Your privacy is critically important to us. At The NextGen Genealogy Network (TNGGN), 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
The NextGen Genealogy Network fosters the next generation’s interest in family history. We build connections between all generations, provide resources to promote the next generation’s engagement in the genealogical community, and offer innovative, virtual opportunities for development. Through communication and cooperation, we empower genealogists worldwide.
- Our websites (including tnggn.org);
- Our mobile applications we may offer;
- Our Community Directory
- Our Email Newsletters
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 information in three ways: 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. The amount and type of information depends on the context and how we use the information. 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 the community directory to provide a username and email address–and that’s it. You may provide us with more information–like your name–but we don’t require that information to create a Community Directory 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 Community Directory account, your username is part of that public profile, along with any other information you put into your public profile, such as a photo or an biography description. Your public profile information is just that–public–so please keep that in mind when deciding what information you would like to include.
- Content Information: Depending on the Services you use, you may also provide us with information about you in draft and published content. For example, if you create a Community Directory account that includes biographic information about you, we will have that information, and so will anyone with access to the Internet if you choose to publish the post publicly. This might be obvious to you…but it’s not to everyone!
- Communications With Us (Hi There!): You may also provide us information when you respond to surveys, communicate with our staff about a support question, or post a question about your site in any public forums.
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, such as 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 Community Directory.
- 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 Community Directory–in other words, who did what, when and to what thing on a site (e.g., [Community Directory username] deleted “[title of post]” at [time/date]). As another example, if you subscribe to our mailing list we track if and when you opened the email. We also collect information about what happens when you use our Services (e.g., page views) along with information about your device (e.g., screen size, name of cellular network, and mobile device manufacturer). We use this information to, for example, provide our Services to you, as well as get insights on how people use our Services, so we can make our Services better.
- 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 (when, for example, 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 a mobile app. 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.
- WordPress.com Stats:
- Data Used: IP address, WordPress.com user ID (if logged in), WordPress.com username (if logged in), user agent, visiting URL, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, country code. Important: The site owner does not have access to any of this information via this feature. For example, a site owner can see that a specific post has 285 views, but he/she cannot see which specific users/accounts viewed that post. Stats logs — containing visitor IP addresses and WordPress.com usernames (if available) — are retained by Automattic for 28 days and are used for the sole purpose of powering this feature.
Information We Collect from Other Sources
We may also get information about you from other sources. For example, if you create your Community Directory account through another service (like Google) or if you connect your website or account to a social media service (like Twitter) through our Community Directory profile, we will receive information from that service (such as your username, basic profile information, and friends list) via the authorization procedures used by that service. The information we receive depends on which services you authorize and any options that are available.
How And Why We Use Information
Purposes for Using Information
We use information about you as mentioned above and 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, or charge you for any of our paid Services;
- To further develop and improve our Services–for example by adding new features that we think our users will enjoy or will help them to create and manage their websites more efficiently;
- To monitor and analyze trends and better understand how users interact with our Services, which helps us improve our Services and make them easier to use;
- To measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising, and better understand user retention and attrition–for example, we may analyze how many individuals subscribe to our services after receiving a marketing message or the features used by those who continue to use our Services after a certain length of time;
- To monitor and prevent any problems with our Services, protect the security of our Services, detect and prevent fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities, fight spam, and protect the rights and property of TNGGN and others, which may result in us declining a transaction or the use of our Services;
- To communicate with you, for example through an email, about offers and promotions offered by TNGGN and others we think will be of interest to you, solicit your feedback, or keep you up to date on TNGGN and our products; and
- To personalize your experience using our Services, provide content recommendations, target our marketing messages to groups of our users (for example, those who have been our user for a certain length of time), and serve relevant advertisements.
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 our 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 better understand user retention and attrition, to monitor and prevent any problems with our Services, and to personalize your experience; or
How We Share Information
We do not sell our users’ private personal information.
We share information about you in the limited circumstances spelled out below and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy:
- Legal Requests: We may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request.
- 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 TNGGN, 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 with which you authorize us to do so, such as the social media services that you connect to your site through our Publicize feature.
- Aggregated or De-Identified Information: We may share information that has been aggregated or reasonably de-identified, so that the information could not reasonably be used to identify you. For instance, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our Services and we may share a hashed version of your email address to facilitate customized ad campaigns on other platforms.
Information Shared Publicly
Information that you choose to make public is–you guessed it–disclosed publicly.
That means, of course, that information like your public profile, posts, other content that you make public on your website, and your “Likes” and comments on other websites, are all available to others–and we hope you get a lot of views!
For example, the photo that you upload to your public profile, or a default image if you haven’t uploaded one, is your Globally Recognized Avatar, or Gravatar. Your Gravatar, along with other public profile information, will display with the comments and “Likes” that you make on other users’ websites while logged in to your Community Directory account. Your Gravatar + public profile information may also display with your comments, “Likes,” and other interactions on websites that use our Gravatar service, if the email address associated with your account with us is the same as the email address that you use on the other website.
Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.
Please keep all of this in mind when deciding what you would like to share.
How Long We Keep Information
We generally discard information about you when we no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collect and use it–which are described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information–and we are not legally required to continue to keep it.
For example, we keep the web server logs that record information about a visitor to one of TNGGN’s websites, such as 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 TNGGN’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 Community Directory site, it stays in your Trash folder just in case you change your mind and would like restore that content–because starting again from scratch is no fun, at all. The deleted content may remain on our backups and caches until purged.
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.
For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.
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, such as monitoring our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.
You have several choices available when it comes to information about you:
- Limit the Information that You Provide: If you have an account with us, you can choose not to provide the optional account information, profile information, and transaction and billing information. Please keep in mind that if you do not provide this information, certain features of our Services may not be accessible.
- Limit Access to Information On Your Mobile Device: Your mobile device operating system should provide you with the ability to discontinue our ability to collect stored information or location information via our mobile apps. If you do so, you may not be able to use certain features (like adding a location to a photograph, for example).
- Opt-Out of Electronic Communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional messages from us. Just follow the instructions in those messages. If you opt out of promotional messages, we may still send you other messages, like those about your account and legal notices.
- Set Your Browser to Reject Cookies: At this time, TNGGN does not respond to “do not track” (DNT) signals across all of our Services. However, you can usually choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies before using TNGGN’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of TNGGN’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
- Close Your Account: While we’d be very sad to see you go, if you no longer want to use our Services you can close your Community Directory account. Please keep in mind that we may continue to retain your information after closing your account, as described in How Long We Keep Information above–for example, when that information is reasonably needed to comply with (or demonstrate our compliance with) legal obligations such as law enforcement requests, or reasonably needed for our legitimate business interests.
If you are located in certain countries, including those that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (AKA the “GDPR”), data protection laws give you rights with respect to your personal data, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the rights to:
- Request access to your personal data;
- Request correction or deletion of your personal data;
- Object to our use and processing of your personal data;
- Request that we limit our use and processing of your personal data; and
- Request portability of your personal data.
You can usually access, correct, or delete your personal data using your account settings and tools that we offer, but if you aren’t able to do that, or you would like to contact us about one of the other rights, scroll down to How to Reach Us to, well, find out how to reach us.
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
EU individuals also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.
The NextGen Genealogy Network
2733 E Battlefield Rd
Springfield, MO 65804
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25 May 2018 – Initial Publication