Your privacy is critically important to us. At Automattic, we have a few fundamental principles:
- We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal information that we collect about you through the operation of our services.
- We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it.
- We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control what information on your website is shared publicly (or kept private), indexed by search engines, and permanently deleted.
- We help protect you from overreaching government demands for your personal information.
- We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information.
Who We Are and What This Policy Covers
Hi! We are the folks behind a variety of products and services designed to allow anyone — from bloggers, to photographers, small business owners, and enterprises — to take full advantage of the power and promise of the open web. Our mission is to democratize publishing and commerce so that anyone with a story can tell it, and anyone can turn their great idea into a livelihood. We believe in powering the open internet with code that is open source and are proud to say that the vast majority of our work is available under the General Public License (“GPL”). Unlike most other services, because our GPL code is public, you can actually download and take a look at that code to see how it works.
Below we explain how we collect, use, and share information about you, along with the choices that you have with respect to that information.
Information We Collect
We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so — for example, to provide our Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better.
We collect this information from three sources: if and when you provide information to us, automatically through operating our Services, and from outside sources. Let’s go over the information that we collect.
Information You Provide to Us
It’s probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us directly. Here are some examples:
- Basic account information: We ask for basic information from you in order to set up your account. For example, we require individuals who sign up for a HostBoxx.com account to provide an email address and password, along with a username or name — and that’s it. You may provide us with more information — like your address and other information you want to share — but we don’t require that information to create a HostBoxx.com account.
- Public profile information: If you have an account with us, we collect the information that you provide for your public profile. For example, if you have a HostBoxx.com account, your username is part of that public profile, along with any other information you put into your public profile, like a photo or an “About Me” description. Your public profile information is just that — public — so please keep that in mind when deciding what information you would like to include.
- Payment and contact information: If you buy something from us or earn revenue through your site, we’ll collect information to process those payments and contact you. If you buy something from us — a subscription to a HostBoxx.com plan, you’ll provide additional personal and payment information like your name, credit card information, and contact information. We also keep a record of the purchases you’ve made. You may also provide us with financial details to set up a payments integration, like the email address for your Stripe or PayPal account or your bank account information.
- Credentials: Depending on the Services you use, you may provide us with credentials for your self-hosted website (like SSH, FTP, and SFTP username and password).
- Communications with us (hi there!): You may also provide us with information when you respond to surveys, communicate with our support staff about a support question, post a question in our public forums, or sign up for a newsletter like the one we send through Longreads. When you communicate with us via form, email, phone, HostBoxx.com comment, or otherwise, we store a copy of our communications (including any call recordings as permitted by applicable law).
Information We Collect Automatically
We also collect some information automatically:
- Log information: Like most online service providers, we collect information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available, including the browser type, IP address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information. We collect log information when you use our Services — for example, when you create or make changes to your website on HostBoxx.com.
- Usage information: We collect information about your usage of our Services. For example, we collect information about the actions that site administrators and users perform on a site using our HostBoxx.com — in other words, who did what and when (e.g., [HostBoxx.com username] deleted “[title of post]” at [time/date]). Our eCommerce Usage Tracker also tracks information like your email address, eCommerce settings, and PHP settings, along with information about your online store, like the aggregate number of orders and customers. We use this information to, for example, provide our Services to you, get insights on how people use our Services so we can make our Services better, and understand and make predictions about user retention.
- Location information: We may determine the approximate location of your device from your IP address. We collect and use this information to, for example, calculate how many people visit our Services from certain geographic regions. We may also collect information about your precise location via our mobile apps (like when you post a photograph with location information) if you allow us to do so through your mobile device operating system’s permissions.
- Stored information: We may access information stored on your mobile device via our mobile apps. We access this stored information through your device operating system’s permissions. For example, if you give us permission to access the photographs on your mobile device’s camera roll, our Services may access the photos stored on your device when you upload a really amazing photograph of the sunrise to your website.
- Interactions with other users’ sites: We collect some information about your interactions with other users’ sites while you are logged in to your account with us, such as your “Likes” and the fact that you commented on a particular post, so that we can, for example, recommend posts we think may interest you. As another example, we collect information about the comments IntenseDebate users make while logged in and use that information to, for example, tally up statistics about your comments (check them out in your dashboard!) and display information about your comments in your public profile.
Information We Collect from Other Sources
We may also get information about you from other sources. For example, if you create or log in to your HostBoxx.com account through another service (like Google) or if you connect your website or account to a social media service (like Twitter) through our Publicize feature, we’ll receive information from that service (e.g., your username, basic profile information, friends list) via the authorization procedures for that service. As another example, if you use WooCommerce Payments, we’ll receive information relating to your Stripe account, such as your email address and phone number. The information we receive depends on which services you use or authorize and what options are available.
Third-party services may also give us information, like mailing addresses for individuals who are not yet our users (but we hope will be!). We use this information for marketing purposes like postcards and other mailers advertising our Services.
How and Why We Use Information
Purposes for Using Information
We use information about you for the purposes listed below:
- To provide our Services. For example, to set up and maintain your account, host your website, backup and restore your website, provide customer service, process payments and orders, and verify user information.
- To ensure quality, maintain safety, and improve our Services. For example, by providing automatic upgrades and new versions of our Services. Or, for example, by monitoring and analyzing how users interact with our Services so we can create new features that we think our users will enjoy and that will help them create and manage websites more efficiently or make our Services easier to use.
- To place and manage ads in our advertising program. For example, to place ads on our users’ sites and some of our own sites as part of our advertising program, and understand ad performance.
- To market our Services and measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our marketing. For example, by targeting our marketing messages to groups of our users (like those who have a particular plan with us or have been users for a certain length of time), advertising our Services, analyzing the results of our marketing campaigns (like how many people purchased a paid plan after receiving a marketing message), and understanding and forecasting user retention.
- To protect our Services, our users, and the public. For example, by detecting security incidents; detecting and protecting against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity; fighting spam; complying with our legal obligations; and protecting the rights and property of Automattic and others, which may result in us, for example, declining a transaction or terminating Services.
- To fix problems with our Services. For example, by monitoring, debugging, repairing, and preventing issues.
- To customize the user experience. For example, to personalize your experience by serving you relevant notifications and advertisements for our Services, recommending content through our Reader post suggestions, and providing new essays and stories through Longreads for your reading pleasure.
- To communicate with you. For example, by emailing you to ask for your feedback, share tips for getting the most out of our products, or keep you up to date on Automattic; texting you to verify your payment; or calling you to share offers and promotions that we think will be of interest to you. If you don’t want to hear from us, you can opt out of marketing communications at any time. (If you opt out, we’ll still send you important updates relating to your account.)
Legal Bases for Collecting and Using Information
A note here for those in the European Union about our legal grounds for processing information about you under EU data protection laws, which is that our use of your information is based on the grounds that:
(1) The use is necessary in order to fulfill our commitments to you under the applicable terms of service or other agreements with you or is necessary to administer your account — for example, in order to enable access to our website on your device or charge you for a paid plan; or
(2) The use is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; or
(3) The use is necessary in order to protect your vital interests or those of another person; or
(4) We have a legitimate interest in using your information — for example, to provide and update our Services; to improve our Services so that we can offer you an even better user experience; to safeguard our Services; to communicate with you; to measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising; and to understand our user retention and attrition; to monitor and prevent any problems with our Services; and to personalize your experience; or
How We Share Information
We share information about you in limited circumstances, and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy. These are spelled out below, as well as in the section called Ads and Analytics Services Provided by Others:
- Legal and regulatory requirements: We may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how we respond to requests for information about HostBoxx.com users, please see our Legal Guidelines. Additionally, if you have a domain registered with HostBoxx.com, we may share your information to comply with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) regulations, rules, or policies. For example, your information relating to your domain registration may be available in the WHOIS database, or we may be required to share your information with ICANN-approved Dispute Resolution Service Providers. Please see our Domain Registrations and Privacy support document for more details.
- To protect rights, property, and others: We may disclose information about you when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of HostBoxx, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if we have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, we may disclose information related to the emergency without delay.
- With your consent: We may share and disclose information with your consent or at your direction. For example, we may share your information with third parties when you authorize us to do so, like when you connected your site to a social media service through our Publicize feature. Aggregated or de-identified information: We may share information that has been aggregated or de-identified, so that it can no longer reasonably be used to identify you. For instance, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our Services, or share a hashed version of your email address to facilitate customized ad campaigns on other platforms.
- Site owners: If you have a HostBoxx.com account and interact with another site using our Services, your information may be shared with the administrators of the site. For example, if you leave a comment on a site created on HostBoxx.com or running Jetpack, your IP address and the email address associated with your HostBoxx.com account may be shared with the administrator(s) of the site where you left the comment. Or if you make a payment (like via the Payments feature) to a site, your public display name, user name, and email address may be shared with the administrator(s) of the site.
How Long We Keep Information
We generally discard information about you when it’s no longer needed for the purposes for which we collect and use it — described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information — and we’re not legally required to keep it.
For example, we keep the web server logs that record information about a visitor to one of HostBoxx’s websites, like the visitor’s IP address, browser type, and operating system, for approximately 30 days. We retain the logs for this period of time in order to, among other things, analyze traffic to HostBoxx’s websites and investigate issues if something goes wrong on one of our websites.
As another example, when you delete a post, page, or comment from your HostBoxx.com site, it stays in your Trash folder for thirty days in case you change your mind and would like to restore that content, because starting from scratch is no fun. After the thirty days are up, the deleted content may remain on our backups and caches until purged.
While no online service is 100% secure, we work very hard to protect information about you against unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so. We monitor our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.