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PJRC's Privacy Policy

A quick summary of our privacy policy is:
  1. We will use your personal information only for the purpose you provided it to us.
  2. We never sell or share personally identifying information with others for marketing/advertising purposes.
  3. We won't send you "spam" email !!
We are concerned about your personal privacy, and we are concerned about acting responsibly with the personal information you may send to us.

Many internet privacy policy pages consist of little more than a small set of nice-sounding but unrealistic promises. For example, "we never give your information to anybody." Nice as that sounds, how could such a company ship a package to you if they don't give your address to the shipping carrier? The remainder of this lengthy page attempts to document, as throughly as reasonably possible, exactly how we may collect information about you and your activities, how we will use this information, when and how it may be disclosed to others, and what steps we take to protect your private information.

What Information Is Collected

As you browse most of PJRC.COM, our web server collects only standard web server access logs (IP number, date/time, page accessed, referrer and browser strings, etc). We do not use session tracking techniques, except as necessary for the on-line ordering pages (see "Use Of HTTP Cookies" below).

The PJRC on-line store collects private information about you, including your name, billing and shipping address, email, phone number, the items you want to purchase, and details about your payment.

Some portions of PJRC.COM feature mail lists, which allow you to be notified when significant changes are made to that portion of the site. Only your email address is collected.

A chat system and the gift exchange portion of the site require creating an account, where your name, email, and address are collected. Messages exchanged in the chat system are not stored or logged by our server. A public message board allows public messages to be posted, and posting a message requires the collection of your name and the message.

From time to time we receive comments, suggestions, or submissions (usually by email) of material to add to the web site.

How This Information Is Used

Web server access logs are used to compile statistics regarding relative popularity and bandwidth usages of individual pages and other files. These logs are also used to compile a list of sites that link to PJRC. From time to time, we analyze these logs to detect usage patterns of the site and look for potential problems.

Data collected by the on-line ordering pages is used to collect payment for the items ordered and to ship the package to you. Your contact information is used to inform you of our progress in processing your order. In some circumstances, we may use your contact information in the future (see "Unsolicited Contact" below). We also use this data to compile common business statistics that do not include any personally identifying information about you, such as financial statements.

Email addresses for notification of changes to the site are only used to send email messages when significant changes are made. These notices are only sent when very significant changes or very substantial new material is made available.

Personal information associated with the gift exchange is used according to the guidelines explained on those pages. It is not anticipated that PJRC will host future gift exchanges, and it is likely that all gift exchange data will be deleted at some point in the future.

When we receive suggestions or submissions of material to add to the site, it is often posted to a web page, as appropriate on a case by case basis.

Disclosure To Third Parties

We will not disclose personal information about you to any third parties, except as is necessary to complete the tasks for which you provided the information, and in those cases only to the extent that is absolutely necessary.

In general, we do not disclose our web server stats, but we do not consider this information confidential and in some cases we will share private summary pages with interested parties. We do not share the "raw" server logs, which contain lists of IP numbers.

While processing your order placed in our on-line store, we must disclose some of your personal information to our bank for Visa and Master Card payment, to Western Union if they are used to send a money transfer, or to your bank if you send a personal check. In each case, we will only disclose the information necessary to process your payment. We must also disclose your name and address to UPS or the US Postal Service in order to ship your package. For shipment outside the US, we must disclose your phone number to UPS, which allows them to contact you in the event the package is delayed in customs. Every package we ship has a packing list or "commercial invoice" in a clear plastic envelop on the outside of the package. The side visible through the plastic shows only your name and billing address. Inside, the packing list or commercial invoice shows details of your order, including the items, their prices, your payment method, and your phone number for an international order (needed for customs). The packing list or commercial invoice does not show your email address or credit card number. We will not disclose your personal on-line order information to any third parties other than is necessary to process the order.

In the case of a fraudulent order placed in the on-line store, we may disclose the information we received to any parties involved (banks, credit card processing company, legitimate card holder) and to law enforcement officers or any other party involved in an investigation of the fraud.

From time to time, we may compile statistics regarding on-line orders, such as a financial statement or a chart showing countries where packages were shipped. In cases where these stats provide no personally identifying information, we may disclose them to third parties.

We never disclose the lists of email addresses collected for notification of changes to portions of the web site.

Information collected by the gift exchange is disclosed to your "buddy", who will need it to send you a gift. At the closing of the exchange, a list of who was paired with whom is published, but only with the "handles". Messages sent in the chat system are transmitted to all other users current logged into the chat area, and messages posted to the public message board are obviously displayed to anyone who reads the message board.

Material or suggestions we receive for the site itself is usually posted to the appropriate public web page. We usually disclose your name, to give you credit for your contribution, but not your email address. If you specifically request to remain anonymous, we won't disclose your name, and if you wish your email address to appear, we'll post it as you request (many people request some translation to avoid spammers harvesting their email address).

Unsolicited Contact

We hate unsolicited commercial email (spam), and we never want to send you a message that would cause you to associate us with the common spam, such as "get rich quick" schemes, aging reversal pills, questionable mortgage and debt consolidation, etc. In general, we will not send you email messages to announce new products, sales or promotions just because you have previously placed an order. It is our assumption that you will sign an announcement mailing list if you want to be informed of changes and new material.

In some cases, we may contact you if there is a compelling need. For example, if a significant firmware bug is discovered and we believe you may have a product that contains that code, we would send you a message to advise you of the potential problem and provide instructions on how to upgrade. From time to time, we receive a request for a referral of someone who purchased a product, and in such a case we may forward their request to you (we'd never send them your email address, of course).

If you have submitted material to us that appears somewhere on the web site, we may forward questions we receive. Again, we will not disclose your email address, so it would be up to you to choose if you want to respond directly, or have us route your response, or not respond at all.

It is impossible to predict all of the possible circumstances that may compel us to contact you, but we will use our best judgment and we will in general avoid sending any unsolicited messages.

Consent and Choice (Opt Out)

We only use your personal information for the specific purpose that it was provided, and it is only disclosed to the extent that is necessary. There is no additional disclosure, which is the subject of traditional "Opt-Out". Still, if you would like us to remove your information from our records, please contact us by email. If you have placed an order using the store, we must retain a printed copy of your order for our financial records.

Use Of HTTP "Cookies"

Our on-line store pages track your order with a cookie. If cookies are disabled in your browsers preferences or options, you will only be able to add a single item to your order... all attempts to add a second item will cause the first to be lost. You also will not be able to proceed to Step 2 or Step 3. The on-line store pages are the only portion of PJRC.COM that requires the use of cookies. (Update, December 2001: Bugzilla uses a cookie, and the soon-to-be-added forum pages will probably also use a cookie to avoid having to retype passwords).

The information stored in this on-line ordering cookie is limited to a pair of index numbers, so that our server will be able to look up which order is yours, and an automatically generated password number, which prevents someone else from viewing and changing your order (if they were to manually reprogram their cookie data). None of your personal data is sent or stored using cookies. All of these ordering pages and the information contained in them, including the cookie, are transfered using secure SSL encrypted communication.

PJRC.COM contains no banner ads or images from other companies or organizations, who typically use cookies to track users' browsing habits. Our site doesn't use session ID strings or cookies to track your usages of the site, other than your session in the on-line ordering section.

Data Quality And Access

If you believe there may be an error in any information we have regarding you, please feel free to contact us by email.

Security

Our on-line ordering web pages use SSL encryption to protect your personal information, including your credit card number, while it is in transit to our server. SSL does two things to protect you. First, it encrypts all communication in both directions, so that a third party can not intercept it. Second, it verifies PJRC's certificate (digitally signed by Thawte), which verifies that your communication is being sent directly to PJRC.

On-line order information is stored in a database that is protected by a firewall, passwords, and network access restrictions to our local LAN. We routinely delete electronic copies of credit card numbers after orders are processed.

Changes To This Privacy Policy

As we add new features to PJRC.COM or make changes in the way we process orders, it may be necessary to modify this privacy policy. Changes will be consistent with our overall goals to respect your privacy and avoid disclosure of your private data for any purpose other than that for which you originally provided it. We hate spam do not intend to modify this policy to permit sending unsolicited commercial email. We are concerned about protecting your privacy. If you have any questions or concerns about this privacy policy or how we handle your private information, please contact us by email.