Privacy Policy

Effective Date: November 4, 2015

Welcome to The Intercept, a service of First Look Media Works, Inc. This Privacy Policy describes the types of information that we collect through our website and the related mobile and tablet applications (the “Services”) and what we do with that information.

Our Services are designed to permit you to access our content without registering or providing personally identifying information. However, as described in more detail below, if you wish to post comments to any of our Services, you’ll need to provide your username and email address.

This Privacy Policy applies only to information collected online through the Intercept website and the related mobile and tablet applications and does not apply to any information that you may provide to us, or that we may collect, offline or through other means (for example, via telephone or through the mail).

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us.

PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OF CHILDREN

Children should always get permission from their parents before sending any information about themselves (such as their names, email addresses, and phone numbers) over the Internet, to us or to anyone else. Our Services are not directed at children under the age of 13 and we won’t knowingly allow anyone under the age of 13 to provide us any personally identifying information. If you’re under 13, please don’t attempt to post comments on our Services or provide any information about yourself.

TYPES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT

The information we gather falls into two categories: (1) information voluntarily supplied by visitors to the Services, for example, when they post comments, sign up to receive our email newsletters, or contact one of the journalists whose work appears on our Services; and (2) tracking information gathered as visitors navigate through our Services, review our email newsletters and other email messages, or “like” our content through Facebook or share our content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or other social media platforms and services we use (“Social Media Services”). This information may be collected directly by us or it may be collected by third-party service providers on our behalf. Third parties whose sites or services are linked to from our Services or from the Social Media Services may be gathering information as well, through processes we don’t control.

Information You Voluntarily Supply

We may collect and store information that you voluntarily supply to us while on our Services. This may include personally identifying information if you choose to provide it. In accessing and using our Services, you may have the opportunity to voluntarily submit some or all of the following types of information:

  • Contact information, such as your username and email address;
  • Information you include in correspondence you send to First Look or one of the journalists whose work appears on our Services; and
  • Information you include in comments you post on any of our Services.

You are not required to provide information about yourself to access our site. However, if you wish to post comments on our site, you will have to provide your username and email address. (Keep in mind that any information you choose to include in comments posted to any of our Services can be seen, collected, and used by anyone who has access to that Service.)

If you wish to receive our email newsletter, you must provide us your email address. Once we start sending out email newsletters, we’ll use your email address to send you the email newsletters you have requested.

Information That Is Automatically Collected

We use a service called CloudFlare to accelerate the delivery of our web pages, images, and other content.

CloudFlare says it collects cookies and information “similar to an Apache access log,” which typically includes IP address and information about the web addresses you visit. CloudFlare’s privacy policy is here.

On some pages within our Services, we may use online video playback software from a company called JW Player to embed video. JW Player may collect information including but not limited to IP address, browser type, operating system, the web address of the Intercept page on which content is embedded, the web address of the page that referred you to that page, information about the embedded video displayed, when and how long the video was played, and which advertising message(s) were inserted into the video. JW Player’s privacy policy can be found here.

On some pages within our Services, we may embed content from Twitter. Twitter may collect information including but not limited to IP address, browser type, operating system, the web address of the Intercept page on which the content is embedded, your location (potentially derived from IP address), and cookie information. Twitter’s privacy policy can be found here.

On some pages within our Services, we may embed content from DocumentCloud. DocumentCloud collects information including but not limited to IP address, browser type, operating system, the web address of the Intercept page on which the content is embedded, and date and time of access. DocumentCloud stores documents using Amazon Web Services. DocumentCloud’s privacy policy can be found here. The Amazon Web Services privacy policy can be found here.

On some pages within our Services, we may embed content from SoundCloud. SoundCloud collects information including but not limited to IP address, the web address of the Intercept page on which the content is embedded, the time and duration of your use of SoundCloud, browser type, operating system, and cookies. SoundCloud’s cookies include those used by Google Analytics. SoundCloud’s privacy policy can be found here. Google’s privacy policy can be found here. Google’s opt-out page can be found here.

On some pages within our Services, we may embed content from Vimeo. Vimeo collects information including but not limited to IP address, browser type, browser language, access times, and cookies. Vimeo’s cookies include those used for ad targeting and for analytics. Vimeo’s privacy policy can be found here.

If you post a comment on our Services and include your email address, we may include an “avatar” image obtained from the online service Gravatar. Gravatar and the company that owns the service, Automattic Inc., collect information including but not limited to IP address, browser type, browser language, the web address of the Intercept page on which you left a comment, and the date and time of each visitor request. The privacy policy governing Gravatar can be found here.

You may interact with content on our Services through social media sharing tools provided by Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms and services we use. We do not control the information that these Social Media Services collect when you use their sharing tools, nor do we control how these companies use any information they collect. We encourage you to review their privacy policies before sharing our content using these social media sharing tools. Facebook’s privacy policy can be found here; Twitter’s privacy policy can be found here; LinkedIn’s privacy policy can be found here; Google’s privacy policy can be found here. Other social media privacy policies can be found at those respective sites. If you’d prefer that these Social Media Services not collect information about the content you share, we’d suggest that you not use their social media sharing tools.

We use a service called Bitly to provide shortened uniform resource locators (URLs: the “addresses” of individual web pages) so our content can be shared more easily, particularly through social media services. Bitly collects information as our shortened URLs are shared and clicked on and makes some of that information available to us.

The information Bitly collects may include, among other things: (1) the IP address and geographic location of each device accessing our shortened URLs; (2) the websites or services where our shortened URLs are shared; (3) the time and date of each click on a shortened URL; and (4) information about how and, in some cases, by whom a shortened URL is shared on social media services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Bitly uses this information to provide statistics that help us understand how our audience reads and shares our content. Bitly may collect additional information, particularly from users with Bitly accounts who access our shortened URLs while logged in to their Bitly accounts, and it may use that information and share it with third parties, including the social media services through which our shortened URLs are shared, processes that we don’t control. We encourage you to review Bitly’s privacy policy before you share our content. Bitly’s privacy policy can be found here. If you’d prefer that Bitly not collect information about the shortened URLs you share, you can copy the full URL of the story you want to share from the location bar in your browser and share the story by pasting the URL into an email.

You may also ask Bitly not to place cookies on your web browser when you are logged in to your Bitly account. To opt out, go to Bitly’s privacy policy and click on the opt-out link under the heading “Information Collected Using Cookies.”

We also may collect and store, and our service providers may collect and store, information that doesn’t identify you personally that is generated automatically as you navigate through our Services. For example, we and our service providers may collect limited information about the devices you use to access our Services, including the type of device you’re using (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc.), the operating system running on that device, the type and version of browser software you’re using, the resolution of your computer monitor or other device display, the screen colors available on your device, the website that referred you, and your IP address. (Your IP address is a numerical address that is used by computers and other devices connected to the Internet to identify your device so that data such as the web pages you want to view can be transmitted to you.) We use this information to make our Services as useful and visually appealing as we can for as many users as possible. We may also use IP address information for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes, to help us manage the comments our users post, and to derive a rough estimate of your geographic location by country, city or town, and perhaps ZIP code.

We may use “cookies,” a standard feature found in browser software, to enhance your experience on our Services. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. We also may use web beacons (sometimes referred to as “clear GIFs” or “pixel tags”) to collect non-personally identifying information about how our visitors use our site and how they interact with our email newsletters and with our stories that appear on other websites. By showing how and when visitors use our Services and review our news stories, cookies and web beacons help us deliver more relevant content to users, identify how many unique users visit our site or various pages within our site, and track user interests, trends and patterns. For example, we may use these technologies to collect information about the time visitors spend on each page of our Services, the number of visits made to each page or section of our Services, whether they open the email newsletters we send them, and whether they click on particular links contained in these emails.

We use audience measurement service Parse.ly to help understand our visitor traffic, how our stories spread, and how they can be promoted to a larger audience. Parse.ly may, on our behalf, collect anonymous data about your visits, including the web pages you view, the date and time of your visit, your browser, and your device type. Parse.ly may also correlate this information with your prior and future visits to the site. Parse.ly accomplishes this tracking through “web bugs” (as defined below), cookies, and navigational data like uniform resource locators (URLs). Web bugs are elements, such as Javascript code or images, included on one company’s web pages but sourced from a second company’s web servers, thus allowing the user to be tracked by the second company through cookies or other means.

We proxy all connections to Parse.ly through our own servers so that visitors to The Intercept do not expose to Parse.ly their IP addresses or Parse.ly tracking information from sites other than The Intercept, including identification codes contained in Parse.ly cookies placed by other sites. We transmit information to Parse.ly servers using the encrypted HTTPS protocol, helping to prevent interception in transit. Furthermore, Parse.ly has agreed not to log IP addresses of visitors to The Intercept in the event it is ever able to access such data; not to infer or store geolocation data of visitors to The Intercept; and not to set or allow any receipt of Parse.ly cookies associated with visits to websites other than The Intercept in connection with visits to The Intercept. Parse.ly’s privacy policy, which does not necessarily reflect these representations specific to The Intercept, is available here.

Visitors to The Intercept who do not wish to be tracked by Parse.ly may opt out by sending a “Do Not Track” HTTP header, which can be enabled as a setting in some web browsers.

We may also use our own web analytics software called Piwik to gather this sort of information. Piwik runs on First Look’s servers and is not associated with a third-party analytics provider. Visitors to The Intercept who do not wish to be tracked by Piwik may opt out by sending a “Do Not Track” HTTP header, which can be enabled as a setting in some web browsers. Alternatively, they may opt out by clicking here.

We also may use cookies to determine that a visitor to our site has previously posted comments on the site and to record the type of device that a visitor has used to access the site. The help function on most web browsers contains information on how to set your browser to notify you before accepting a cookie or to disable cookies entirely. However, if you don’t accept cookies, you won’t receive the benefits that cookies provide to other users of our site. For example, when you post a comment on one of our Services, we use cookies to save your username and email address to make it easier for you to post comments on return visits.

HOW WE USE COLLECTED INFORMATION

Generally

We use the information we collect from visitors to our Services to communicate with our users, to better understand and serve our audience, and to heighten user engagement with our Services. For example, we use the information we gather to send you email newsletters and other communications, to deliver our content to our users, to recognize users who have previously posted comments on our Services, to measure site traffic, to measure user interests and traffic patterns, and to improve our Services and the services and features we offer.

In addition, we may use your personal information to contact you via email for customer service purposes; to inform you of important changes or additions to our Services; and to tell you about other products and services offered by First Look Media Works, Inc. or its affiliates, and products and services of selected others that we think may be of interest to you.

Email Addresses

If you provide us your email address, we may email you with information about our website or other products or services offered by First Look Media Works, Inc. or its affiliates, and products and services of selected others that we think may be of interest to you.

We also may use your email address to contact you from time to time for customer service purposes, or to send you administrative notices or other information about our Services.

In addition, if you provide us your email address to subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll use your email address to send you the newsletter you requested.

DISCLOSURE TO THIRD PARTIES

To help us understand how users are using our Services and to help us improve our Services, we may deploy our own analytics engine in addition to engaging Parse.ly to collect aggregate information on our audience and how our audience uses our Services (for example, information on traffic to various pages within our Services). This information does not identify individual users. Parse.ly may receive from us copies of data from cookies and web bugs placed by us on our site to collect non-personally identifying tracking information about our visitors, and then use that data to provide us with statistical reports on website activity.

When we send you email newsletters and other communications, the content of those communications comes from First Look, but we may use a service provider to send the emails on our behalf. Our service provider uses your name and email address to send these emails, but is contractually prohibited from using this information for any purpose other than sending these emails on our behalf.

We also may occasionally release information about our visitors if required to do so by law or if, in our judgment, such disclosure is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process, to enforce our Terms of Use, or to protect the rights, property, or personal safety of visitors to our Services, our employees, or others. If we receive a request to disclose information that identifies you personally, and if we believe that the circumstances of the request permit us to do so (and that we would otherwise be required to comply with that request), we will attempt to notify you of the request at the email address associated in our records with the comment that is the subject of the request. You may then challenge the request if you wish to do so. If you do not promptly challenge the disclosure request and notify us that you have done so, if your challenge to the disclosure request is rejected, or if, in our judgment, circumstances warrant, we may comply with the request. In addition, if we believe it appropriate to do so under the circumstances, we will independently object to requests for access to information about users of our site. In the unlikely event that we sell some or all of our assets, or one or more of our Services is acquired by another company, information about our visitors may be among the transferred assets.

USING OUR SECUREDROP SERVERS

The Intercept is serious about protecting our sources. Messages and files you send us using our SecureDrop servers will be encrypted. To learn more about using SecureDrop, click here.

TRANSFER AND STORAGE OF INFORMATION

The information that we collect through these Services is stored within databases that we control (or databases hosted on our behalf) on servers maintained in protected environments. However, no physical or electronic security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our servers or databases, nor can we guarantee that information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted to us or our third-party service providers over the Internet. Our databases are located within the United States. If you access our site from outside the United States, by providing data to us, you consent to transfer of that data to and storage of that data in the United States.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY POLICY

The Internet remains an evolving medium. If we need to change this Privacy Policy in the future, we will post the revised Privacy Policy on our Services and update the “Effective Date,” above, to reflect the date of the changes. By continuing to use our Services after we post such changes, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, as modified.

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