The Motley Fool, LLC ("The Motley Fool" or "we" or "us") is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Statement sets out our privacy practices and explains what we do with the personal information that we collect from you on www.fool.com. Please read the following to understand our practices regarding personal information and how they affect you as you use our features and services. This statement discloses our current privacy practices; if we make material changes to these practices, we will announce them and notify you via email.
The Motley Fool has been awarded TRUSTe's Privacy Seal signifying that this privacy statement and practices have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with TRUSTe's program requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of your personal information. The TRUSTe program covers the website www.fool.com. TRUSTe's mission, as an independent third party, is to accelerate online trust among consumers and organizations globally through its leading privacy trustmark and innovative trust solutions.
If you have questions, concerns or complaints regarding our privacy statement or practices, please contact us at PrivacyPenelope@Fool.com. If you are not satisfied with our response you can contact TRUSTe here.
This Privacy Statement answers the following questions:
- What information does The Motley Fool gather about you?
- How does The Motley Fool use your personal information?
- How do we use "IP addresses" and "cookies"?
- Will The Motley Fool disclose any of your personal information?
- What kind of security measures do we take to protect your information from accidental loss or disclosure?
- Will The Motley Fool use your information for direct mailings?
- How can you deactivate your account or correct or revise information that we have about you?
- How do we respect children's privacy?
- Does The Motley Fool participate in the Safe Harbor program?
- What else should you know about your privacy?
What Information Does The Motley Fool Gather About You?
The Motley Fool collects information about our readers so that we can provide a more interesting and useful service, as well as more appropriate advertising. We ask for your name, email address, and other personal information when you register to use certain features of our Web site, or if you sign up for special or personalized services, such as our discussion boards or email newsletters. We also may ask for this information at other times, such as when you enter contests or other promotions sponsored by The Motley Fool and/or our partners. We sometimes conduct surveys as well, although you do not have to respond to them.
If you use our recommendation service to email one of our articles to a friend, you will need to provide us with your friend's email address and your email address as a return address. We will automatically send this person a one-time email, with the recommended article attached, as well as invite your friend to visit and register with our site. We will not use these email addresses for any other purpose.
We collect IP addresses for site security and to help us understand how people use our sites so that we can improve our sites and our users' respective experiences. For similar quality reasons, we use a feature known as a "cookie." Cookies contain bits of information that websites transfer to your computer's hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Cookies can make the Web more convenient by storing information about your preferences on a site. Although we may assign your browser a cookie, the cookie does not tell us who you are. Only you can tell us that. We discuss cookies later in this Privacy Statement.
When you place an order for a product or service, we need to know the sort of information typically used for credit card transactions, such as your name, mailing and billing addresses (and shipping address, if different), telephone number, and credit card number and expiration date. Gathering this information allows us to process and fulfill your order and notify you of your order status. We will also use your information to contact you regarding your order if necessary. We encrypt all of this information using Secure Socket Layers (SSL) technology.
If you enter stocks into a Watchlist or premium Scorecard, we will save that information, and use it to identify content that we think is relevant to you. We will also use that information in the aggregate to help us better understand what our community and our premium members are interested in, so we can create and target our content better.
If you use a Motley Fool application on a third party site or mobile device we may collect data about you including your email address. We will let you know what data, if any, we are collecting at the time.
You can log in to our site using third party sign-in services such as Facebook Connect or an Open ID provider. These services will authenticate your identity and provide you the option to share certain personal information with us such as your name and email address to pre-populate our sign up form. Services like Facebook Connect give you the option to post information about your activities on Fool.com to your profile page to share with others within your network.
Besides cookies, we may also use tiny electronic images (called "single-pixel GIFs" or "Web beacons"), which allow us to count users who have visited specific pages or access certain cookies. We may use single-pixel GIFs in the following ways:
- To count and recognize users.
- To conduct research on behalf of some partners on their websites, and for auditing purposes.
- To determine aggregate information about users, including demographic and usage information.
- To determine which email messages were opened (and when), as well as acted upon when we send HTML-formatted email messages (messages resembling Web pages that include graphics).
Our Web beacons do not collect personally identifiable information. You can disable our Web beacon by turning images “off” in your email client.
Advertising networks that serve ads on our site may also use single-pixel GIFs in their advertisements. In general, any electronic image viewed as part of a Web page, including an ad banner, can act as a Web beacon.
How Does The Motley Fool Use Your Personal Information?
The Motley Fool collects personal information to provide you, the user, with the best and most personalized experience possible, and to provide our advertisers with an efficient way to reach the right audience. In short, by knowing a little about you, The Motley Fool can deliver more relevant content and advertisements to you.
We conduct research on our users' demographics, interests, and behavior based upon the information you provide us when you register or participate in contests or other promotions on our site, or based upon information we receive from other sources. This research is usually compiled and analyzed on an aggregated basis, but may also be combined with personal information to help us improve your experience. We may also notify you of products, services, or areas of our site that we think may interest you based on the information we've received. If you would prefer us not to contact you for these purposes, simply go to our opt-out page and let us know.
Sometimes we ask for personal information when providing special features and services. You do not have to give us that information, but without it, you may not be able to take advantage of those products or services. For example, you will be unable to track your personal stock portfolio on our site unless you input the stocks you own, and you may not be able to gain access to certain areas of our site unless you register and/or subscribe.
How Do We Use "IP Addresses" and "Cookies"?
Your Web browser or email application automatically provides your Internet Protocol address ("IP address") to other computers with which you communicate over the Internet, so that they know where to send you information.
We receive an IP address each time you view one of our Web pages, because the browser automatically reports it to us. We also may store the IP address when you register with The Motley Fool, post a message, or buy something from us.
We may use IP addresses for various purposes, including:
- Diagnosing service or technology problems.
- Assessing and maintaining system security.
- Displaying the most appropriate advertising or content.
- Studying how people use our site and how we can improve it.
- Reporting to advertisers about aggregate, but not individual, information derived from IP addresses.
Cookies are used on our sites in the following ways:
- In the course of serving advertisements to this site, our Web advertising partners, who include DoubleClick, AOL, and Advertising.com, may place or recognize a unique cookie on your browser. For more on how to opt-out of these cookies, please see below.
For more information about cookies, read the unofficial Cookie FAQ from CookieCentral.com.
Will The Motley Fool Disclose Any of Your Personal Information?
The Motley Fool will not disclose any personally identifiable information about individual users, except as described in this Privacy Statement. With the few exceptions that we explain here, we do not give, rent, lend, or sell individual information to our advertisers, although we do provide aggregate information. For example, we might tell an advertiser that there are 120,000 Registered Fools in Gotham City, but we will not tell them that Batman is one of them, nor will we tell them that his email address is email@example.com. We may also use this aggregated information to help the advertisers reach the kind of audience they want. They may give us an ad and tell us the type of audience they want to reach (for example, males in the 22314 ZIP code). The Motley Fool (or people working on our behalf, under contracts and confidentiality agreements) would then take the ad and display it to users who have told us they meet those criteria. We may also disclose aggregate information (for example, information showing that 35 million of our readers clicked on a particular Web advertising banner last month) in order to describe our services to prospective partners, advertisers, and other third parties, and for other lawful purposes.
As for individually identifiable information, we may disclose it only under the following circumstances:
- We may disclose information to others when we have your consent.
- If you sign up for a special offer from an advertiser (for example, in our "What Every Fool Needs" or "Special Offers" areas, or whatever we call them if we change their names), we will provide your individual contact information (for example, name, mailing address, email address, and/or telephone number), so that the advertiser or its agent can fulfill the special offer. Once the advertiser receives the information, it will handle the information under its own privacy policies. Obviously, if you do not want a particular advertiser to have your personal information, then you should not sign up for that advertiser's offer.
- If you sign up for a service that relies upon third parties for important elements, we will provide your personal information to the third parties so that they can provide you with their services, and those companies will treat the data under their own policies. We will tell you about these service providers at the time you sign up for the service.
- We may disclose information to selected partners, under nondisclosure agreements, only for the purpose of marketing Motley Fool co-branded offerings (such as a Motley Fool newsletter published by another company, a Motley Fool-branded credit card, Motley Fool cereal, or Motley Fool meringues-by-mail baked and delivered with love by eMeringue). Those partners will be able to use the personal information they receive from us only for marketing the co-branded offerings, not for marketing anything else. So, you might get a notice about Motley Fool Morsels, manufactured by Nature's Miracle cereal company, but you will not receive one for that company's other flakes, crisps, or nuggets. Of course, if you then sign up for a co-branded product from our partner, the information you provide to that company will be subject to the partner's own privacy policies. If you would prefer not to hear about such products and services, simply go to our opt-out page and let us know.
- If you provide us with a "snail mail" address after May 15, 2005, we may provide that information to advertisers so that they can send you mail about their own products and services. If you do not want such mail, you can throw it in the trash, use it for kindling, or go to the opt-out page. Note: This provision does not apply to information received by us before May 15, 2005.
- If you buy something from us, we will disclose your personal information to the extent necessary to fulfill your order and charge your credit card (if applicable). We may use a fulfillment company to fill and ship your order (excluding products you download directly from our site) and a credit card processing company to verify your card number and process the transaction. For example, if you order a "Fool" cap with your credit card, we need to give your address to the fulfillment house (so that it can ship the cap to you) and your credit card information to the processing company (to confirm payment). We may also give your information to a delivery or postal service so that it can get your order to you.
- If you use our recommendation service to email one of our articles to a friend, The Motley Fool will automatically send this person a one-time email, with the recommended article attached. The email address you give us will appear on the "From" line of the email, thereby disclosing this information to whoever opens and reads the email. Similarly, if you send email from our site, by using "Reply to Author" or "Email this Post," your address may appear as the return address of that email.
- We may disclose your personal information as required by applicable law, or in response to legal process, to protect the rights or property of The Motley Fool, or to protect the safety of The Motley Fool, our users, or others.
- We may sometimes conduct mailings to other people's lists. To make it easier for us to comply with the Federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, we may share our email list of people who have requested not to receive promotional communications from us with the list providers (or contractors) solely so that we can avoid sending emails to people who have asked not to receive them (or, conversely, so that our advertisers can avoid sending emails to people who have requested not to hear from them). We provide these lists only to list providers or contractors that we consider to be reputable, and only under strict nondisclosure/nonuse agreements.
- We may disclose personal information in some other limited circumstances, but we will specifically describe them to you when we collect the information, such as in the rules of a contest or a new service. For example, if we are going to give personal information to a contest's sponsor, we will disclose it when you sign up for the contest, so that you can decide whether to enter.
- We may employ contractors or other third parties to help with our operations. We may give them access to databases of user information, so that they can perform their services for us, including performing system maintenance, displaying personalized content (such as portfolios), performing list analysis or management, or sending mailings for us from our advertisers. These parties are all subject to confidentiality agreements that restrict their use and disclosure of information they obtain through their relationship with The Motley Fool.
- The ads appearing on this Web site are delivered to you by our Web advertising partners. Information about your visits to Fool.com and our partner sites, such as the number of times you have viewed an ad (but not your name, address, or other personal information), is used to serve ads to you. For more information about DoubleClick and how to opt-out of their tracking methods, please click here. For more information about AOL, including how to opt-out of their tracking methods, please click here. For more information about Advertising.com, and their opt-out methods, click here. For more information about opting out of advertising generally, please click here.
- Because we are one big, happy family, The Motley Fool and its subsidiaries may share information for site administration or order fulfillment, and to notify you of products and services that may interest you.
- If The Motley Fool is involved in a merger, acquisition, or sale of all or a portion of its assets, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our Web site of any change in ownership or uses of your personal information, as well as any choices you may have regarding your personal information.
What Kind of Security Measures Do We Take to Protect Your Information From Accidental Loss or Disclosure?
The Motley Fool is committed to protecting your personal information. We store information you provide us on our secure servers. Further, the information you provide when making a purchase is encrypted with SSL technology.
Personalized areas of our sites, such as My Fool, are password-protected. Only you have access to these password-protected areas. Do not share your passwords with anyone. The Motley Fool will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or email. If you are using a computer to which others have access, such as one in a computer lab, Internet cafe, or public library, always remember to log out and close your browser window when leaving our site.
Upon your request, we will remove your personal information from the website but we will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our Fool Rules and take other actions otherwise permitted by law.
Will The Motley Fool Use Your Information for Direct Mailings?
If you register with The Motley Fool or sign up for or buy any of our products or services, we will send you information about our various products and services, or other products and services that we believe may interest you. Our partners in co-branded products (for example, our Motley Fool-branded credit card) may also send you information, but only for those Fool-branded products.
As we stated earlier, we may also provide your physical mailing address (but not your email address) to people who will send you promotional "snail" mailings about their products and services. Note, again: This provision applies only to information received by us after May 15, 2005.
If you do not want to receive such offers and mailings, you can let us know on our opt-out page, or you may send snail mail to Privacy Penelope, The Motley Fool, 2000 Duke St., 4th Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314. We'll remove your name from our lists as soon as we can. Another way is to simply to click the "unsubscribe" link found in our email messages.
Please note: If you purchase products or services from us, or if you register for an account with us, we may contact you to confirm your purchase, subscription, or registration, or to provide you with information about its terms or features. You may wish to keep these transactional or relationship emails, to help you use our products and services.
How Can You Deactivate or Reactivate Your Account or Edit the Information We Have About You?
If you want to correct, delete/remove or change information in your Personal Profile, or any other tidbits we have about you, please go to http://www.fool.com/Community/EditAccount/EditAccount.asp. Either you will be able to make your changes right there, or we will give you instructions.
If you want to make changes to your paid Fool newsletter subscriptions or free trials, please email us at CS@fool.com If you want to change your email address for email products, do so here.
Please note that if you have opted out of receiving emails and other communications from us and you subsequently select to receive one of our free reports or take a free trial subscription, you will need to opt out again if you still prefer us not to contact you. Otherwise, we may contact you using the email address you provided us at the time you signed up for the free report or offer.
To cancel any of your free email subscriptions, do so at your Account Settings page or click the unsubscribe link within the emails.
How Do We Respect Children's Privacy?
Our sites are not directed at children under the age of 13. We operate our sites in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and will not knowingly collect or use personally identifiable information from anyone under 13.
Does The Motley Fool Participate in the Safe Harbor Program?
The Motley Fool complies with the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the US-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. The Motley Fool has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view our certification, please visit www.export.gov/safeharbor/.
What Else Should You Know About Your Privacy?
When you post information on discussion boards, in chat rooms, and in such features as your Personal Profile or your Foolish Interview, that information, along with your screen name, is visible to the public. Please remember that whenever you disclose personal information publicly that information can be collected and used by others. In short, if you post personal information online where people can see it, people will know that information and you may receive unsolicited messages from other parties in return. If you do not want strangers to have your email address, you should not post your email address on a discussion board. Similarly, if you do not want people to know that you are President Barack Obama and you use our "Living Below Your Means" discussion board for help in balancing the federal budget, then you should not post that information, Mister President.
Also please be aware that when you post messages on our discussion boards, people can respond to your posts through our "Reply to Author" email function. Of course, they still will not know your email address (unless you send email to them).
This Privacy Statement applies to the operations of our U.S. sites. Data handling practices and rules may differ from country to country. Each Motley Fool entity (e.g., Fool.co.uk) may have different policies, which will apply to (and be stated on) its site.
While we do our best to protect your personal information, The Motley Fool cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. What does all of this mean? Just as in the investing world, you must protect yourself. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of any password and/or account information. Please be careful and responsible whenever you are online, especially when using a computer that other people can use also.
Many of our advertisers or partners, such as brokerages, merchants, or data providers, link from our site to areas on their own sites where they sell their own products and services. If you follow links from our site to others, you should be aware that you are doing business with those other sites, which have their own privacy and data collection practices. The Motley Fool has no responsibility or liability for these independent policies (and we may not even know what they are). For more information regarding a site and its privacy policies, check that site.
We may change this Privacy Statement at any time, but we will give notice of any material change (or any notices that we are required to give you) on our websites and/or in email messages prior to the change becoming effective. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy.
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