Dear Neighbors and Visitors,
AmericanTowns.com provides an environment on the Web for community members to find information about their local town as well as express themselves and share their ideas and interests by creating and participating in discussion-based virtual communities.
Through AmericanTowns.com, this community site is paid for by major advertisers and sponsors who are primarily responsible for allowing us to provide all of the services and features we offer and will offer in the future. We understand, and our sponsors understand, that our success and their success are dependent on the goodwill and loyalty of our members and visitors.
To promote trust and confidence in the Internet and in AmericanTowns.com, we are providing a full disclosure of our privacy practices and information uses.
One of the goals of AmericanTowns.com is to respect the privacy rights of anyone who joins or visits a member site. Except as set forth within this privacy statement and within the scope of our community and content guidelines, we do not release personally identifiable information about our individual members and visitors without their permission.
Our view is that our members and visitors are the ones who should generally control whether or not they share any personal information and how that information is used if it is shared. Furthermore, we believe that it is our responsibility to provide something of value in exchange for any information shared -- in our case, discussion forums, email circles, and other free services.
We appreciate your interest in and support of the community site and pledge to you our continued commitment to make our services better and better while enabling you - our members and visitors - to be comfortable with respect to your online privacy.
To contact AmericanTowns.com about technical problems, to report a violation of our guidelines, to inquire about advertising within our domain, or any other item of interest or concern, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AmericanTowns.com respects the privacy of all those who spend any amount of time in our communities. We do collect information from our members and visitors. This is a statement of the use of the information that we collect, and if or how any of it is disseminated.
The Staff of AmericanTowns.com
What information does AmericanTowns.com compile and use? And what methods does it use to collect information?
To allow communities to create an easy-to-use state-of-the-art participatory online community, AmericanTowns.com sites are a central repository of information and tools to engage and enhance the community.
AmericanTowns.com does not share any personally identifiable information with outside parties for commercial purposes, unless stated at the time of collection. The option is given, at the time of collection, not to allow AmericanTowns.com to share such information with outside parties. If such an option is taken, we will not share such information with outside parties; however, we do reserve the right to release that information concerning a member when the member partakes in an illegal activity, or for a member who we believe is in violation of our content guidelines, even without a subpoena, warrant, or other court order. AmericanTowns.com hopes that all third parties involved adhere to our policies regarding the privacy of our members; however, AmericanTowns.com does not assume any responsibility for any actions of third parties.
For everyone who visits the AmericanTowns.com domain, we log IP addresses, the type of operating system that the visitor's computer uses, and the type of browser software used by the visitor. From the IP address, we can determine the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the geographic location of that ISP (but not necessarily of the visitor). If a visitor wants to simply use AmericanTowns.com in a generic way (i.e. reading, but no personalization and no posting), they can use the site without identifying themselves. However, if a visitor wants to enter or create private areas, save their own calendar, and post their opinions or events, they will need to identify themselves to the administrator by providing us with their name, a public "username" (which can be the user's real name or email), valid email address, and password.
We do not monitor the use of e-mail accounts, unless prompted by a request from a legal authority or in instances in which the activities of the user are interfering with the daily operation of AmericanTowns.com. We do use the information provided in the registration process as we have set forth within this Statement on Privacy and within the scope of our community and content guidelines.
In our discussion forums, we do save all posted messages. This discussion content is kept for an indeterminate amount of time and is accessible to all members and visitors at AmericanTowns.com. AmericanTowns.com may choose to highlight some of the best discussions taking place on its website.
We do not collect any e-mail addresses of those who communicate with AmericanTowns.com via e-mail to market commercial products. We use the information provided so that we may respond to the e-mail and support our members and visitors. We also help groups use email addresses as a way of connecting members of the group, but only at the option of the individual members. We do not allow our members or visitors to use AmericanTowns.com for the purpose of gathering personally identifiable information for commercial or unlawful purposes.
AmericanTowns.com does not, however, control the acts of its members and visitors. All members and visitors should be aware that, when they disclose personal information such as their actual name, member name, e-mail address, etc., the information may be collected and used by others to send that person unsolicited e-mail from other parties, outside AmericanTowns.com. In the event that you encounter any AmericanTowns.com member who is improperly collecting or using information about users, please contact email@example.com.
How do we internally use the data that we collect on our members and visitors?
We use the aggregate data we collect to perform statistical analyses of the collective characteristics and behavior of our members and visitors, to measure user demographics and interests regarding specific areas of the AmericanTowns.com domain and to analyze how and where to invest our resources. We also use the aggregate data collected to inform our sponsors as to numbers of people who have seen and "clicked" on their advertisement.
We will also disclose to those third-party sponsors the overall demographics available regarding who saw and "clicked" on their advertisement. No personally identifiable information will be disclosed to these advertisers as part of this process, only information in an aggregate form. Without the data collected, we would not know what the most popular regions of the AmericanTowns.com website are, we would not be able to provide an effective forum for our sponsors to advertise in, nor would we be able to measure which promotions work.
How do we disseminate the information we collect?
If you are receiving e-mail from a third party who states that it is specifically associated with AmericanTowns.com, yet you indicated on your registration or profile editor that you did not want to receive material from AmericanTowns.com, its sponsors, or members, please first attempt to follow the third party's removal procedures. Then verify that your personal profile is correct. If it is incorrect or does indeed indicate that you chose to not receive the e-mail, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will promptly investigate why this error occurred.
AmericanTowns.com does not share personally identifiable information regarding AmericanTowns.com members who elect in their registration form or on their personal profile not to receive promotional communications.
AmericanTowns.com encourages all third parties involved to adhere to our policies regarding the privacy of our members, but AmericanTowns.com does not assume any responsibility for any actions of third parties.
If, at any time, you decide that you would like to discontinue receiving promotional communications from AmericanTowns.com, its sponsors, or members, please change your personal profile to indicate your new choice.
We respond to subpoenas, warrants, or other court orders regarding information that is contained within our access logs concerning any member or visitor. We also reserve the right to release that information concerning a member who we believe is in violation of our content guidelines, even without a subpoena, warrant, or other court order. We cooperate with law enforcement agencies in identifying those who use our servers for illegal activities. We also reserve the right to report any illegal activity to law enforcement for prosecution.
What is our policy on removing information about a person?
We keep all general information for an indeterminate amount of time. All personal information of our members may be changed at any time.
If a member ceases to use AmericanTowns.com, there will be residual information that will remain within the AmericanTowns.com database and records. The residual information will not be used for commercial purposes; however, from time to time, we may contact non-active members.
Use of our Web Site by Children
We do not intend to collect information from children who are under 13 years of age. If you are under 13 you should not provide information on our web site.
AmericanTowns.com also collects other profile data including but not limited to: personal interests, gender, age and local organizations in order to assist users in finding and communicating with each other. User Profile information can be displayed to people in order to facilitate user interaction.
Links to Other Web Sites
Third Party Advertising
Last update: July 12, 2006