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Security And Privacy Policy


Last Updated: September 9, 2007


The policies below are applicable to the website that is accessible by the domain names historycommons.org, historycommons.net, grassrootsoversight.org, grassrootsoversight.net, historycommons.org, and historycommons.net (“Website”), produced and maintained by the Center for Grassroots Oversight (collectively “the Center” or “we”, “us”, or “our”). We have established this security and privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”) to let you know the kinds of personal information we may gather during your visit to the Website, why we gather your information, what we use your personal information for, when we might disclose your personal information, and how you can manage your personal information.

By visiting our Website, you are accepting the practices described in our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not use the Website and exit immediately. We reserve the right to modify or amend the terms of our Privacy Policy from time to time without notice. Your continued use of our Website following the posting of changes to these terms will mean you accept those changes.

If you don't find your concern addressed here, feel free to email us through the Contact Page.

What Information Do We Collect?

The Center strives to ask only for the minimal amount of information required to provide the Website and Services. As a result, the answer to this question depends almost entirely on how you choose to make use of our Website.

Personal Information

You can access our Website and most of the Content provided therein without providing any information at all. In certain circumstances, the Center may collect certain information that identifies you, such as your name, address, email address or credit card information, as well as other individually-identifiable information that you provide to us or that we collect (“Personal Information”). The Center collects such Personal Information from you only during (i) new user registration, (ii) submission of timeline entries, (iii) when you register for email mailing lists, and (iv) during donations or purchases, which are handled through PayPal®, Yahoo! Store, or Groundspring. In order to submit a timeline entry or to post in the forum area, registration is required.

Registered users who have the roles of project managers, contenteditors, or copyeditors will need to submit their names in addition to the other Personal Information requested during registration. People who volunteer to assist us with specific projects and tasks, such as managing and tracking projects, must register in the Volunteer section of the website and provide their name and email address. Volunteers also have the option of providing their phone number, fax number, address, and a website address.

Anonymous Information

Through your use of the Website, the Center may also gather certain information that does not identify you individually (“Anonymous Information”). Generally, this information is collected through "traffic data" and may entail the use of "Cookies," "IP addresses" or other numeric codes used to identify a computer. We use Cookies to keep our registered users logged in to the Website.

User Names and Contact Information

User names may be displayed on the website in the following circumstances. Users who have registered on the Website are able to look at special views of the timelines that display a "history" link above each timeline entry. Clicking on the "history" link displays a list of past versions of that particular timeline entry. Next to each version is the user name—i.e., the name that the user submitted when he or she registered on the Website—of the person who submitted it.

The user names of users who submit events that are approved are displayed on the site home page (index.jsp) and all the project home pages (project.jsp[...]) in the "Recently Added Events" lists. Each of the recently approved submitted events in these lists includes the user name of the user who submitted the event. When that user has a website, the user's user name may be hyperlinked to that site.

In addition, users who post in the Forum area may, at their option, allow for other Forum participants to send a private email message to them directly. However, the recipient user's email address will not be visible to the email sender from the Website.

Other features may be added to the site that also display a user's user name.

Email Updates

The Center collects email addresses of all users who subscribe to our email updates, make donations, or purchase items from historycommonsstore.org. This information is not shared with any third parties for any purposes. We may, from time to time, send registered users emails regarding upgrades to the Website, announcements about updates to timelines, guidelines on writing timeline entries, and the like. Anyone who wishes not to receive any future emails from us can, at any time, click on the “Unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of each email from the Center.

Policies for Children Under 13

We do not knowingly collect any information from persons under the age of 13. If we learn that any persons under the age of 13 have provided information about themselves, the information will be deleted. Our Website is designed for adults. Our Website is not intentionally targeted to children under the age of 13. Children under the age of 13 should not use our Website without obtaining prior parental consent.

Use of Cookies

The Center may use Cookies to provide some of the services on our Website. "Cookies" are pieces of information that a website transfers to your computer's hard disk for record-keeping purposes. "Cookies” make web-surfing easier for you by saving your passwords while you're at our Website. The use of "Cookies" is standard in the Internet industry, and many major websites use them to provide useful features for their users. "Cookies" in and of themselves do not personally identify users, although they do identify a user's computer. Our website never uses “Cookies” to retrieve information from your computer that was not originally sent in a “Cookie.” Except as described in this Privacy Policy, we do not share information transferred through “Cookies” with any third parties whatsoever. We do not use “Cookies” to identify specific individuals.

How Do We Use the Information?

Except as disclosed in this Privacy Policy, we do not use or disclose information about your individual visits to our Website or your Personal Information that you may give us or we may collect to any organization not affiliated with the Center. If the Center proposes to permit such use of your Personal Information, you will be provided an opportunity to instruct the Center not to allow such contact.


The Center may use your Personal Information to track your compliance with the Website's rules and regulations, or for editorial and feedback purposes.

Use of Anonymous Information

Anonymous Information helps us determine how people use parts of the Website so we can improve our Website and ensure that it is as appealing as we can make it for as many people as possible. We may also use or share Anonymous Information (or other information, other than Personal Information) in any manner that we deem appropriate or necessary.

Third-Party Agents & Transactional Partners

We occasionally have third-party agents perform functions on our behalf or we partner with another company who provides services within our Website, such as credit card processing of donations and purchases made on the Website. For example, the Center uses PayPal® to process financial transactions on the Website, and during those transactions you are transacting directly with our partner. These entities have access to the Personal Information of yours needed to perform their functions, and are contractually obligated to maintain the confidentiality and security of that Personal Information. They are restricted from using or altering this data in any way other than to provide the requested services to the Website. When you are on our agent's or partner's pages, their brands are clearly visible and their terms of service and privacy policy are posted. We encourage you to read them.

Emergency Situations

The Center may also disclose Personal Information if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to (a) conform to applicable law or comply with legal process served on the Center or the Website; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of the Center, the Website or the users of the Center, and (c) act under emergency circumstances to protect the personal safety of the Center, the users of the Website or the public.

Links to Other Websites

This Privacy Policy applies only to the Center's Website, not to other organizations' or companies' websites to which we link. These links include links from sponsors, partners, and websites with goals similar to ours and these websites are beyond our control. These other sites may send their own Cookies to you, collect your data or solicit your personal information. Always be aware of where you end up. We are not responsible for the actions and privacy policies of third parties and other websites. We encourage you to read the posted privacy statement and user terms and conditions whenever interacting with any other website.

Security Policy

We exercise great care in providing secure transmission of your information from your PC to our servers. Personal Information collected by the Center is stored in secure operating environments that are not available to the public. Only those employees who need access to your Personal Information in order to do their jobs are allowed access. Any employee who violates our privacy and/or security policies is subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination and civil and/or criminal prosecution.

While we make reasonable efforts to safeguard your Personal Information once we receive it, no transmission of data over the Internet or any other public network can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or information we transmit to you from our Website, and you do so at your own risk.

Public Areas and Forums

Please remember that any information you share in public areas, such as the Forums or in timeline submissions, becomes public, and therefore this Privacy Policy does not apply to any information you choose to make public. Please be careful about what you disclose and do not post any Personal Information that you expect to keep private.

Governing Law/Assignment

Our Website is published in the United States. U.S. law shall govern in any and all disputes, including privacy or defamation issues or otherwise.

The Center may change its ownership or corporate organization while providing the Website and services. As a result, please be aware that the Center may transfer your information to another organization or company that is affiliated with the Center or with which the Center has merged. Any new organization or company will also follow this Privacy Policy.


As we continue to develop our Website, we may add new services and features. In the event that these additions affect our Privacy Policy, this document will be updated appropriately. We will post those changes prominently so that you will always know what information we gather, how we might use that information and whether we will disclose it to anyone. We do, however, recommend that you read this Privacy Policy each time you use our website in case you missed our notice of changes to the Privacy Policy.

Opt-Out and Correction Procedures

You always may opt-out of receiving future email messages and announcements. The Center provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving our communications in every email we send.

To remove your Personal Information from our database, correct or update Personal Information that you have previously provided to us, and/or not to receive future communications, send email through the Contact Page on the Website indicating the information that you wish to be corrected, updated, or removed, or your request not to be sent future communications from the Center.


Please email us through the Contact Page any questions you have regarding this statement.

To return to the Web site, please use the "Back" button on your browser.


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