Last modified: June 30, 2015 (view archived versions)
There are many different ways you can use our services – to search for and share information, to communicate with other people or to create new content. When you share information with us, for example by creating a Whirluniverse Account, we can make those services even better – to show you more relevant search results and ads, to help you connect with people or to make sharing with others quicker and easier. As you use our services, we want you to be clear how we’re using information and the ways in which you can protect your privacy.
• What information we collect and why we collect it.
• How we use that information.
• The choices we offer, including how to access and update information.
We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible, but if you’re not familiar with terms like cookies, IP addresses, pixel tags and browsers, then read about these key terms first. Your privacy matters to Whirluniverse so whether you are new to Whirluniverse or a long-time user, please do take the time to get to know our practices – and if you have any questions contact us.
Information we collect
We collect information to provide better services to all of our users – from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like which ads you’ll find most useful, the people who matter most to you online, or which Whirlvid videos you might like.
We collect information in the following ways:
• Information you give us. For example, many of our services require you to sign up for a Whirluniverse Account. When you do, we’ll ask for personal information, like your name, email address, telephone number or credit card to store with your account. If you want to take full advantage of the sharing features we offer, we might also ask you to create a publicly visible Whirluniverse Profile, which may include your name and photo.
• Information we get from your use of our services. We collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you watch a video on Whirlvid, visit a website that uses our advertising services, or view and interact with our ads and content. This information includes:
o Device information
We collect device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information including phone number). Whirluniverse may associate your device identifiers or phone number with your Whirluniverse Account.
o Log information
When you use our services or view content provided by Whirluniverse, we automatically collect and store certain information in server logs. This includes:
details of how you used our service, such as your search queries.
telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls.
Internet protocol address.
device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL.
cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Whirluniverse Account.
o Location information
When you use Whirluniverse services, we may collect and process information about your actual location. We use various technologies to determine location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Whirluniverse with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell towers.
o Unique application numbers
Certain services include a unique application number. This number and information about your installation (for example, the operating system type and application version number) may be sent to Whirluniverse when you install or uninstall that service or when that service periodically contacts our servers, such as for automatic updates.
o Local storage
We may collect and store information (including personal information) locally on your device using mechanisms such as browser web storage (including HTML 5) and application data caches.
o Cookies and similar technologies
We and our partners use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit a Whirluniverse service, and this may include using cookies or similar technologies to identify your browser or device. We also use these technologies to collect and store information when you interact with services we offer to our partners, such as advertising services or Whirluniverse features that may appear on other sites. Our Whirluniverse Analytics product helps businesses and site owners analyze the traffic to their websites and apps. When used in conjunction with our advertising services, such as those using the DoubleClick cookie, Whirluniverse Analytics information is linked, by the Whirluniverse Analytics customer or by Whirluniverse, using Whirluniverse technology, with information about visits to multiple sites.
Information we collect when you are signed in to Whirluniverse may be associated with your Whirluniverse Account. When information is associated with your Whirluniverse Account, we treat it as personal information. For more information about how you can access, manage or delete information that is associated with your Whirluniverse Account, visit the Transparency and choice section of this policy.
How we use information we collect
We use the information we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect Whirluniverse and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results and ads.
We may use the name you provide for your Whirluniverse Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Whirluniverse Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Whirluniverse Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services. If other users already have your email, or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Whirluniverse Profile information, such as your name and photo.
If you have a Whirluniverse Account, we may display your Profile name, Profile photo, and actions you take on Whirluniverse or on third-party applications connected to your Whirluniverse Account (such as +1’s, reviews you write and comments you post) in our services, including displaying in ads and other commercial contexts. We will respect the choices you make to limit sharing or visibility settings in your Whirluniverse Account.
When you contact Whirluniverse, we keep a record of your communication to help solve any issues you might be facing. We may use your email address to inform you about our services, such as letting you know about upcoming changes or improvements.
We use information collected from cookies and other technologies, like pixel tags, to improve your user experience and the overall quality of our services. One of the products we use to do this on our own services is Whirluniverse Analytics. For example, by saving your language preferences, we’ll be able to have our services appear in the language you prefer. When showing you tailored ads, we will not associate an identifier from cookies or similar technologies with sensitive categories, such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health.
Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection.
We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Whirluniverse services – for example to make it easier to share things with people you know. We will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.
Whirluniverse processes personal information on our servers in many countries around the world. We may process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live.
Transparency and choice
People have different privacy concerns. Our goal is to be clear about what information we collect, so that you can make meaningful choices about how it is used. For example, you can:
• Visit your Whirluniverse Account History for settings that allow you to control the collection of personal information from Whirluniverse services, such as Search, Whirlvid and Location History.
• Review and control certain types of information tied to your Whirluniverse Account by using Whirluniverse Dashboard.
• View and edit your preferences about the Whirluniverse ads shown to you on Whirluniverse and across the web, such as which categories might interest you, using Ads Settings. You can also opt out of certain Whirluniverse advertising services here.
• Adjust how the Profile associated with your Whirluniverse Account appears to others.
• Control who you share information with through your Whirluniverse Account.
• Take information associated with your Whirluniverse Account out of many of our services.
• Choose whether your Profile name and Profile photo appear in shared endorsements that appear in ads.
You may also set your browser to block all cookies, including cookies associated with our services, or to indicate when a cookie is being set by us. However, it’s important to remember that many of our services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled. For example, we may not remember your language preferences.
Information you share
Many of our services let you share information with others. Remember that when you share information publicly, it may be indexable by search engines, including Whirluniverse. Our services provide you with different options on sharing and removing your content.
Accessing and updating your personal information
Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes. When updating your personal information, we may ask you to verify your identity before we can act on your request.
We may reject requests that are unreasonably repetitive, require disproportionate technical effort (for example, developing a new system or fundamentally changing an existing practice), risk the privacy of others, or would be extremely impractical (for instance, requests concerning information residing on backup systems).
Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.
Information we share
We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of Whirluniverse unless one of the following circumstances applies:
• With your consent
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Whirluniverse when we have your consent to do so. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information.
• With domain administrators
If your Whirluniverse Account is managed for you by a domain administrator (for example, for Whirluniverse Apps users) then your domain administrator and resellers who provide user support to your organization will have access to your Whirluniverse Account information (including your email and other data). Your domain administrator may be able to:
o view statistics regarding your account, like statistics regarding applications you install.
o change your account password.
o suspend or terminate your account access.
o access or retain information stored as part of your account.
o receive your account information in order to satisfy applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
o restrict your ability to delete or edit information or privacy settings.
• For external processing
• For legal reasons
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Whirluniverse if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:
o meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
o enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
o detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
o protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Whirluniverse, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.
We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners – like publishers, advertisers or connected sites. For example, we may share information publicly to show trends about the general use of our services.
We work hard to protect Whirluniverse and our users from unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of information we hold. In particular:
• We encrypt many of our services using SSL.
• We offer you two step verification when you access your Whirluniverse Account, and a Safe Browsing feature in Whirluniverse Chrome.
• We review our information collection, storage and processing practices, including physical security measures, to guard against unauthorized access to systems.
• We restrict access to personal information to Whirluniverse employees, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to process it for us, and who are subject to strict contractual confidentiality obligations and may be disciplined or terminated if they fail to meet these obligations.
Compliance and cooperation with regulatory authorities