Policies and Disclaimers
PBS is committed to protecting the private information of our web site visitors. From the pbs.org homepage to more than 150,000 pages of content produced by our affiliates, the “pbs.org” domain remains a safe haven. The PBS.org web site adheres to a strict policy for ensuring the privacy of personally identifiable information and preserving the integrity of this online medium. Here we explain the type of information collected from PBS.org, how that information may be used, how you can access or modify that information, and how that information is protected.
I. WHICH SITES ARE COVERED BY THIS POLICY?
II. WHAT INFORMATION DO WE GATHER?
PBS collects two types of information from visitors to the Site: (A) Personally Identifiable Information, and (B) Non-personally Identifiable Information (information such as IP Addresses and cookies, which allow for a better use of the Site). Uses of this information are discussed in Section III.
A. Personally Identifiable Information
PBS will not collect personally identifiable information from you, other than what you supply to us on a voluntary basis upon request. Personally identifiable information includes, but is not limited to, name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and credit card information.
Registration for our website:
Our Site may at times require a free registration, which enables full access to the information and resources offered on our Site. A unique email address must be supplied to register.
Paid Products and Services:
While the majority of our Site is free, we may charge fees for select products and services. To enable the purchase of these and other products, we collect your telephone number, e-mail address, billing address and credit card information.
Member Stations and other public broadcasting entities:
On certain pages within the Site, PBS may offer visitors the opportunity to make a donation in support of public broadcasting entities, programs and series, or to order products, subscriptions or other services offered by PBS Member Stations. If a visitor chooses to make a donation or order such other products or services, PBS will collect and store your telephone number, e-mail address, billing address and credit card information.
Forums, Feedback and Content Submissions:
On some pages of the Site, you can submit content to be published, make community postings, comments, suggestions, and vote. We may collect name, address, and e-mail addresses in connection with these activities.
Your submission of others’ Personally Identifiable Information:
On some pages of the Site, you can submit information about other people. For example, you may submit a person’s name and email address to send an article. Additionally, you may purchase a gift online and submit the person’s name, address and telephone number for delivery. This information will only be used for the stated purpose.
Contests, Sweepstakes and Special Offers:
On occasion, we may collect personal information from users in connection with optional (i.e., you opt-in to participate in these offers) sweepstakes, contests or special offers. Such information will be used as indicated at the time of collection.
Listservs and E-mail Newsletters:
On occasion, we may collect personal information from users in connection with optional (i.e. you opt-in to subscribe to these services) listservs and e-mail newsletters. Such information will be used as indicated at the time of collection.
B. Non-personally Identifiable Information
In addition to information that you provide to us, we may also collect and store certain non-personally identifiable information automatically when using the Site. This information helps us improve the experience you and other visitors have with the Site.
For example, we may collect your IP address, browser information and reference site domain, as well as related information such as the date on which you visit the Site. This information does not identify you personally and is only used in the aggregate.
As is common practice among web sites, we use “cookies” and similar technologies. Cookies are text files which store your preferences. No personal information is ever stored in a PBS cookie, even if you have entered your name or email address on other parts of the Site.
You can generally prevent cookies from being used by changing the settings in your web browser, but please be aware that by doing so you may be unable to fully utilize the Site.
III. HOW DO WE USE INFORMATION GATHERED ON THE SITE?
Except as expressly set forth in our policies, we will not willfully disclose your personally identifiable information to any third party without first receiving your permission. We will never sell, rent, or swap your personally identifiable information with non-affiliated third parties for their own purposes.
In terms of our own use of information, we may use your personally identifiable information for the activities described in the previous sections, and for internal purposes and marketing, promotional and fundraising purposes in support of public broadcasting.
We will typically explain the extent of use at the time you are asked to provide personal information. If you do not want this information to be collected or used by us for these purposes, you can simply “opt out.” Under certain circumstances, opting out may prevent your participation in activities for which personal information is needed, as in contests.
In certain cases, we contract with other companies to provide services on our behalf. These service providers may maintain customer databases which may hold Site users’ e-mail addresses, including:
- viewers, listeners and members;
- Site visitors who have provided them to PBS by registering at our Site or signing up for a newsletter or listserv;
- audience members who e-mail questions about memberships or programs;
- donors who submit online contributions; or
- online buyers who make a purchase.
We (which includes our service providers) will use these addresses to respond to the general purposes for which we collected the information, to provide services and to operate the Site, including to respond to inquiries, to process credit card payments and billing, shipping, e-mail distribution, list processing and analysis, promotions management, to send information about PBS programs, Site, services, membership or to correspond about a purchase or product offers. For example, shoppbs.org uses a third party fulfillment agent to manage orders, credit card processing, order fulfillment and shipping, and related tasks.
Our service providers have access to your personally identifiable information as necessary to provide certain services on our behalf. They are required to maintain the privacy of all such information in their possession or control and can only use the information on our behalf for the purpose that we have contracted them, for example processing your order or sending you a series newsletter. They are not authorized to use your information for any other purpose.
Similarly, personally identifiable information provided in connection with a donation intended for a program, series or Member Station, or for purposes of ordering products, subscriptions or other services offered by the PBS Member Stations, will be shared by PBS or by such PBS Member Stations with third parties who perform services to process the donation or the applicable order. Also, in transmitting your donation or order to the local Member Station PBS may share your personally identifiable information with the Member Station for order or donation processing.
At times, we make customer mailing lists available to carefully screened companies whose products or services might interest individuals who have shopped on the Site. If you prefer that we not share your information in this way, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We, or our service providers, may release personal identification information if we believe in good faith that the law or legal process requires it, we have received a valid administrative request from a law enforcement agency, or such release is necessary to protect anyone’s rights, property or safety.
On certain pages, we offer visitors the opportunity to provide comments or other user-generated content on blogs and articles. Any information that you disclose when posting a message to these areas, along with the screen name or ID used, becomes public. In addition, the information that you disclose in these areas may be used by us for promotional and marketing purposes. We are not responsible for any personally identifiable information that you choose to disclose in these public areas.
We reserve the right to send you e-mail relating to your account status. This includes order confirmations, renewal/expiration notices, notices of credit card problems, other transactional e-mails and notifications about major changes to our Site. If you have registered for online discussions or other services, you may receive e-mail specific to your participation in those activities.
We offer several e-mail newsletters and listservs. If you no longer wish to receive a specific newsletter, you may opt out by following the “unsubscribe” instructions located near the bottom of each newsletter.
We use non-personally identifiable information, such as IP addresses or demographic information (zip codes for example) to tailor our Site to the interests/locations of our users and to measure traffic within our Site.
PBS uses the content from the cookies to deliver relevant local resources, remember browser preferences, and improve our visitors’ experiences on the Site. PBS does not sell information collected by cookies nor use the information for commerce-related purposes. In addition, PBS will not filter content based on your preferences without permission.
- A cookie may automatically localize pbs.org to the PBS station nearest you. You can choose to have your computer remember a different station or no station at all at any time.
- If you watch a video clip or listen to an audio clip on pbs.org, a cookie may remember which media player and type of clip you prefer to use on your computer. You can change your video and audio preferences at any time, or choose a player each time you view of listen to a clip.
- A cookie will tell us which pages you visit and the amount of time between each page visit. The cookie does not remember any information about you or your computer; it just helps us at PBS monitor Site usage and traffic; for example, it allows us to measure the number of repeat visitors to pbs.org in a given month. This data is only used in the aggregate.
Additionally, cookies may be used on pay sites to (1) identify the terms of any special offers you may have obtained, such as price discount or free trial period AND/OR (2) automatically sign you in so that you do not have to enter a username and password each time you visit.
IV. HOW CAN I ACCESS OR CORRECT INFORMATION?
Access to personally identifiable information that is collected from our Site may be accessible for a limited period of time from the point of collection, such as where a user provides an e-mail address in order to receive an e-mail newsletter or a reminder about an upcoming program or event. In other cases, personally identifiable information may be maintained, edited and deleted at the user’s discretion at any time after the information has been submitted to PBS. For example, if you created a password-protected account within our Site, you may be able to access that account to review the information you provided and make corrections and updates as necessary. However this feature is not available throughout our Site where the user is not asked to create an account. Therefore, if at any time, you prefer not to receive e-mail from a service that you subscribed to without creating a personal account, simply get out by following the unsubscribe options at the bottom of each e-mail.
You may also send an e-mail or letter to the following e-mail or street address requesting access to or correction of your personally identifiable information. For verification purposes please include your first name, last name, e-mail address and the password you use for said service.
PBS.org, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202
V. HOW IS MY INFORMATION PROTECTED?
PBS is committed to ensuring the security of the data provided to us by Site users. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy and ensure the appropriate use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic and managerial procedures to protect the information we collect online.
VI. DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL CHILDREN’S GUIDELINES?
PBS.org is a general audience Site and does not knowingly collect or store personally identifiable information about children under the age of 13.