Privacy policy

At Common Sense Media, we value your privacy. And since privacy policies can be very long, we believe you should be able to see what you’re agreeing to at a glance. Here’s a summary of the key concepts of the full Common Sense Media Privacy Policy.

What do you do with the information I give you when I register?

We register users in order to protect our community and allow our Members to share comments, write reviews, save favorites and gain access to additional resources depending on which type of Member you are (kid, teen, parent or educator). Once you register, we use cookies to keep track of your online interaction with our Site so we can welcome you back and personalize the Site for you.

If you opt-in to our newsletter, we also use this information to send you our newsletter (although we do not send newsletters to kids under 13).

We do not use your information to sell products to you (or your kids).

What happens when my kid registers for your Site?

We adhere to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and related guidelines. In doing so, our goal is to minimize the information gathered from and disseminated about kids while permitting them active participation in the trustworthy information, education and independent voice for which we are known.

We have strict limitations about what personal information can be viewed about kids under 13, and how and when they can be contacted. For example, we do not contact kids under 13 unless they are acting out on our Site, in which case we would notify the parent and seek to turn that misbehavior into a learning experience about community participation.

Do you give anyone my personal information?

We do not share your personal information with third parties unless it is to fulfill a request you have made on the Common Sense Media website (i.e. enter a promotion, etc.). Your screen name is displayed on our Site when you write a review, or post a comment.

In addition, except under the limited circumstances expressly provided for in our Privacy Policy, we will never rent, sell, share or otherwise disclose your personal data without your prior written consent.

What happens when I sign up for your newsletter?

We don’t send emails to kids under 13.
We don’t ever send spam.
You can unsubscribe from our email newsletter by updating your subscription selection in the “My Profile” section of your account, clicking the “unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of all newsletters, or by visiting commonsense.org/contact and sending this request using our online form.

Other information

For more information on our privacy practices, please go to the full Common Sense Media Privacy Policy.

Contact us

You can contact us at: Common Sense Media, 650 Townsend Street, Suite 435 San Francisco, CA 94103.


COMMON SENSE MEDIA PRIVACY POLICY

Effective Date of Policy: August 14, 2012

Welcome! Below you will find the privacy policy for Common Sense Media, Inc. We are dedicated to protecting your privacy and handling any personal information we obtain from you with care and respect. This Privacy Policy (this “Policy”) is designed to answer your questions regarding how we collect, protect, use and share information obtained through the Common Sense Media website, www.commonsensemedia.org (the “Site”). As used in this Policy, Common Sense Media and any and all affiliated or contracted entities which may perform certain of the services provided on this Site are collectively referred to herein as “we,” “us” or “our”. We hope this information increases your confidence in Common Sense Media and enhances your experience on our Site.

Please see our separate Terms of Use, which governs the use of the Site. We encourage you to read this Policy before using the Site, and not to use the Site if you disagree with any part of this Policy. By using this Site or by clicking a box that states that you accept or agree to this Policy, you signify your agreement to the terms and conditions of this Policy.

From time to time, this Policy may be changed, expanded or amended, and may include the introduction of additional provisions. Any changes to this Policy may be made without notice and will be effective immediately upon posting on the Site, so please be sure to review it on a regular basis. The effective date appearing at the top of this page indicates when the latest changes were made to this Policy.

The Site is controlled and operated by a nonprofit organization in the United States, and is not intended to subject Common Sense Media or any affiliated entity to the laws or jurisdiction of any state, country or territory other than that of the United States. We may limit the Site’s availability, in whole or in part, to any person, geographic area or jurisdiction we choose, at any time in our sole discretion.

I. INFORMATION THAT WE COLLECT ON THE SITE

Through the Site, you can be a part of an active and vibrant community of families interested in the impact of media on their children. Visitors who complete the membership process through our Site may become registered members (“Members”). Members can engage in a full range of activities on our Site, such as posting comments on articles, creating user reviews on media products, participating in surveys and polls, saving favorites to a personal page and participating in other online activities such as rating media. If you are not currently a Member, you may click here to register and become eligible for all of our Site’s features.

A. Personally Identifiable Information

In this Policy, when we use the term “Personally Identifiable Information”, we mean any information that can be used to identify or contact a specific individual, such as the individual’s name, postal address, email address and telephone number. We collect different types of Personally Identifiable Information depending on whether you are a Non-Member or a Member, as explained below. Personally identifiable information does not include screen names (also known as member names, usernames or other online aliases) provided by our users in the course of registering with or using the Site. For information on the collection, use and disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information from children under the age of thirteen (13), please see Children’s Privacy below.

Visitors to the Site may register and opt-in to receive the Common Sense Media email newsletter by providing their email address (kids under 13 cannot opt-in for this email newsletter). We also may collect Personally Identifiable Information through surveys or questionnaires. Your participation in surveys and questionnaires is entirely voluntary.

If you wish to become a Member, you must provide us with certain Personally Identifiable Information as part of the registration process, including screen name, password, email address and age range. If the Member is under the age of 18, we also ask for birthdate information (month and year only). If the Member is under the age of 13, we do not ask for their email address, but instead require a parent’s email address which is used to notify the parent that their child has signed up with Common Sense Media. Your screen name identifies you on the Site. For instance, your screen name is included in your profile that is viewable by other Members and is displayed with reviews and comments that you write. Since the screen name is viewable by others, we suggest that you NOT use your real name for your screen name or your password, in order to protect your privacy. For kids under 13, we do not display their screen names with their posted reviews and comments.

If you are a parent or adult Member, you may choose to provide us with the ages of your children so we can personalize your experience on the Site and within our email newsletters.

If you decide that you no longer want to be a Member, please contact us, and your profile will be removed from our Site. Personally Identifiable Information and other data that you furnished through the Site may remain in our records, even if you are no longer a Member, and can be used by us in accordance with this Policy. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE USE BY OTHERS OF ANY PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION YOU DISCLOSE IN YOUR PROFILE OR ON THE SITE.

To create a better user experience free of spam we use a third party service called Mollom to screen messages before they are posted to the Site. Mollom carries out one or more of the following activities:

  • Screens messages and identities (name, nickname, IP address, user ID, OpenID, email address and URL of your website) by making comparisons with other elements in their database, to determine the quality of the content of the messages and to find out whether they are spam.
  • Stores the content of your messages and other information about your identity during a period of two months. Afterwards, they store the same information in anonymized form for a period of two years, in order to provide this service to other websites.

Mollom will never provide your email address to third parties, or send you spam. They sometimes provide anonymous (statistical) information to third parties. For more information about Mollom's privacy policy, please visit their site here: http://mollom.com/web-service-privacy-policy.

We use a third-party service provider, NetworkforGood.org (the “Payment Service”), to handle donations made by credit card and other payment transactions submitted to our Site. If you wish to make a donation through the Site, you will be directed to a webpage that is hosted by the Payment Service (or its service providers) and not by us (such page, the “Payment Service Page”). Any Personally Identifiable Information that you provide through the Payment Service Page will be collected by the Payment Service rather than by us, and will be subject to the Payment Service’s privacy policy (located at http://www1.networkforgood.org/privacy) rather than this Policy. We have no control over, and shall not be responsible for, the Payment Service’s use of information collected through the Payment Service Page. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POLICY DOES NOT ADDRESS THE COLLECTION AND USE OF INFORMATION THROUGH THE PAYMENT SERVICE PAGE OR THE PRIVACY OR INFORMATION PRACTICES OF THE PAYMENT SERVICE.

B. Cookies and Other Technologies

We may also collect certain information automatically when you visit the Site, such as the browser you are using (e.g., Internet Explorer 8.0, Mozilla Firefox 7.0, etc.), the internet address from which you linked to our Site, the operating system of your computer (e.g., Microsoft Windows), the unique IP address of the computer you used to access our Site and usage and browsing habits. We use this information to administer and improve your experience on our Site, to help diagnose and troubleshoot potential server malfunctions, and to gather broad demographic information.

To help make sure you receive information that is relevant to you, our Site uses data “cookies.” These cookies are small data files stored on your computer which identify you as a previous visitor to the Site and help us to personalize your experience when you arrive. Most web browsers are set to accept cookies. You can instruct your browser not to accept cookies. However, if you disable this function, you will not be able to use some of the features on our Site.

Our web pages and our e-mail newsletters may contain “web beacons.” Web beacons are small pieces of data embedded in images on pages of the Site or in emails, which allow us to count users that have visited a web page or opened an email that contains a web beacon and collect other types of information. Using this information, we are able to measure the effectiveness of our content and how visitors use our Site. This allows us to learn what pages are most attractive to our visitors, which parts of our Site are the most interesting and what kind of offers our visitors like to see.

C. Non-Personally Identifiable Information

Non-Personally Identifiable Information is aggregated information, demographic information, IP addresses and other information that does not reveal a person’s specific identity. We may collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information (e.g., interests, geographic location, zip codes, etc.) when you voluntarily provide such information to us, such as through survey responses. Such information constitutes Non-Personally Identifiable Information because, unless combined with your name or other Personally Identifiable Information, it does not personally identify you or any other user.

Additionally, we may aggregate Personally Identifiable Information in such a manner that the end product does not personally identify you or any other user of the Site. For example, we might use Personally Identifiable Information to calculate the percentage of our Members who have a particular zip code. Such aggregate information is considered Non-Personally Identifiable Information for purposes of this Policy.

II. HOW WE USE INFORMATION COLLECTED ON THE SITE

A. How We Use Personally Identifiable Information

We use Personally Identifiable Information to process requests made through our Site, such as requests to receive our e-newsletters, requests for membership and questions or comments submitted through our Site. You may opt-out of receiving our e-newsletters at any time by updating your subscription selection in the “My Profile” section of your account, clicking the “unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of all newsletters, or by visiting commonsense.org/contact and sending this request using our online form.

Fulfillment of Requests. We may use Personally Identifiable Information about you to fulfill the purpose for which such information was provided (e.g., to send newsletters to you or respond to your requests or inquiries).

Additional Communications. If you register to become a Member of our community or sign up to receive one of our e-newsletters, we may use the Personally Identifiable Information submitted in connection with your application to contact you with surveys or important communications regarding Common Sense Media.

Membership. If you become a Member, we may use your Personally Identifiable Information to maintain and update your profile and postings in our online reviews, surveys and polls. All content that you submit to the Site is governed by our Terms of Use. We may also use Personally Identifiable Information to send updates and communications to our Members, such as our e-newsletters, surveys and other important Common Sense Media communications such as information regarding the Site or changes to our terms, conditions and policies.

Third Party Offers. On occasion, we are able to offer our Members promotions or special services offered by companies that provide us with financial or other support (“Corporate Partners”). In those cases, the promotions will be communicated to you by Common Sense Media and fulfilled by the Corporate Partner. If you wish to accept any such promotions or offers, you may be required to provide Personally Identifiable Information directly to the Corporate Partner as a condition of the offer. Common Sense Media will not have control of any Personally Identifiable Information that you provide to the Corporate Partner when you accept the offer, and such Personally Identifiable Information will be subject to the Corporate Partner’s privacy policy.

Internal Operations and Analysis. We may also use Personally Identifiable Information about you for our internal business purposes, such as data analysis, audits and so forth.

B. How We Use Information Collected Via Cookies and Other Technologies

We use information collected via cookies, web beacons and other technologies to personalize your visit. With this data, we can provide content applicable to your particular location and interests. We use this information to administer and improve your experience on our Site, to help diagnose and troubleshoot potential server malfunctions and to gather broad demographic information.

C. How We Use Non-Personally Identifiable Information

Because Non-Personally Identifiable Information does not personally identify you, we may use or disclose such information for any purpose. For instance, we may compile and share aggregate data about the ages, geographic locations or other demographics of our Members, provided that this information does not personally identify any of these Members.

III. HOW WE DISCLOSE INFORMATION COLLECTED ON THE SITE

Except as expressly provided in this policy, we will never share any Personally Identifiable Information about you without your prior written consent.

Profile Information. Each Member has a user profile on the Site, which includes the Member’s screen name and links to the Member’s reviews and comments. Keep in mind that any information contained in your profile (except for kids under 13) is available to other Members and users of the Site. You can change or remove any information from your profile (except for your screen name) by logging into the Site and clicking the “My Account” or “My Profile” links located in your personal Account section.

Your Posted Reviews and Comments. If you post reviews, comments or ratings on our Site, their content may be displayed on our Site along with your screen name, Member type and age (if under 18 years of age). The ages of your kids may also be displayed if you provide this information and allow it to be posted (this information can also be selected to remain private). If you under 13 years of age, your screen name is never displayed with your posted reviews or comments. If you decide that would like your posted reviews or comments deleted from our Site, please send us an email at privacy@commonsensemedia.org with your screen name, date of submitted review or comment, and title of media type that was reviewed. We will notify you when your posted review or comment has been deleted from our Site. You do not need to be a registered Member to read these user reviews.

Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum Training. For users who complete our Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum Training, if requested by your school district, we may share your first and last name, school name, and completion date. The purpose of sharing this data is to help your district understand which teachers have received instruction on the Common Sense curriculum. Additionally, if your school receives E-rate support, it will help your district comply with CIPA.

Third Party Service Providers. We work with third parties who provide services such as data analysis, payment or donation processing, order fulfillment, infrastructure provision, information technology services, email delivery services, market research and other similar services. We may share Personally Identifiable Information about you with third parties solely for the purpose of enabling these third parties to provide these services. These service providers are given access to Personally Identifiable Information needed to perform their functions, but are restricted from using the Personally Identifiable Information for purposes other than providing services for us.

Aggregate Data. We may share aggregated data collected via cookies, web beacons or other technologies with any vendors contracted to maintain the Site. Aggregated data also may be shared with our Board of Directors, funders and partners for various reasons, such as understanding how to increase the effectiveness of our services and the traffic and trends occurring on the Site.

Law Enforcement; Emergencies; Compliance. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Policy to the contrary, we reserve the right to disclose your Personally Identifiable Information to others as we believe to be appropriate (a) under applicable law, (b) to comply with legal process, (c) to respond to governmental requests, (d) to enforce our Terms of Service, (e) to protect our operations, (f) for assistance in fraud detection and prevention; (g) to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of Common Sense Media, you or others and (h) to permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.

IV. CHILDREN’S PRIVACY

Our Site provides a forum for all family members, including children, to express their views about movies, books, TV, games, websites, apps and music. While we encourage children to participate appropriately in the Site, the privacy of children’s information is extremely important to us. This section of our Policy explains how we collect, use and disclose Personally Identifiable Information and other information from children under the age of 13.

A. How We Collect and Use Information from Children

Children can explore the Site, and can view and print reviews, comments, ratings and other content without providing any Personally Identifiable Information. In general, our Site only collects Personally Identifiable Information about a child if the child registers to become a Member of our Site or submits a question or request to us.

Site Registration Process. If a child registers to become a Member of our Site, we require the child to submit the following information:

  • Screen name (the child is advised not to use his or her real name);
  • Password;
  • Birth month and year.

We also require the child to provide a parent’s email address. We use the parent’s email address to notify the parent that his or her child has registered with our Site and we provide instructions on how the parent can request this new account to be removed from our Site. If the parent so requests, we remove the account and delete all information collected from the kid. If we do not hear back from the parent [within 72 hours after the initial email notification], we will assume it acceptable for the child to be registered as a Member of our Site.

We may use information collected from children during the Site registration process in the following manner:

  • We may use this information (such as screen name and password) to create and maintain the child’s account on our Site;
  • We use the child’s birth month and year to determine the child’s current age and we post this age information next to any posted reviews or comments.

Reviews and Other Site Activities. Additionally, the child may choose to write and post reviews on the Site, such as reviews of movies, games, websites, TV, books, apps and music. Children also may participate in other Site activities, such as posting comments on our articles, participating in surveys and polls, and participating in other online activities.

Responding to a Child’s Question or Request. If a child sends us a question or request, we may use the child’s email address or other Personally Identifiable Information provided by the child solely for purposes of responding to that one-time request.

B. What Information Submitted By Children Is Viewable On the Site?

We strictly limit the information that is publicly viewable about a Member who is known to be a child under the age of 13. When a child under the age of 13 posts a review or comment on the Site, only the child’s age is posted on the Site, along with the content of the child’s posting. The child’s screen name is not posted with this submitted content on our Site. Although the child may create a profile for his or her account, no portion of the child’s profile other than the child’s age would be viewable except to Common Sense Media’s employees and service providers or other agents.

C. What Information About Children Is Shared?

We do not disclose any Personally Identifiable Information collected from children to any third parties other than (a) with a parent’s written permission, (b) as required by any applicable law, or (c) to our service providers and to law enforcement and similar third parties, as permitted by applicable law, for one or more of the purposes discussed above in How We Disclose Information Collected on the Site.

D. How May Parents Access, Change or Delete Information About Their Child?

Parents may at any time access or change the Personally Identifiable Information we have collected from their child by clicking on the child’s “My Account” link located at the top of the site. If they so desire, parents may notify us of their election to refuse further collection of Personally Identifiable Information from their child. They may also direct that we delete any such information from our records. Parents may make these changes by clicking on the child’s “My Account” link listed throughout the Site in the top header section next to the global search bar. and making the appropriate changes, by contacting us at privacy@commonsensemedia.org, or by writing to us at the address provided below.

E. How May Parents Raise Other Questions or Concerns?

If a parent has any questions or concerns about his or her child’s participation in the Site, the parent is encouraged to contact us at privacy@commonsensemedia.org, or write to us at the address provided below.

V. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES, PRACTICES AND CONTACT INFORMATION

Links. This Site contains links to third-party websites. Linked sites are not under the control of Common Sense Media, Inc. and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the contents of any such linked site, or any link contained in any linked site. We provide such links only as a convenience, and the inclusion of a link on the Site does not imply our endorsement of the linked site. If you provide any Personally Identifiable Information through any such third-party website, your transaction will occur on such third party’s website (not our Site) and the Personally Identifiable Information you provide will be collected by, and controlled by the privacy policy of, that third party. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these websites or any other sites linked to or referenced on our Site. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the privacy policies and practices of any of our partners or any other third parties. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POLICY DOES NOT ADDRESS THE PRIVACY OR INFORMATION PRACTICES OF OUR PARTNERS OR ANY OTHER THIRD PARTIES.

Security. We have implemented software and hardware security measures, such as firewalls, intended to protect your Personally Identifiable Information from unauthorized access. However, although we strive to protect your information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us through or in connection with the Site. Despite our precautions, no system can completely guarantee that there will never be unauthorized access to your Personally Identifiable Information, and your use of the Site indicates that you are willing to assume this risk. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us in accordance with the section below entitled “Contacting Us.” Please note that if you notify us by physical mail, this will delay the time it takes for us to respond to the problem.

Updating Your Personal Information. If you are a Member, you can update your Personally Identifiable Information at any time by accessing your account. To do this, just click on your “My Account” listed throughout the Site in the top header section next to the global search bar.

Please note we are unable to update or delete any of your Personally Identifiable Information that has been shared with a third party as permitted in this Policy. Also, please note that we may need to retain certain information for recordkeeping purposes, and there also may be some residual information that will remain within our databases and other records, which will not be removed. We also reserve the right, from time to time, to re-contact former users of the Site.

Changes to the Privacy Policy. We reserve the right to change this Policy without notice. Any changes to our Policy will become effective upon our posting of the revised Policy on the Site. Use of the Site following such changes constitutes your acceptance of the revised Policy then in effect.

VI. CONTACTING US

If you have any questions about this Policy, or the practices of this Site, please contact us. Or write to us at:

Privacy Department
Common Sense Media
650 Townsend Street, Ste. 435
San Francisco, CA 94103