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 regulations. In doing so, our goal is to minimize the information gathered from and disseminated about kids under 13 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 collected and viewed about kids under 13, and how and when they can be contacted. Please see our Children’s Privacy Policy for additional information pertaining to our policies relating to the use of the Site by children under the age of 13 (a “child” or “children”).

Do you give anyone my personal information?

We do not rent or sell your personal data.  We do not share or disclose your personal data without your prior written consent, except as follows:

  • to screen postings to ensure they aren’t spam;
  • to our third party vendors who assist us with operating, maintaining and improving the Site by providing us with services, such as donation processing, email delivery, information technology services, and other similar services, and who receive your data for the limited purposes of providing us with such services;
  • to enable social login (for adults);
  • to provide credit for Digital Literacy Citizenship Training (for educators);
  • to fulfill a request you have made (such as entering a promotion); and
  • to comply with the law, legal process, respond to an emergency, or protect our rights.

Our Privacy Policy gives details on all of our disclosure practices.

What happens when I sign up for your newsletter? When you opt-in for our newsletter we will add your email address to our newsletter distribution list.

We don’t send our newsletter to kids under 13.

You can unsubscribe from our email newsletter by updating your subscription selection in the “My Subscriptions” section of your account, clicking the “unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of all newsletters, or by visiting and sending this request using our online form.

Other information

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

Contact us

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


Effective Date of Policy: November 26, 2014

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. The Common Sense Media Privacy Policy (the “Policy” or the “Privacy Policy”) is designed to answer your questions regarding how we collect, protect, use and share information obtained through the Common Sense Media website, (the “Site”). Common Sense Media also maintains other websites and mobile applications, which are governed by their own privacy policies.  If you are using another Common Sense Media website or app, please be sure to consult the applicable privacy policy, as it may differ from this Policy. 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.

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.


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, and saving favorites to a personal page. 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 adult users in the course of registering with or using the Site. For information on the collection, use and disclosure of children’s personal information, please see our Children’s Privacy Policy.

Visitors to the Site may register and opt-in to receive the Common Sense Media email newsletter by providing their email address (children 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 email address, password and age range. If the Member is under the age of 18, we also ask for birthdate information (month and year only).

If you wish to become a Member, you may optionally choose to provide us with certain personal information including first name, last name, gender, birthdate (month and year only), city, state, ZIP, and country of residence. If you are a parent or adult Member, you may also optionally choose to provide us with the ages and gender of your children so we can personalize your experience on the Site and within our email newsletters.

In order to simplify the Site’s registration and login process we provide you with the option to register or login and link your Member account on the Site with a third-party social networking service, such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter (each a “Social Networking Service”). These services will authenticate your identity, will allow you to login on the Site using the single social login buttons, and will share certain personal information that you allow us to collect, as discussed below.

If you wish to become an Educator Member on the Site, you must provide us with your school name or select that you’re not an Educator in a school and select your Educator type.

If you provide us with your name on your public user profile (“Profile”) page, your first name and the first initial of your last name will be displayed on your Profile page and next to any reviews or comments that you post on our Site. You have the option to not display your name and we will instead display your screen name which can be an anonymous name of your choice.

Your screen name identifies you on the Site if you opt-out of using your name or do not provide us with that information. 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.

If you decide that you no longer want to be a Member you can delete your account at any time. To delete your account on the Site, login to your account, visit your My Account page, and then click the “Close my Account” link located towards the bottom of the page. Once you delete your account, all of your Personally Identifiable Information stored in your account and Profile on our site will be removed. If you have posted any reviews or comments they will remain on the site but the author name will switch to “anonymous” so your name will no longer be connected with your content. Or, you can contact us at and request that we delete your content (including reviews) and account for you.

If you decide that you would like your posted reviews or comments deleted from our Site, you can do this at any time by logging into your account, viewing the review or comment, and clicking the “delete” button.  You can also send us an email at 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.

It is possible that Personally Identifiable Information and other data that you furnished through the Site may remain in our system (such as in backups of the Site’s data), 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 PUBLIC-FACING AREAS OF THE SITE.

B. Collection of Information by Our Service Providers.

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 asserts that it will not 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:

We use a third-party service provider, (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 directly by the Payment Service rather than by us, and will be subject to the Payment Service’s privacy policy (located at 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.

C. Cookies and Other Technologies

We and third parties who provide services to us may also collect certain information automatically when you visit the Site, such as the browser you are using (e.g., Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.), the internet address from which you linked to our Site, the operating system of your computer (e.g., Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, etc.), 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. Some of these third parties may use this information for other purposes.

The following is our list of third-party service providers who may use cookies and other technologies:

To help make sure you receive information that is relevant to you, our Site uses data “cookies ,” which are small data files stored on your computer and 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 with images on pages of the Site or in emails, which allow us to collect information such as the number of users that have visited a web page or opened an email. We use web beacons 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.

D. Non-Personally Identifiable Information

Non-Personally Identifiable Information is aggregated information, demographic information, high-level location information, such as the browser language and country during the user session, and other information that does not reveal a person’s specific identity. We may collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information (e.g., interests, 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 gender or age range. Such aggregate information is considered Non-Personally Identifiable Information for purposes of this Policy.


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 Subscriptions” section of your account, clicking the “unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of all newsletters, or by visiting and sending a 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.

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 general 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.


Except as expressly provided in this Policy, we will not share any Personally Identifiable Information about you without your prior written consent.

Profile Information. Each Member has a Profile on the Site, which includes the Member’s name or screen name, Member photo (through social login only), Member type, registration date, and links to the Member’s posted reviews and comments. 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, the contents of those postings may be displayed on our Site along with your name (first name, and first initial of last name) or screen name, Member photo (through social login only), 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).

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, and market research or third parties who provide other similar services to help improve our Site. We may share Personally Identifiable Information about you with third parties solely for the purpose of enabling these third parties to provide these services to us. 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.

Social Login: If you choose to register or login to the Site through a Social Networking Service, we will ask you for your permission to access your data on the Social Networking Service to create a Site account and Profile.  In addition, we may use this data for several purposes on our Site, including:

  • Populating Account and Profile Fields: When you are connected via a Social Networking Service, we will pre-populate and update your account and Profile fields with data from the Social Networking Service that you allow us to access. You can update this information at any time on your Account and Profile pages.
  • Personalizing the Site: When you are connected via a Social Networking Service, we may personalize the site experience by displaying your name (first name, and first initial of last name) and profile picture or avatar (which you can choose to not display and instead show your anonymous screen name and no image) on your public profile page, next to your posted reviews and comments, or on other areas of the site where your posted content is displayed. We might also display lists of content for you that similar users also like. 
  • Aggregate Reporting: When you are connected via a Social Networking Service, we may use data from the Social Networking Service that you allow us to access to learn more about the demographic information of our users.

You may disconnect from a linked Social Networking Service at any time by visiting the “My Account” section of the Site.

We will not share any information about you collected on the Site with a linked Social Networking Service without your approval. This means that we will not post anything to your Facebook wall, Google account, or Twitter feed unless you give us specific permission to do so, and we will not contact your friends or followers at any time. We do not store or utilize the names of your friends or followers even if they are passed to us by a social sign-on service in the initial registration process.

Social Networking Services provide varying levels of control over the extent to which content or information you submit to the Site is also made public and shared on linked Social Networking Services.  When you use a Social Networking Service to log into the Site:

  • You share your information with it and its privacy policy applies to the Social Networking Service’s collection, use, and disclosure of such information.
  • In addition, the Social Networking Service may be able to collect information about you, including your activity on the Site, and it may notify your connections on the Social Networking Service about your use of the Site.
  • Such services may also employ unique identifiers which allow your activity to be monitored across multiple websites for purposes of delivering more targeted advertising to you.

Please note that the privacy policies and terms of use of linked Social Networking Services may be different from our own and we encourage you to read them.  We also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the privacy controls and account settings on linked Social Networking Services for information on how to customize your privacy settings with respect to content or information submitted to the Site.

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, such as (a) under a requirement of 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, (h) to permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain, and (i) in connection with a substantial business transaction, such as the sale of the Site, a merger, consolidation, asset sale or bankruptcy.


We recognize the need to provide further privacy protections with respect to children’s personal information that we may collect through the Site. When we intend to collect children’s personal information, we take additional steps to protect children’s privacy, including:

  • Notifying parents about our information practices with regard to children;
  • Limiting our collection of children’s personal information to no more than is reasonably necessary to participate in an online activity; and
  • Providing parents with access to, and the ability to request changes to or deletion of, children’s personal information that we have collected.

For additional information about our practices regarding children’s personal information, please read our Children’s Privacy Policy.


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 reasonable administrative, technical, and physical security procedures to help protect the Personally Identifiable Information you provide to us. 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 should 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 the “My Account” link.

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 or with your consent. 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 (such as in backups of the Site’s data), which may not be removed.

Changes to the Privacy Policy. We reserve the right to change this Policy, and 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.  If we make changes to this Policy we will take reasonable steps to alert users of the Site that the Policy has been updated.


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

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


California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits our visitors who are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an email to or write us: or you may contact us via regular mail at:

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