In the course of operating the Benchmark Monitor Services, we may collect two types of information about our users: Personal Information and Non-Personal Information.
“Personal Information” is personally identifiable information, such as your name, address, email address, birth date and gender. Personal Information is collected by us when you choose to provide it to us when registering for a Benchmark Monitor Service, such as when you choose to subscribe to a Benchmark Monitor Service, enter a Benchmark Monitor promotion, choose to receive a Sprout Wired newsletter, or choose to participate in a Sprout Wired survey. In addition, if you choose to contact any of our customer service representatives, we may keep a record of that correspondence so that we may fully address the subject matter. We may also receive Personal Information from our business partners and other third parties, provided that such third parties confirm to us that you have permitted them to share such information.
Business contact information such as the name, title, business address, email address or telephone number of a business or professional person or an employee of an organization is not considered Personal Information.
“Non-Personal Information” is information of an anonymous nature, such as your Internet Protocol Address (“IP Address”), the domain you may have used to access a Benchmark Monitor Service, the type and version of browser or operating system you may be using, and the website you may have come from and visit next. Aggregate information, such as demographic statistics of our users (e.g., average age or geographical allocation of our users), number of visitors and average time spent on a Benchmark Monitor Service, is also considered Non-Personal Information.
USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Personal Information may be used by us for the following purposes:
a. Providing you with the Benchmark Monitor Services and information you have requested from us, including your use of the Sprout Wired Sites. We may from time to time use your Personal Information to contact you about changes, enhancements or similar notices related to the Benchmark Monitor Services;
b. If you indicated that you were interested in receiving offers or information from Sprout Wired or certain of our selected sponsors or advertisers, Sprout Wired may send you email materials and other mailings about products and services that we feel may be of interest to you. If at any time you would like to end your subscription to any such email materials, follow the directions posted at the bottom of the email material;
c. If you enter a contest or other promotion offered on a Benchmark Monitor Site, we may, under the rules of the promotion, use your name and certain other information to administer the promotion, such as contacting, announcing and promoting the winners of the promotion; or
d. Sprout Wired may also use Personal Information if it has reasonable grounds to believe the information could be useful when investigating a contravention of a federal, provincial or foreign law or in order to protect or defend a legal interest.
DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We will not sell or rent your Personal Information to anyone.
We will only disclose your Personal Information to third parties:
a. Where you have specifically given us your consent to disclose your Personal Information for a designated purpose;
b. Who are acting on our behalf as our agents, suppliers or service providers, solely to enable us to more efficiently provide you with the Benchmark Monitor Services. Such entities act under strict contractual controls, requiring them to maintain the confidentiality of all such Personal Information and to use such information solely for purposes related to the provision of the Sprout Wired Services;
c. As may be set out in the Terms and Conditions applicable to a Sprout Wired Service, to facilitate the provision of such Benchmark Monitor Service, such as fulfilling legal requirements;
d. As required by law, including by an order of any court, institution or body with jurisdiction or authority to compel the production of information, or in order to protect or defend a legal interest; or
LINKS TO OTHER SITES AND ADVERTISEMENTS
The majority of the advertisements which are displayed in connection with the Sprout Wired Services are served through reputable third party advertisement serving partners, in accordance with their policies as described on their own websites.
In certain areas, such as when you provide credit card information to us, we work to help protect the security of your credit card information during transmission by using industry standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology.
You can help protect the security of your Personal Information as well. For instance, never give out your password, since this is what is used to access your account or registration information. Also remember to log out of your account and close your browser window when you finish using a Sprout Wired Service or surfing the web, so that other people using the same computer won’t have access to your information.
ADDITIONAL PRIVACY PROCEDURES
ACCESSING AND CHANGING ACCOUNT / REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Benchmark Monitor provides you with the means to access, update, edit or delete any account or registration information you may have provided to us at any time on your own by going to the appropriate page in the account or registration section of the relevant Sprout Wired Service, and changing or deleting such information as desired.
If you are unsure whether we have a record containing any of your Personal Information and would like to confirm whether or not we do, please send an email to Sprout Wired indicating all email addresses that you may have given us.
If you decide at any time that you do not want to receive any email materials to which you have subscribed, you may choose to unsubscribe to these emails by following the instructions at the end of the message.
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS?
Benchmark Monitor USE OF NON-PERSONAL INFORMATION
Non-Personal Information is collected or derived by us in the course of operating the Benchmark Monitor Services. For example, our web servers may automatically collect Non-Personal Information which is provided through your browser or stored on a Cookie or through a Web Beacon when you choose to visit a Benchmark Monitor Service.
In addition to Benchmark Monitor’s practices related to IP Addresses, Cookies or Web Beacons, Non-Personal Information is used generally by Sprout Wired to monitor and improve the operation of the Sprout Wired Services, to perform statistical analyses of the collective characteristics and behavior of our users, to measure user demographics and interests regarding specific Sprout Wired Services, to describe our services to third parties such as prospective business partners and advertisers and to analyze how and where best to use our resources. No Personal Information will be disclosed during these activities.
Benchmark Monitor may also use Non-Personal Information to inform our sponsors and advertisers as to the performance of a particular sponsorship (such as a contest) or advertisement. In such case we may disclose to those third-party sponsors and advertisers the overall aggregate demographics available regarding, for example, who participated in a contest or who saw and “clicked” on an advertisement. No Personal Information will be disclosed to these sponsors and advertisers as part of this process; only information in an anonymous, aggregate form will be disclosed.
An IP Address is the unique number which is assigned to every direct Internet access point. Many IP Addresses can generally be associated with certain Internet service providers or large organizations. IP Addresses do not contain any Personal Information. When you, through your browser, request a web page or similar Internet information from another computer on the Internet, your browser automatically provides that computer with an IP address to which it will send the requested information.
Benchmark Monitor and IP Addresses:
b. Benchmark Monitor may use your IP Address to display more appropriate and relevant content and advertising, such as content and advertising based on your geographic area. Aggregate information derived from IP Addresses may be reported by Benchmark Monitor to its advertisers and partners. For example, Benchmark Monitor may report to its advertisers the estimated total number of users accessing a particular Benchmark Monitor Site from a specific province; and
c. Benchmark Monitor may use your IP Address to facilitate the diagnoses and remedy of a technical problem reported by you or our technical team.
COOKIES AND WEB BEACONS
A “Cookie” is a small text file containing a unique identification number that is transferred (through your browser) from a web site to the hard drive of your computer. The Cookie identifies your browser and will not let a web site know any personal information about you, such as your name and address. Since Cookies are only text files, they cannot run on your computer, search your computer for other information, or transmit any information to anyone.
a. Monitor website usage and improve the operation and performance of the Benchmark Monitor Services and to make our Benchmark Monitor Services easier and more convenient to use. For example, Cookies help us remember who you are through your browser settings so that we can offer and provide more personalized services (e.g. language preference). Cookies also allow us to save passwords and preferences for you so that you will not have to re-enter them the next time you visit a Benchmark Monitor Service;
b. Measure aggregate user traffic and demographic statistics related to the Benchmark Monitor Services and advertisements (e.g., number of users, average time spent, average age and similar statistics). This information helps us to better understand when to update, change or offer new services and provides us with details as to the performance of third party advertisements and content. This information may be reported, in aggregate form only, to our current and prospective sponsors, advertisers and business partners. No Personal Information will be disclosed in such reports; and
Certain Benchmark Monitor Services may contain electronic images known as “Web Beacons”, sometimes called single-pixel gifs, that allow Benchmark Monitor to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver co-branded services. Web Beacons are not used to access your Personal Information; they are a technique used to compile aggregated statistics about Sprout Wired Service usage. Web Beacons collect only a limited set of information including a Cookie number, time and date of a page view, and a description of the page on which the Web Beacon resides. Certain Sprout Wired Service web pages may also contain Web Beacons placed there by our advertising partners or web analytics service providers to help Sprout Wired determine the effectiveness of our Internet advertising campaigns.