AOL's Commitment to protecting your privacy
A key part of AOL's commitment to protecting your privacy is to explain how we may use the personal information we collect, the choices you have about its use, and the steps we take to help protect your privacy whilst you interact with AOL. In the provision of the web based sites, pages, services and software (collectively the "AOL Web Services") and other content and offerings from AOL (UK) Limited, our subsidiaries and/or affiliated companies (together the "AOL Network") ("AOL" or "we" or "our") and other data processors acting under our control may collect, process, store and use aggregate information, and any information which may identify you or your web services account (your "Personal Information") in various ways and for different purposes. AOL collects this information when you give this to us or when you interact with the AOL Network.
AOL's Privacy Commitment: The Seven Principles of Privacy
1. We are straightforward about what Personal Information we collect, and how we use it. We tell you howyou can contact us with any questions or suggestions you may have.
2. We may personalise your experience based on how you use the AOL Network, including where you go on the AOL Network.
We may use Personal Information and other information about your visits to the AOL Network to improve AOL's service and to personalise your experience.
3. We give you choices about how AOL uses your Personal Information.
You can set your marketing preferences, or find out more about how to set or change other product controls and preferences which make the AOL Web Services more relevant and convenient for you.
4. We do not give out any Personal Financial Information you may provide us with, unless you authorise us to do so. And we give you the opportunity to correct your personal details at any time.
When you use AOL Web Services which incur a charge we may ask you for your name, address, telephone number, and payment details in order to take a payment from you. However, we will not give out such information unless you authorise it.
5. We do not read your private online communications.
We respect the confidentiality of your private communications, like e-mail and Instant Messages. We do not read or disclose these communications except in limited circumstances (such as in response to a court order).
6. We use technology, privacy protection controls and restrictions on employee access in order to help safeguard your Personal Information.
We use technology to help keep your Personal Information as secure as it reasonably can be.
7. We take extra steps to help protect the safety and privacy of children.
Young people need special safeguards and privacy protection. We have special privacy practices to help protect kids and teens when they use the AOL Web Services specifically designed for them.
We (or data processors acting under our control) will only disclose your information to third parties if you have consented to us doing so. However, we may be obliged to disclose information about your web services account in the following circumstances:
• if we or an entity processing your information on our behalf is compelled to do so by law;
• in response to a valid, legally compliant request by a competent authority;
• in special cases such as a physical threat to you or others; and/or
• otherwise in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
AOL and its affiliates collect and process personal information from users within the European Union in connection with their various product and service offerings, which include portal services (such as AOL.co.uk); and advertising services (such as those offered by AOL affiliates, like AOL Advertising and Tacoda).
In connection with these offerings, AOL Inc., AOL's parent company, and its affiliates adhere to the EU-US Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of Notice, Choice, Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity, Access and Enforcement, and is registered with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Safe Harbor Program. Click here for more information.
We are straightforward about what Personal Information we collect, and how we use it. We tell you how you can contact us with any questions or suggestions you may have.
What Personal Information does AOL collect?
When you use the AOL Network you are not anonymous - for example when you log in using your Screen Name or your Huffington Post Login, we can identify you as an individual when you visit AOL. Depending on how you use the AOL Network, Personal Information collected may include:
• information (which may include for example your name, delivery address, email, date of birth, gender, occupation, industry, personal interests, postcode and billing information) provided when you:
• register for a web services account or interact with the AOL Web Services (e.g. so we can offer you localised AOL Web Services);
• order products or AOL Web Services from AOL or our online merchants or advertisers;
• enter competitions or promotions; or
• take part in market research;
• your customer service information (including web services account activity histories and records of your communications with our customer services team);
• records of your communications with us (whether in writing, by email or by telephone) for the training and monitoring of our staff and to improve our service;
• information about your online activities - for example, your patterns of browsing, clicking, purchasing and searches you perform when using the AOL Web Services - so that we can tailor your experience of the AOL Web Services according to your apparent preferences, as expressed through those patterns of activity; Read More
• technical and diagnostic information gathered or received when you use the AOL Web Services. Some of the technical information that may be collected or received includes: the type of browser you are using (e.g., Netscape, AOL Explorer), the type of operating system you are using (e.g., Windows XP or Mac OS), CPU type (e.g. Pentium), the manner in which you connect to the Internet (e.g., your Internet Service provider and your connection speed through dial-up or broadband access); Internet protocol address; other information about your geographic location; or data relating to computer malfunctions or problems occurring when you use your computer to access the AOL Web Services. Additionally, we may collect information about other software on your computer for protecting your security or improving your online experience.
AOL may use so called "cookie" technology to gather information about your visits to and use of the AOL Network. This information may include your responses to content, advertisements and product offerings provided to you. For more detailed information Read More
The Personal Information we collect may be supplemented with information, including:
- commercially available demographic information which we obtain from other companies), and
- if you access third-party social networking services (such as Facebook Connect or Twitter) through the AOL Network, your username and connection lists for those services (for further information on this, see 'Social Media Interactivity', below).
• that we may use to better understand you as a customer and to provide all our users with better, more relevant content, advertisements and better designed communications, products and AOL Web Services.
Social Media Interactivity
To customise your experience on the AOL Network and to simplify our registration processes, we provide you with the opportunity to access or interact with third-party services, such as Facebook and Twitter. When you login to the AOL Network through these third-party services, we may share information about you with these third-party service providers and they may share data about you with us.
When you allow us to access your data through a third-party service to create an account, we may use this data for several purposes, including:
• Creating relationships automatically within our system. For example, if you connect to us via a service with a public friend list, like Twitter, we may check to see if any people you follow on Twitter also hold AOL Network accounts. If we find a match, we will replicate your Twitter relationship with those AOL Network members, setting them to be fans, followers, or friends on the AOL Network Sites.
• Suggesting relationships. For example, if you connect via a service that has a private contact list (like Google and Yahoo!), we check for people in your contacts who are AOL Network members and suggest that you become a fan of these users. This process is not automatic; you must affirmatively choose to become a fan of these suggested users.
• Populating a list of potential friends to whom you can send emails. When users share content with their friends using, for example, the forward-to-a-friend feature on the AOL Network, we may use friend lists from third-party services to create a list of contacts to whom you may choose to send the email message.
• Populating a list of potential friends to whom you can send service-specific messages. For example, we may use friend lists from a third-party service to create a list of contacts to whom you may choose to send an invitation to view an interactive slideshow.
• To enhance and personalize your experience on the AOL Network. When you are connected via a third-party service, we may access certain account information, such as your profile picture, what stories are popular in your network, and what your friends are saying about certain articles or blog posts, in order to enhance and personalize your experience on the AOL Network.
In addition, if you connect to a Facebook account, your experience on the AOL Network may be personalised. For example, you may automatically see what stories are popular in your network, and what your friends are saying about particular stories.
Please note that you may disconnect third party accounts at any time. Click here for a link to your social profile, where you may set your privacy preferences or disconnect all of your third-party service accounts. You also may be able to modify your privacy settings directly with the third-party service. To modify your Facebook privacy settings, click here. To modify your Twitter privacy settings, click here.
Please remember that we do not control the privacy practices of these third-party services. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of all third-party service providers.
How does AOL use my Personal Information?
AOL (or third parties acting under AOL's control) may use your Personal Information to:
• operate, analyse and improve the AOL Web Services and to enhance your online experience - for example, by authenticating your access to the AOL Web Services and to your Personal Information;
• communicate with you by electronic methods (including email, text, picture, video and SMS messaging), about offers and information on the products and AOL Web Services offered by AOL or third parties.
• personalise the content, advertising and promotions you receive and our communications with you, (e.g. finding out which advertisements you react to or the areas of the AOL Network which you visit most frequently or searches you perform on when using the AOL Web Services and tailoring your experience accordingly).
• contact you to provide tailored advice if we consider that you are experiencing technical issues that we reasonably consider may be adversely affecting your ability to use the AOL Web Services or to identify or fix possible threats to your safety, security, privacy, or to your computer's security;
• conduct research and analysis. This may involve contacting you to ask you for your feedback on your experiences whilst using the AOL Web Services;
• contact you (or, in certain circumstances pass your contact details to pre-selected third parties) for marketing purposes. For more information.
• provide you with an open, but also civil, discussion forum on Huffington Post UK. We track user involvement in our Huffington Post UK community discussions, for example we keep track of the ratio of how many flagged comments are eventually deleted in order to award badges to our most effective comment moderators. For more information on this process, please see our FAQ section about comment moderation guidelines.
We recommend you sign on to your web services account regularly and visit http://help.aol.co.uk/help_uk/documentLink.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=26303 for these changes and other important announcements.
Where will my Personal Information be stored?
AOL is a global organisation, and many of the computers and companies that process information on our behalf are based in the USA and other countries outside the European Economic Area (the "EEA"). This means that your Personal Information (which may include information you provide about your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, or concerning health or sex life) may be transferred to, processed and held both inside and outside the EEA
How long will you keep my Personal Information?
We may retain your Personal Information as long as is necessary for the purposes for which we collected it, or for the period to which you consent under the AOL Web Services Agreement, as explained here or under the specific terms applicable to your use of the AOL Web Services, or as is otherwise required by applicable law. We may process your Personal Information for a reasonable period after your web services account is cancelled. However please note that any information that we have copied may remain in back-up storage for a longer period.
If you have purchased any paid for AOL Web Services from AOL, we may retain payment-related information, such as a payment card number which you supplied to us for billing purposes for an unlimited period after your paid for AOL Web Services or web services account has been cancelled for fraud prevention purposes.
We will look after the security of the information you provide:
How can I find out more about how my Personal Information is used?
If your enquiry is a customer service enquiry, which is not related to AOL's use of your Personal Information, please contact us by visiting: Contact AOL
We may personalise your experience based on how you use the AOL Web Services, including where you go on the AOL Web Services.
Our systems may automatically gather information about your usage of the AOL Web Services. We may use both Personal Information and other aggregated information to improve AOL's service and personalise your experience of the AOL Web Services, including in the following ways:
• To tailor the content, communications, advertisements or promotions you receive when using the AOL Web Services.
For example, we might use information about your visits to the AOL Motoring Channel to personalise the advertisements you see. We may do this based on the details you have submitted, your expressed preferences and your online activity, how often you use the service, or the type of computer system you use, together with the activities and experiences of other AOL users who we believe may have similar interests and preferences to you. We may supplement this data with publicly available consumer data, including demographic information, to help us decide how to make your experience more relevant. We may also provide you with content and advertisements around the AOL Network which may be customised using information such as the search terms you use on the AOL Web Services - for example, if you search for "football" you might see more content and advertisements relating to "sports" and related subject matter areas.
• We may use navigational information about where you go on the AOL Network to better understand how AOL Web Services are used, and what content and advertisements our users enjoy so that we can make AOL better.
• We do not use any navigational data about where you, as an individual, go, or what products or services you use on the wider internet outside the AOL Network, save where such sites provide for such use in their respective privacy policies.
• We may collect Personal Information and aggregated data, relating to how often and frequently visitors use elements of the AOL Web Services so that we can measure the popularity and usage of those and use this information to improve the AOL Web Services.
You can choose not to receive personalised advertising from AOL based on where you go on the AOL Network and on the search terms you enter by opting out of this service. To learn more about online behavioural advertising visit http://info.aol.co.uk/penguin/mr-penguin.html. AOL adheres to the IAB UK's Good Practice Principles for Online Behavioural Advertising. Please go to the Related Links for further information.
Cookies, Web beacons and your options
• remember the preferences and registration data that you give us;
• authenticate your Screen Name and/or Huffington Post Login before you can access your Personal Information or web services account for added security;
• enable you to participate in certain online activities, such as making sure that each person only votes in an online poll once;
• personalise features of the AOL Web Services, for example by providing you with customised content (e.g. a localised weather forecast) or advertisements based on the information you have submitted to us and your activity when using the AOL Web Services;
• help measure and research the effectiveness of the AOL Web Services, including collecting statistics on your response to advertisements, e-mail and other communications you receive; and
• provide security within shopping baskets or transactions.
To learn more about cookies and how to disable them visit: http://help.aol.co.uk/help_uk/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=uk_96123342.
We give you choices about how AOL uses your Personal Information.
Will I receive marketing communications from AOL?
We may contact you by email, SMS and other similar forms of communication where we're letting you know about AOL's goods and AOL Web Services similar to AOL Web Services you have used, or if you've told us that you'd like this to happen.
Will AOL pass my Personal Information to other companies for them to send marketing communications to me?
We'll only pass on your email, mobile phone number and other similar forms of address to third parties where you've clearly indicated that you'd like this to happen.
However, for all online purchases and/or registrations that you may make from third parties whilst online with AOL, make sure that you review their privacy policies and contact them directly if you have any questions. They may have privacy policies that differ from AOL's, and they may therefore use Personal Information which you provide to them differently.
You can change your marketing preferences at any time by visiting: http://help.aol.co.uk/help_uk/documentLink.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=uk_110094634.
Some AOL Web Services alternatively allow you to control what information is collected or used when you use that offering.
What happens when my web services account is cancelled?
If you cancel your web services account or AOL cancels your web services account (see the AOL Web Services Agreement), we may continue to send you marketing communications (as described above) for a reasonable period of time unless you tell us you do not wish to receive this information.
If you have any other questions, please get in touch and we'll do our best to help. For details on how to contact us visit Contact AOL.
We do not give out your payment details, unless you authorise us to do so. And we give you the opportunity to correct your personal details at any time.
If you request a product or service which requires payment, we may collect payment details and ask you for your name, address, telephone number and an alternative email address.
We will not give out such information unless you authorise it, for example, during an online purchase, or in response to a valid, legally compliant request by a competent authority. However, if you provide us with a payment method which belongs to someone else, we may disclose your name and address, and data relating to payments made by that method to them.
If you provide someone else's payment details to pay for any AOL Web Services. You MUST obtain that party's express consent before you do this. If you do provide a third party's payment details to pay for a Service - for example, you provide the payment details of a partner or a friend to pay - we may disclose your name and address and information relating to payments made by that method to them.
We do not read your private online communications.
AOL honours the confidentiality of your private online communications in private chat rooms, email (including downloads), and Instant Message conversations. AOL does not read, or disclose to third parties, private communications when you use the AOL Web Services, without your consent, except where we or an affiliate processing your data on our behalf is compelled to do so by law, or in response to a valid, legally compliant request by a competent authority, or during emergencies when we believe physical safety is at risk.
Of course, what you post in public areas, such as comments or member chat rooms and message boards is available to the public.
We use secure technology, privacy protection controls and restrictions on employee access in order to safeguard your Personal Information.
We use technology and other means to help keep your Personal Information, including your web services account information and any payment details you may provide to us, as safe it reasonably can be. We also have put in place privacy protection control systems designed to help ensure that your Personal Information remains safe and private.
To help protect the information you provide we may use a variety of safeguards, including:
• technical, administrative, and physical controls (such as restricted access facilities, intrusion prevention and detection systems, and dedicated security personnel and incident response teams);
• encryption and authentication systems
• passwords, and other methods including Account Security Questions; and
• agreements with contractors and vendors requiring them to protect the confidentiality, safety, and security of your information.
There are many ways for you to access the AOL Web Services, including through high speed and wireless connections - please see your own provider for details.
We offer you a robust set of tools to help you prevent others from gaining access to your Personal Information, as well as to help protect against other threats to the security of your online experience. To learn what you can do to help safeguard your safety, security, and privacy, please visit http://help.aol.co.uk/help-safety/.
We take extra steps to protect the safety and privacy of children.
Young people need special safeguards and privacy protection. We realise they may not understand all the provisions of our policy or be able to make thoughtful decisions about the choices available to adult members. So we have special privacy practices to protect kids using areas on the service specifically designed for them. We urge all parents to educate their children about online safety and the need to protect their Personal Information.
In areas of the AOL Web Services which may be designed for children 13 and under, AOL and its partners require parental consent to collect or use names, addresses, telephone numbers or other information that identifies a child offline. In areas of the AOL Web Services which may be designed for teens aged 13 to 17, AOL will not collect names, addresses, telephone numbers or other Personal Information of anyone under the age of 13 without disclosing how that information will be used.
If you have further queries in relation to your personal data, you may click here: Details of Data Controller.
Details of the Data Controller
To let us know that you would or would not like to receive marketing communications from us and other selected companies in future, please visit http://help.aol.co.uk/help_uk/documentLink.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=uk_110094634.
You may contact the data controller, AOL (UK) Limited, as follows:
In writing to:
Data Protection Officer,
AOL (UK) Limited,
11-20 Capper Street
London WC1W 6JA.
By email to: email@example.com
AOL (UK) Limited is registered with the UK Information Commissioner's Office under registration number Z5298132.
If your enquiry is a customer service enquiry, which is not related to AOL's use of your Personal Information, please contact us.