As of April 1, 2016
Your trust and confidence are essential to our success. Shmoop respects your privacy and will not sell or share your personally identifiable information with another party without your expressed consent, other than as described in "Exceptions to Sharing Personally Identifiable Information" below.
- Information collected by third-party websites linked from Shmoop
- Information collected off-line
Information We Collect
We collect two types of information from you:
- Information you voluntarily provide when registering or participating in activities on Shmoop; and
- Information collected from your computer and location when you use Shmoop.
We have implemented Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting.
Using the Ads Settings, visitors can opt-out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising and customize Google Display Network ads.
We plan only to use such data collected by Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting for internal reports and market research.
All personally identifiable information collected from the Site will not be shared with any other entity without your expressed consent, other than as described in "Exceptions to Sharing Personally Identifiable Information" below.
To use some parts of our Site, you must Register with Shmoop. When you register, we collect personally identifiable information such as your name and email address. You may provide other personally identifiable information voluntarily (e.g., year in school, gender), but it is not required for registration. We use this information to contact you about the services on our Site about which you have expressed interest.
Other Voluntarily Submitted Information
We also collect information that you submit voluntarily through our Shmoop message boards, notes, conversations, and other communications. Examples include, but are not limited to, feedback or customer support messages that you send to us, user surveys or polls to which you respond, preferences you set on the Site, comments and ratings you submit to the Site, notes and content you create, and optional profile information you wish to share with other visitors to our Site.
If you place an order using the Site, we may also collect additional information, including, but not limited to, billing address, shipping address, date of birth, date of order, payment information, and the product ordered. Shmoop may share this information with third parties, as discussed in more detail below.
Automatically Collected Information
In addition to the information you voluntarily send us while visiting Shmoop, like most websites, we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes, but is not limited to, internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and clickstream data.
We use this information, which does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, administer the site, track users' movements around the site, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. We may link this automatically-collected data to personally identifiable information.
Our Use of Information
We do not share personally identifiable information with third parties without your expressed consent, other than as described in " Exceptions to Sharing Personally Identifiable Information" below. We may provide information in the aggregate about our users to third parties for other purposes, but in this case, all personally identifiable information will be removed.
Student Privacy - FERPA
Shmoop may have access to student education records that are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, et seq. and the regulations promulgated there under. This information is considered confidential and is therefore protected. To the extent that Shmoop has access to “education records,” it is deemed a “school official,” as each of these terms are defined under FERPA. Except as required by law, we shall not disclose or share education records with any third party unless permitted by the terms of our contract with a particular institution who has agreed to maintain the confidentiality of the education records to the same extent required of Shmoop under this contract.
In the event any person(s) seek to access protected education records, we will only retrieve such data or information upon receipt of, and in accordance with, written directions, if allowed by law. If we receive a court order or lawfully issued subpoena seeking the release of such data or information, Shmoop will provide immediate notification to relevant users with a copy of the court order or lawfully issued subpoena prior to releasing the requested data or information, if allowed by law or judicial and/or administrative order.
If Shmoop ever experiences a security breach concerning any education record covered by a contract, we will immediately notify relevant users and take steps to limit and mitigate the security breach to the extent possible.
Registration and Use of the Site
When a child requests to register for the Site, Shmoop will seek consent from the child's identified parent or guardian ("Parent"). We may ask the child to provide certain information for notification and security purposes, including the Parent's email address, the child's first name and gender, the child's username, and password. We may also ask for birth dates from children to validate their ages. Please note that children can choose whether to share their information with us, but certain features cannot function without it. As a result, children may not be able to access certain features if required information has not been provided. We will not require a child to provide more information than is reasonably necessary in order to participate in an online activity. Parents may also agree to the collection and use of their child's information, but not allow disclosure to third parties.
Consistent with the requirements of COPPA, on any child-targeted site or application, or in any instance where we ask for age and determine the user is less than 13 years of age, we will ask for a Parent email address before we collect any personal information from the child. If you believe your child is participating in an activity that collects personal information and you or another Parent have NOT received an email providing notice or seeking your consent, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not use parent emails provided for parental consent purposes to market to the parent, unless the parent has expressly opted in to email marketing or has separately participated in an activity that allows for such email contact.
If you are a Parent and wish to provide direct consent for your child's registration on the Site, you must first register through the Site and affirmatively verify you are the child's Parent and consent to the collection of the child's personal information.
If, in addition to collecting content that includes personal information, Shmoop also plans to post the content publicly, share it with a third party for the third party's own use or allow the child to post content publicly, we will obtain a higher level of parental consent (verifiable parental consent). Methods by which we will obtain verifiable parental consent include, but are not limited to, requiring a signed consent form by mail, fax or electronic scan, asking for a credit card or other online payment method for verification, or speaking to a trained customer service representative by telephone or video chat.
Teacher or Administrator Consent
With regard to school-based activities, COPPA allows teachers and school administrators to act in the stead of parents to provide consent for the collection of personal information from children. Schools should always notify parents about these activities.
Email Contact with a Child
On occasion, in order to respond to a question or request from a child, Shmoop may need to ask for the child's online contact information, such as an email address. Shmoop will delete this information immediately after responding to the question or request.
In connection with certain activities or services, we may collect a child's online contact information, such as an email address, in order to communicate with the child more than once. In such instances we will retain the child's online contact information to honor the request and for no other purpose such as marketing. Whenever we collect a child's online contact information for ongoing communications, we will simultaneously require a parent email address in order to notify the parent about the collection and use of the child's information, as well as to provide the parent an opportunity to prevent further contact with the child. On some occasions a child may be engaged in more than one ongoing communication, and a parent may be required to "opt-out" of each communication individually.
In the event we collect (or allow others to collect) such information from children on our Site for other purposes, we will notify parents and obtain consent prior to such collection.
When Information Collected From Children is Available to Others
In addition to those instances where a child's personal information is posted publicly (after receiving a higher level of parental consent), we also may share or disclose personal information collected from children in a limited number of instances, including the following:
- We may share information with our service providers if it is necessary for them to perform a technology support function for us, or for other legitimate educational purposes.
- We may disclose personal information if permitted or required by law, for example, in response to a court order or a subpoena. To the extent permitted by applicable law, we also may disclose personal information collected from children (i) in response to a law enforcement or public agency's (including schools or children services) request; (ii) if we believe disclosure may prevent the instigation of a crime, facilitate an investigation related to public safety or protect the safety of a child using our Site; (iii) to protect the security or integrity of our Site, services and other technology, as well as the technology of our service providers; or (iv) enable us to take precautions against liability.
Parental Choices and Control
At any time, parents can refuse to permit us to use and collect further personal information from their children in association with a particular account, and can request that we delete from our records the personal information we have collected in connection with that account. Please keep in mind that a request to delete records may lead to a termination of an account, membership, or other service.
Where a child has registered for a Shmoop account, we use two methods to allow Parents to access, change, or delete the personally identifiable information that we have collected from their children:
- Parents can request access to and delete their child's personal information by logging on to the child's account. Parents will need their child's username and password.
- Parents can contact us to request access to, change, or delete their child's personal information at email@example.com.
In any correspondence such as e-mail or mail, please include the child's username and the Parent's email address and telephone number. To protect children's privacy and security, we will take reasonable steps to help verify a parent's identity before granting access to any personal information.
We will retain your child's information for as long as their account is active or as needed to provide them services. If you wish to cancel your child's account or request that we no longer use that information to provide them services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will retain and use their information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.
If we make material changes to how we use personal information collected from children, we will notify parents by email in order to obtain parental consent for the new uses of the child's personal information.
Our Communication with You
After you register with Shmoop, we may contact you in several ways. Please see our contact us page to opt-out of specific types of messages.
When you register, we will send you a welcome message from Shmoop. We may also respond to your customer service inquiries, your suggestions, or your requests to manage your account. We will communicate with you by email or phone, in accordance with your preferences.
You may opt-out at the time of registration and on our contact us page.
Newsletters, Product Updates, and Notifications
You may opt-out on our contact us page.
These are sent to all registrants of Shmoop on occasions when a significant service change or disruption occurs.
Accessing, Changing and Managing Your Information
You can access or change your personal profile and contact information or delete your account by either logging into your account or contacting customer service.
Security of Your Information
The security of your information is very important to us. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us. However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, while we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security and any information you transmit to Shmoop or submit through the Site is done so at your own risk. If you have questions about security on our Site, please contact us at email@example.com.
Sharing Information within Shmoop
Message Board, Site Sharing Features and Site Contributions
When you use our Site, you have the option to make contributions including, but not limited to, your notes, comments, creative works, or information about yourself, available to other visitors to our Site.
We will generally provide you with the option to control the privacy of your contributions or remove your contributions from the site.
If you use Shmoop's message boards, chat rooms, conversations, or other services on the Shmoop site, please be aware that any personally identifiable information you submit there can be read, collected, or used by other users of these forums, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. We are not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit in these forums.
If you have not removed or marked private any given piece of identifiable information, Shmoop will assume that you are aware that it is viewable by other users of Shmoop and the public at large.
If you have further questions about your contributions to this Site, please contact us.
Exceptions to Sharing Personally Identifiable Information
We use an outside shipping company to fulfill orders, and a credit card processing company to bill you for goods and services. These companies do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any other purposes.
We may contract with other third parties to provide services on our Site. These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.
Information that you post on the Site (e.g., comments, notes, creative works, information about yourself) will be made available to other users of the Site.
Shmoop may share some or all of your information with our parent company, subsidiaries and corporate affiliates, joint venturers or other companies under common control with us.
As required by law or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our company, we reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information. In addition, we reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information when we believe that such disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, safety, or property, or the rights, safety or property of Service Providers or others. We also may disclose personally identifiable information to third parties in order to resolve disputes that arise in the normal course of business.
Third Party Advertisers
We use third-party advertising companies such as Google DFP to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use aggregated information (not including your name, address, email address or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. While this information will not identify you personally, in some instances these third parties may be able to combine this information with other data they have about you, or that they receive from third parties, in a manner that allows them to associate this aggregated data with your personal data. However, Shmoop only does business with reputable advertising providers like Google who take personal privacy issues very seriously. Please refer to Google’s documentation for more information on their policies: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/. Or, if you would like more information about this general advertising practice and to learn what you can do to avoid having this information used by advertising companies, please see: http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp
Your information may also be disclosed to third parties in unforeseeable situations or situations that are not preventable even when commercially reasonably protections are employed, such as in the case that Shmoop or the Site is subject to a hacking or other attack.
Links to Other Sites
This Site contains links to other sites that are not owned or controlled by Shmoop University, Inc. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of those other sites. We encourage you to be aware of this when you leave our Site, and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies only to information collected by this Site.
Cookies; Do Not Track
The Site may include links to other websites and other content from third-party businesses. We permit third parties to track your actions through cookies and web beacons over time and across different websites or platforms.
In addition, you may be able to adjust your browser settings or other settings so that "do not track" requests are sent to the websites and mobile applications that you use. However, Shmoop will not disable tracking technology that may be active on the Site in response to any "do not track" requests that are sent to the Site.
Testimonials and User Feedback
From time to time, we will publish comments from users who have shared positive testimonials about our Site. When we publish such content, we will identify those users only by their first and last name or a screenname, and their city, state and school.
In the event that Shmoop University, Inc. goes through a business transition, such as a merger, acquisition by another company, or sale of all or a portion of its assets, the acquirer would have access to the information maintained by Shmoop University, Inc., which could include personally identifiable information.
International Users - Applicable Law
Retention of Your Information
Notice of Privacy Rights to California Residents
Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code permits California residents to request from a business, with whom the California resident has an established business relationship, information related to the personal information disclosed by Shmoop to third parties for direct marketing purposes and the names and addresses of the third parties with whom the business has shared such information during the immediately preceding calendar year. You may make one request each year by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending a letter to:
Shmoop University Inc.,
P.O. Box 0935
Los Altos, CA 94023-0935
Shmoop University Inc.,
P.O. Box 0935
Los Altos, CA 94023-0935