The goal of GROW is to provide you with the information, services and resources that are most relevant and useful to our customers. To achieve this goal, GROW sometimes needs to collect information to understand what differentiates you from its hundreds of thousands of other unique users. We collect two types of information from you, “anonymous information” and “personally identifiable information.” Anonymous information refers to information that cannot be tied back to a specific individual. Each time a visitor comes to the GROW site, GROW collects some information to improve the overall quality of the visitor’s online experience. GROW collects the visitor’s IP address (e.g., whether the user is logged on from a .com, .gov or .edu domain), referral data (e.g., the address of the last URL a user visited prior to clicking through to an GROW site), and browser and platform type (e.g., a Netscape browser on a Macintosh platform). GROW also collects aggregate search terms from its search services for internal reporting and targeted content presentation (that is, web pages which are dynamically displayed based on your individual interests. GROW collects this user information for purposes of product monitoring, product improvement, and targeted content.
Most of the personal information is gathered when you register with one or several of the GROW sites. If you choose to register, you may provide GROW with your name, postal address, email address, birth date, gender, zip code and other information. While not all of this information may be required, the more information you volunteer (and the more accurate it is), the better we are able to customize your experience. Once you register you are able to take full advantage of the many offerings around GROW, including personalized services, when they become available.
If you participate in any online surveys, you may be asked to provide some personal information. Should you choose to reply, please know that this information is in no way linked to you, nor is sufficient identifying information of any type collected such that your responses could be traced back to you. We believe it is important for you to be confident that your responses are anonymous and confidential.
If you contact GROW, we may keep a record of that correspondence, including your email address and any data submitted to our submission forms. We use that information so that we may respond to that email, and for future reference.
A cookie is a small text file containing a unique identification number that is transferred from a web site to the hard drive of your computer so that the web site may identify you and track your activities on the web site. This unique number identifies your browser– and possibly you — to computers whenever you visit a site making use of them. A cookie can, in fact, let a web site know personally identifiable information about you, such as your real name and address.
Any personal information you provide to GROW when registering for Products and Services at any of its sites is maintained and accessible only by GROW unless specifically stated otherwise. GROW may request information from its users so that users can enjoy customized experiences across GROW, including personalized services, interactive communications, discussion groups and many other types of content and services. Many of these services are free to you. In order to provide great content and services free of charge, GROW may display advertisements.
GROW may offer its users the ability to personalize content such as news, local resources, links to other web sites, and more.
GROW may use the aggregate data collected to inform our sponsors as to numbers of people who have certain demographic characteristics and the number of those people who have seen and “clicked” on specific pages or advertisement(s). We may also disclose to those third-party sponsors the overall demographics available regarding who saw and “clicked” on their advertisement. No personally identifiable information will be disclosed to any individual, whatsoever, as part of this process; only information in an aggregate form.
GROW also uses the aggregate data to perform statistical analyses of the collective characteristics and behavior of our registered users and visitors, to measure user demographics and interests regarding specific areas of GROW and to analyze how and where best to use our resources. Without such data, we would not know what the most popular areas of GROW are, and we would not be able to change and update the content and services appropriately.
GROW may, from time to time, use your information to contact you about changes or enhancements to Products and Services on GROW If you told GROW that you were interested in receiving offers or information, GROW may send you email about products and services that we feel may be of interest to you. For those who elect to receive such materials from GROW or third parties, and who indicate that they do in their profile, GROW will release personally identifiable information. Information released may include your name, email address and other information supplied in GROW registration process, and only when you specifically grant us that right.
GROW sometimes uses an individual registered user’s data to “pre-populate” forms that are displayed for the purpose of collecting individual data by GROW and/or its advertisers and sponsors.
GROW may be required by law enforcement or judicial authorities to provide information on individual users to the appropriate governmental authorities. In matters involving a danger to personal or public safety, GROW may voluntarily provide information to appropriate governmental authorities. If you are a member of the military, you should not register any personally identifying information at our site in the eventuality that it may be subpoenaed.
GROW has security measures in place to attempt to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of your user data under our control. Only authorized employees have access to the information you provide us and strict rules on GROW employees who have access either to the databases that store user information or to the servers that host our services. While we cannot guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration to data will not occur, we make every effort to prevent such unfortunate occurrences. Any other particularly sensitive information, such as your credit card number collected for a commerce transaction at GROW or to purchase products is encrypted prior to transmission.
GROW notice regarding the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998
The U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 went into effect on April 21, 2000 and sets forth specific legal guidelines with respect to what personal information can be collected from a child, defined to be under the age of 13 years old, by an operator specifically targeting children with their services. GROW, in compliance with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998.
Know the risks. When you communicate with others online, you should be aware that, when disclosing personal information such as one’s actual name, member name, email address, etc., on a web page, in a newsgroup, chat room or forum, that information may be collected and used by others to send that person unsolicited email from other parties, outside GROW Some of the email you receive may be useful to you, but some may not. In an effort to curtail unsolicited email, GROW may block certain email addresses and domains from sending email to email addresses at our domains.