated non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.
Third Party Data Collection
There are a number of third parties we contract with who perform data collection:
Google Analytics is used to compile data about the visitors to our web site. This provides us with metrics to determine how well we are meeting the needs of our audience, and it tells us how our audience interacts with our site. This tells us, for instance, how many unique visitors we receive in a month, whether they are browsing via desktops or mobile devices, the average time they spend on the site, and so on. Solid analytics allow us to make decisions about site management that are based on data rather than guesses.
Demographic Data is gathered by Google and Quantcast. This is useful in determining who our audience is, and it is useful for advertisers who are considering advertising here. You can see an example of this data here.
Data Collection Related to Advertising
Advertising is a complex business, and the data collected is equally complex. Here is a summary of the data collection you will see related to advertising on THR:
Google: Google has a presence on THR as it runs AdWords (an ad network that shows ads on some pages to some viewers) and DFP (the ad serving software that we use on this site.) Google's data collection methods are opaque, but we know they gather data that is used in the following ways:
- To provide ad capping. If an advertiser wants to reach THR's audience but not more than twice per day, then DFP will track how many times a given ad has been shown to each user to not exceed the desired cap.
- To provide customized ad delivery based on that users's interests.
Google AdSense Disclosures
Other Ad Networks: we use a number of ad networks to fill ad slots here on THR. In general, we can say the following about their data collection:
- Advertisers want to insure that the ad networks they contract with are showing their ads to the right people, so often ads will be displayed that contain additional tracking information that the advertiser itself uses.
- Customized ad delivery is performed by ad networks other than Google as well. We do not understand the method, but we know the data is being gathered.
- Networks gather data on the sites where they serve ads, so they can offer aggregate statistics on the properties they represent. That data is gathered on THR as well, via Quantcast as well as via tags that are delivered in other ways.
Affiliate Links: we use software that inserts an affiliate code into outgoing links that are not already tagged. It also offers the option to create in-line links to vendors. As far as we are aware no personal data is collected by the affiliate linking partner we use, but the retailer whose site you visit by clicking the link performs their own data collection which is then shared with the affiliate partner when calculating commissions. We only have access to that data in aggregate, not in any personally identifiable form.
Users who wish to opt out of the affiliate linking system can do so by visiting User Options, choosing Settings, and deselecting the last option on the page.
California Online Privacy Protection Act Notice
As part of the California Online Privacy Protection Act, all users of our site may make any changes to their information at anytime by clicking hereor by choosing "user options" on the nagivation bar and then selecting "Edit your Details".
Do Not Track: We do not currently react to Do Not Track signals.
Changes to this policy
If our policy changes, we will post these changes on this page and update the policy modification date below.
Policy Modification Date: January 1st, 2014.