Effective Date: This policy was last updated on 07/10/2012.
This policy applies on all platforms (web, mobile web, apps, emails etc.).
BITS contains links to other sites and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of every website that collects Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
This policy does not apply to personal information collected by third party websites and offerings linked to or otherwise accessible from BITS. The information collected or received by third parties is subject to their own privacy policies.
BITS gathers information about its users mainly to enhance their experience on the site and on email newsletters. This information is used to bring you content that is relevant to your interests. Additionally, BITS, along with our advertising partners, gathers information about you anonymously to provide you with more targeted advertising messages that are catered to your location and interests.
Information We Collect
Personal Information/Information You Directly Provide To BITS:
When registering, commenting or signing up for newsletters, you may provide BITS with personal information, including but not limited to:
- Personal contact information (name, zip code, e-mail address, phone numbers)
- User name (including social media user names)
- Correspondence with BITS staff
- Billing information (for paid BITS products)
You are not required to provide BITS with any personal information in order to use the site. All information that is collected is the sole property of the site, and that information is not distributed outside of the site unless required by law.
If you choose to comment on BITS stories through Twitter, GooglePlus, Disqus and/or Facebook Connect, we do not get access to your email address nor do we have any access to your personal data or private information.
Non-Personal Information Automatically Collected
This type of information is collected anonymously using tracking technology such as third-party cookies, web beacons, and other similar methods. No Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is collected through this. This information may include but is not limited to:
- Hardware/software information (geographic location, IP address, browser type, device type, operating system, bandwidth, etc.)
- Analytics information (time spent on site, number of pages viewed, referring web page, browser information, etc.)
- Advertising information (type of ads seen, number of times ads were served, pages where ads were served)
- Information collected through HTML cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies.
Information Collected Through Third-Party Sources
This type of information is collected anonymously by approved third-party partners (such as online marketing firms, research companies, social media companies, ad targeting firms, and other partners). None of the information collected by these sources contains any PII. This type of information includes but is not limited to:
- Demographic information (gender, age, HHI, job title, interests, etc.)
- Advertising information (clicks, interactions, post-impression performance data)
- Social networking information (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
What Is Done With The Collected Information?
- Email Communications: BITS may use the information submitted to send email communications such as newsletters, breaking news, information about the site, alerts and promotional messages from advertising partners.
- Site Analysis: BITS uses the information collected through third-party sources to learn and analyse how the site is used. We use this information to enhance the website by making improvements based on the data collected.
- Advertising: Display ads are delivered from our different advertising partners. At times, third-party information is used to deliver targeted ads based on user location and interests. We may also use third-party ad platforms (such as Google AdSense) to deliver ads on our website. No PII is exchanged with any type of advertising message on BITS.
Is there anything else I should know about my privacy on BITS?
Because BITS is a public forum, any information you disclose voluntarily on our comments page becomes public information. We cannot control the action of our site users and advise that discretion is used when sharing personal information on the Internet. All information sharing is optional and done at your own risk. Privacy is a very personal matter and we encourage you to be careful and responsible when disclosing personal information online.
How We Share Information Collected
There are some circumstances when your information is shared outside of the company. These circumstances include but are not limited to:
- Comments posted using the Facebook app on BITS. The information submitted (including social media user name) is view-able to the public.
- BITS may need to disclose personal information to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or any other legal process.
- We employ third-party services to distribute email newsletters and these third-parties have access to specific information only for the purpose of fulfilling contracts on our behalf.
- In the event that BITS goes through a business transition such as a merger, acquisition by another company or sale of a portion of its assets, users’ personal information will, in most instances, be part of the assets transferred.
BITS does not allow any third-party company to use your email address for commercial purposes without your expressed permission. We will send newsletter communications, partner sponsorship messages, account alerts, and any other emails you have requested to receive. If you would like to opt out of any specific newsletters or mailings, please go to your profile to change your newsletter settings.
- Security: BITS uses all reasonable means to safeguard data against unauthorized use and theft.