2. Types of Information Collected: To ensure that only authorized persons have access to user supplied information on THE SITE, information is collected, and its access is limited, including:
- 2.1. Registration. In order to use THE SITE, a user must first complete the registration process. During registration each user is required to give contact information (such as name and email address). We use this information to contact the user about services on our site for which the user has expressed interest. In order to access the more advanced features of THE SITE, and to include and later edit their information on properties a user must be a member. We require a member to have a unique username and password to restrict access to confidential information and rights to revise or update information that member previously posted.
- 2.2. Property Profiles. Information on properties may be posted to THE SITE by a member who has previously received the property owner's consent. Some of that information will be available to all users, with the member able to restrict access to the rest of each property's information to other users and/or members to whom that member grants access.
- 2.3. Orders. A user purchasing access to THE SITE, or other goods or services from THE SITE, will be required to provide contact information (including name, billing address, shipping address, email address) and financial information (including the card owner's name, billing address, credit card number, and expiration date). This information is not made available to any one other than the user's bank and THE SITE billing staff.
- 2.5. Legal Disclaimer. Though we make every effort to preserve user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information when required by law when we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with a current judicial proceeding, a court order, or legal process.
- 2.6. Aggregate Information (non-personally identifiable). We may share aggregated demographic information with our affiliates and/or advertisers not linked to any personally identifiable information.
3. Who Has Access to Information:
- 3.1. User Consent. To access portions of THE SITE, a user is required to give certain information to ensure that user is authorized to access the information requested. The confidential portion of that information is accessible only by that user and the support staff who administer THE SITE, who are bound by CRESI's confidentiality agreements and policies.
- 3.2. User Request. To fulfill a user's request for information, that user may consent, actively or passively, to have certain information sent to THE SITE, an affiliate, or a third party vendor to allow an appropriate response with the information the user requested.
- 3.3. Suppliers to THE SITE. To provide users requested information, features, content, and/or analysis certain information about and concerning a user may be supplied to a third party. Users who do not wish to have those features can restrict access to their information by following one or more of the procedures described below.
- 3.4. Third Party Intermediaries. We use an outside shipping company to ship orders, and a credit card processing company to bill users for goods and services. These companies do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.
- 3.5. Affiliates. Users and members may also belong to other organizations which are affiliated with THE SITE, with which we may share information on membership and use in order to grant a user or member access to certain portions of THE SITE. In addition THE SITE may have contractual and other relationships with organizations in order to improve the features of, and information within, THE SITE. These third parties are not allowed to use personally identifiable information except for the purpose of providing those described items.
- 3.6. Business Transitions. In the event THE SITE goes through a business transition, such as a merger, being acquired by another company, or selling a portion of its assets, user's personal information will, in most instances, be part of the assets transferred. Users will be notified via notice on THE SITE prior to a change of ownership or control of their personal information. If as a result of the business transition, the users' personally identifiable information will be used in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection they will be given choice consistent with our notification of changes section.
- 3.7. Supplementation of Information. In order for THE SITE to properly fulfill its obligation to users it is necessary for us to supplement the information we receive with information from third party sources, including:
- 3.7.1. Credit Check. For example, to determine if users qualify for an extension of credit, we may use their name and social security number to request a credit report. Once we determine a user's credit-worthiness, this document is not shared with others.
- 3.7.2. ID Address Verification. We may use third party software and/or vendors to verify a user's identity or address to preclude spam or other inappropriate communication with other users.
- 3.7.3. Purchasing History. In order for THE SITE to enhance its ability to tailor the site to a user's preference, we may combine information about the purchasing habits of users with similar information from our affiliates to create a personalized user profile. When a user makes a purchase or other transaction with an affiliate either of these two companies, the companies [we] collect [and share] personal [and demographic] information back with us.
- 3.7.4. Enhancement of Marketing Profile. We may acquire third party marketing data and add it to our existing user database to better target our advertising and provide pertinent offers we think our users would be interested in. We use this information to enhance or overlay the "profile" of individual users. This aggregate marketing data is therefore tied to the users' personally identifiable information.
4. Means of Collecting Information: In order to provide users optimal access and features, THE SITE collects information in several ways, including:
- 4.1. Orders. We request information from a user ordering goods or services. A user must provide contact information (such as name, email, and shipping address) and financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date). This information is used for billing purposes and to fill customer's orders. If we have trouble processing an order, the information is used to contact the user.
- 4.2. Use of Information. Users and members who post information to, and use information from, THE SITE are each given a profile which tracks and records usage. This enables THE SITE to verify that only appropriately authorized members post and edit property information. Profiles also allow the tracking of usage to assist in assuring users that the information on THE SITE is accurate and up to date.
- 4.3. Profile. We store information that we collect through cookies, log files, clear gifs, and/or third parties to create a profile of our users and members. A profile is stored information that we keep on each individual user and member that details their viewing and usage preferences. Consequently, collected information is tied to the users personally identifiable information to provide offers and improve the content of the site for the user. This profile is used to tailor a user's visit to THE SITE, and to direct pertinent marketing promotions to them. Your profile is shared in aggregate form only.
- 4.4. Cookies. A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user's computer tied to information about the user. We use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies. For the session ID cookie, once users close the browser, the cookie simply terminates. A persistent cookie is a small text file stored on the user's hard drive for an extended period of time. Persistent cookies can be removed by following Internet browser help file directions but may cause portions of THE SITE to no longer be available to that user.
By using a cookie with our site, users would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. If users reject the cookie, they may still use our site. The only drawback to this is that the user will be limited in some areas of our site. For example, the user may not be able to become a member entitled to post or edit that member's previously entered property information. Persistent cookies enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site.
- 4.5. Third Party Advertising. The ads appearing on this web site are delivered to users by various advertising affiliates. Information about users' visit to this site, such as number of times they have viewed an ad (but not user name, address, or other personal information), may be used to serve ads to users on this site.
- 4.7. Clear Gifs, Web Beacons, Web Bugs. We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage content on our site by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of internet users. The main difference between the two is that clear gifs are invisible on the page and are much smaller, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence and may be tied to users' personally identifiable information.
Clear Gifs can "work with" existing cookies on a computer if they are both from the same web site or advertising company. That means, for example, that if a person visited "www.companyX.com", which uses an advertising company's clear gif, this web site and/or the advertising company could match the clear gifs identifier and the advertising company's cookie ID number, to show the past online behavior for that computer. This collected information could then be given to the advertising company. In addition, we use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by the recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. If users would like to opt-out of these emails, please see the Opt-out section.
5. Communications from THE SITE:
- 5.1. Membership Confirmation. We send all new members a welcoming email to verify password and username.
- 5.2. Special Offers and Updates. Established members will occasionally receive information on products, services, special deals, and a newsletter. Out of respect for the privacy of our users we present the option to not receive these types of communications. Please see the Opt-out section.
- 5.3. Newsletter. If a user wishes to subscribe to our newsletter, we ask for contact information such as name and email address. Out of respect for our users privacy we provide a way to opt-out of these communications. Please see the Opt-out section.
- 5.4. Service Announcements. On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.
- 5.5. Customer Service. We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regards to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone, in accordance with the users wishes.
6. User Elections to Further Restrict Use of Personal Information:
- 6.1. Choice/Opt-out. Our users are given the opportunity to "opt-out" of having their information used for purposes not directly related to our site at the point where we ask for information. For example, our order form has an "opt-out" mechanism so users who buy a product from us, but don't want any marketing material, can keep their email address off of those lists. Users who no longer wish to receive our newsletter and promotional communications may opt-out of receiving these communications by replying to unsubscribe in the subject line in the email or email us.
- 6.3. Surveys. From time-to-time our site may request information from users via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose requested information. The requested information typically includes contact information (such as name and shipping address), and demographic information (such as postal code). Contact information may be used and/or shared with the survey sponsors. Survey information may be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of this site. Though we may use an intermediary to conduct these surveys, they may not use users' personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.
- 6.4. Referrals. If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend's name and email address. THE SITE will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting them to visit the site. THE SITE stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email and tracking the success of our referral program. The friend may contact THE SITE to request the removal of this information from our database.
7. Security: THE SITE takes every precaution to protect our users' and members' information. When users submit sensitive information via the web site, their information is protected both online and off-line.
When our registration/order form asks users to enter sensitive information (such as credit card number and/or social security number), that information is encrypted and is protected with the best encryption software in the industry - SSL.
While on a secure page, such as our order form, the lock icon on the bottom of Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer becomes locked, as opposed to un-locked, or open, when users are just "surfing". While we use SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online, we also do everything in our power to protect user-information off-line. All of our users' information, not just the sensitive information mentioned above, is restricted in our offices. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, our billing clerk or a customer service representative) are granted access to personally identifiable information. Our employees must use password-protected screen-savers when they leave their desk. When they return, they must re-enter their password to re-gain access to user information. Furthermore, ALL employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices. Any time new policies are added, our employees are notified and/or reminded about the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure our users' information is protected. Finally, the servers that store personally identifiable information are in a secure environment, in a locked facility.
8. Children's Guidelines: We at CRESI are concerned about protecting children's privacy and follow these guidelines:
THE SITE does not:
- 8.1. Direct its content or features to children.
- 8.2. Collect online contact information targeted to children without prior parental consent or parental notification, which will include an opportunity for the parent to prevent use of the information and participation in the activity. Without prior parental consent, online information targeted to children will only be used to respond directly to the child's request and will not be used for other purposes without prior parental consent.
- 8.3. Collect personally identifiable offline contact information which CRESI is aware is from a child without prior parental consent.
- 8.4. Distribute to third parties any personally identifiable information which CRESI is aware is from a child without prior parental consent.
- 8.5. Give the ability to publicly post or otherwise distribute personally identifiable contact information which CRESI is aware is from a child without prior parental consent.
- 8.6. Entice a child to this web site by the prospect of a special game, prize or other activity.
9. Changes to This Policy: