Each Affinity Toolbar Product (collectively, the "Affinity Products") is a property of Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc. ("Mindspark," "we," or "us,"). Mindspark is a part of the IAC family of businesses, which includes a variety of brands such as Ask.com, Vimeo, Zwinky, Smiley Central, Girlsense, Chemistry.com, Citysearch, CollegeHumor, Dictionary.com, Evite, Match.com, Pronto, ServiceMagic, and Shoebuy. For a list of all of IAC's businesses, please visit www.iac.com. For more information about Mindspark, please visit www.mindspark.com.
What types of information do we collect? Each time you download an Affinity product, we collect the limited information that your browser makes available whenever you visit any website. This information includes: (a) your Internet Protocol (IP) address; (b) the address of the last URL you visited before clicking through to the website; (c) your browser and platform type (e.g., a Netscape browser on a Macintosh platform); (d) your browser language; and (e) the data in any undeleted "cookies" that your browser previously accepted from us. Additionally, when you enter a search query using the Affinity Products, we will receive the query text and process it, together with the above data, to return a search results page to you. If you have modified your browser settings so that address-bar search queries and erroneous domain name system (DNS) requests are submitted to us, we may also receive any search query or misspelled URL that you enter into your browser's address bar.
The Affinity Products generally do not require registration or submission of an account name or email address in order to use them. However, we may offer certain services for which registration, including the provision of an account name and email address, is required in order to be fully utilized. You would also need to provide us your email address if you submit a help request or other communication via email. The amount of information that you choose to disclose to us is completely up to you, although access to or use of some services may be affected if information is not provided.
What types of information do we collect? We use the information that we collect to improve the overall quality of your experience with the Affinity Products, and to facilitate evaluation, improvement, and development of the Affinity Products. We aggregate query information for internal reporting purposes and optimization of advertising revenue. We count, track, and aggregate our visitors' activities in our analysis of general traffic flows via the Affinity Products (e.g., tracking where users come from, what pages they select within the websites, how they interact with search results, etc.).
Information about the search queries you submit via the Affinity Products and how you interact with search results may also be used to personalize the content and advertisements that we present to you. We may, based on the search queries you submit and the search results you select (including paid search results), draw inferences about your interests and display advertisements matched to such interests. You may receive such customized ads via the Affinity Products or on websites of other Mindspark or IAC businesses, and on third-party sites with advertising managed by Mindspark or another IAC business. If you would like to terminate Mindspark's access to your search history, you may remove our cookies from your computer (consult your browser's "help" menu to learn how to delete cookies).
If you have registered with us, to review, revise, or delete the account information that we have collected about you online and have maintained, please log in to your profile/account page and edit accordingly. However, please understand that although information, once deleted, is not available on the Affinity Products, it may remain stored indefinitely in our back-up and archival records.
How are cookies used on the Affinity Products?
If you would like to remove our cookies from your computer, you can delete them using your browser (consult your browser's "help" menu to learn how to delete cookies). If you choose to decline or remove cookies, please note that you may not be able to use some of the interactive features offered on the Affinity Products.
What information may we share with third parties?
We do not share your name, account name, or email address with third parties for the purpose of enabling them to send you information about their products or services (or for any other purpose, except to respond to legal process as described below).
IAC businesses: We may use search-query data to identify subject-matter search categories for use in classifying queries and targeting advertising that is delivered in response to queries. We may share the targeting categories as well as the search queries that you submit to us to enable them to personalize advertisements they present to you.
Third-party service providers. Some elements or features of the Affinity Products are supplied to us by third parties under contract. We may supply some of the information we collect from you to those third parties so that they can provide those elements or features for display. We may share the following information with third parties: (a) your Internet Protocol (IP) address; (b) the address of the last URL you visited before clicking through to an Affinity Products; (c) your browser and platform type (e.g., a Netscape browser on a Macintosh platform); (d) your browser language; (e) the data in any undeleted cookies that your browser previously accepted from us; and (f) the search queries you submit. For example, when you submit a query, we transmit it (and some of the related information described above) to our paid-listing providers in order to generate relevant advertising to display in response to your query and to optimize the number and quality of sponsored results that will be provided to you on the Affinity Products. We may merge information about you into group data, which may then be shared on an aggregated basis with our advertisers. If you provide us with answers to voluntary survey questions, we may furnish this information to our advertisers and partners in the form of group statistics compiled from our users' answers to such questions.
These third-party companies have their own recordkeeping and data-retention policies.
Law enforcement/legal requirements. We may disclose any information you voluntarily submit to us, as well as any other information we have about you (such as your IP address, the search queries you have submitted, and the search results you have selected) in order to comply with court orders, subpoenas, or regulatory obligations, or when otherwise required to do so by law. We also may disclose such information in compliance with a law-enforcement or other governmental request, or where we believe disclosure is necessary or desirous to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, or violations of our Terms of Services.
Corporate restructuring. We also may transfer your information to a third party if we or any of our affiliates are involved in a corporate restructuring (e.g., a sale, merger, or other transfer of assets).
What happens when you leave an Affinity Product Website to go to other Internet sites?
We do not control the information collection and dissemination policies of third-party companies. When you are on one of the Affinity Product websites, you may be directed to other sites that are beyond our control. For example, if you click on a search result, the click may take you to a third-party website. These other sites may independently collect data from or about you, solicit information from you, or place their own cookies on your computer. We are not responsible for any use of the information such third-party sites may collect.
What is our policy regarding personally identifiable information from children under 13? In accordance with the Federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 ("COPPA"), we do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13. Registration on an Affinity Product is not available to anyone under the age of 13.
Do we take security precautions to protect your information? We have security measures in place that are designed to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access to information we collect online. Mindspark utilizes both industry and proprietary standards to preserve the confidentiality of information. We seek to limit access to our users' information to employees who we believe reasonably need access to that information to provide products or services to you or in order to perform their jobs. These employees have been informed of the need to maintain the security and confidentiality of such information. Unfortunately, no security system can be 100% secure; accordingly, we cannot guarantee the security of the information that we collect online.
A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user's computer for record keeping purposes. Cookies can be either session cookies or persistent cookies. A session cookie expires when you close your browser and is used to make it easier for you to navigate our website. A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive for an extended period of time.
For example, when you sign in to an Affinity Product, we will record your user or member ID and the name on your user or member account in the cookie file on your computer. We also may record your password in this cookie file, if you indicated that you would like your password saved for automatic sign-in. For security purposes, we will encrypt any usernames, passwords, and other user or member account-related data that we store in such cookies. In the case of sites and services that do not use a user or member ID, the cookie will contain a unique identifier. We may allow our authorized service providers to serve cookies from our website to allow them to assist us in various activities, such as doing analysis and research on the effectiveness of our site, content and advertising.
You may delete or decline cookies by changing your browser settings. If you do so, some of the features and services of our website may not function properly.
Web beacons (also known as clear gifs, pixel tags or web bugs) are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of web users or to access cookies. Unlike cookies which are stored on the user's computer hard drive, web beacons are embedded invisibly on the web pages (or in email) and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Web beacons may be used to deliver or communicate with cookies, to count users who have visited certain pages and to understand usage patterns. We also may receive an anonymous identification number if you come to our site from an online advertisement displayed on a third-party website.