Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy discloses the privacy practices for Merewell and merewell.com (including chicagophoenix.com, illinoisphoenix.com, Fabric Social Reader, the Weekend Edition of Chicago Phoenix), and to any services that display this notice. For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, unless otherwise noted, all references to “Merewell” include chicagophoenix.com and Merewell publications.

The Merewell Services may contain links to other Web sites for your convenience and information. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of those sites.

WHAT INFORMATION DO WE GATHER ABOUT YOU?
The information Merewell gathers falls into two categories: 1) Personal information, which includes personal information you supply when you subscribe, order, complete a survey, register for one of our sites, enter a contest or provide your e-mail address and 2) Non-personal information collected through technology, which includes tracking information collected as you use the Merewell Services.

Personal Information That You Give Us

Registration Information

Registration for the Merewell Services requires that you supply certain personal information, including, in most cases, a unique e-mail address and demographic information (ZIP code, age, sex, household income (optional), job industry and job title) to register. Purchases made through the Merewell Services require that you supply your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, credit card number or other billing information.

You may choose to log in, create an account or enhance your profile at chicagophoenix.com through the Facebook Connect feature on chicagophoenix.com. By doing this, you are asking Facebook to send us certain information from your Facebook profile, and you authorize us to collect, store, and use in accordance with this Privacy Policy any and all information available to us through the Facebook interface. After you have connected, Facebook also sends us additional information from your profile that allows us to display a Facebook module on the pages you view.

To disassociate your chicagophoenix.com registration from third party accounts, please see our Social Media FAQ.

Billing and Credit Card Information

To enable payment and donations on the Merewell services, we collect and store billing and credit card information. This information will only be shared with third parties who perform tasks required to complete the purchase transaction. Examples of this include fulfilling orders and processing credit card payments.

User Generated Content and Public Activities (Including Comments, Reader Reviews and others)

We offer you opportunities to engage in public activities on chicagophoenix.com and other Merewell Services. “Public activities” are any actions you take on chicagophoenix.com that are designed to be visible to other users, including comments, recommendations, reader reviews, ratings or any other items that you submit. Any information you disclose in your public activities, along with your screen name or ID, or any image or photo, becomes public and may be used by Merewell for online and offline promotional or commercial uses in any and all media. If you choose to engage in public activities, you should be aware that any personal information you submit there can be read, collected, or used by other users of these areas, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. We are not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit in these forums and Merewell has no responsibility to publish, take down, remove or edit any of your public activities or any of your submissions that are a result of your public activities. For more information, see the Comments FAQ and read the Forums, Discussions and User Generated Content section of the Terms of Service.

When you share or recommend (with or without adding your own comments) any chicagophoenix.com articles or content to your Facebook profile, that action is governed by the Facebook Privacy Policy. We do not track or store a record of those comments or actions.

If you have registered for a chicagophoenix.com account, we will track and aggregate your public activities on chicagophoenix.com. By choosing to participate in public activities, you are electing to share and display such public activities via chicagophoenix.com. Also, public activities may be included in RSS feeds, APIs and made available to other Web sites via other formats. As a result, your public activities may appear on other Web sites, blogs, or feeds. Keep in mind that we are not responsible for any personal information you choose to make public via your public activities, and you agree that such sharing will be deemed to have been done by you, not Merewell. Please see our Comments FAQ for additional information.

Contests, Sweepstakes and Special Offers

Merewell collects personal information from you in connection with optional sweepstakes, contests or special offers. If this information is also being collected by a third party other than Merewell, we will notify you at the same time. If you do not want any personal information shared, you may always decline to participate in the sweepstakes, contest or special offer.

Reader Surveys, Reader Panels and Market Research

Merewell may collect personal information from you in connection with voluntary surveys. Data may be collected through the Merewell Services, on the phone or through the mail. The information you provide in response to optional survey questions may be shared, but only in the aggregate, with advertisers and partners unless we notify you otherwise at the time of collection.

Members of our Reader Panels agree to participate in surveys, polls or discussions about their readership of Merewell, their household/personal characteristics and their purchase behavior. If you choose to be a panel member, we require that you supply us with your e-mail address and name. Home address and telephone number are optional. Our panels are currently administered by Vision Critical and Beta Research.

Special Events and Promotions

We often receive information regarding readers who may attend Merewell Special Events and Promotions from sign-in and registration lists. Unless we indicate otherwise at the time we collect the information, we will use such information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Mobile Messaging Service

Merewell uses the information collected from your interaction with Merewell by Text Messaging Service (SMS) (“SMS Service”) solely for the purposes of improving the SMS Service. The information will not be provided, sold, licensed, rented, assigned or disclosed to Third Parties, except as required by law, nor will we use your phone number to initiate a call or SMS text message to you without your express prior consent. Your wireless carrier and other service providers also collect data about your SMS Service usage, and their practices are governed by their own privacy policies.

Merewell collects the mobile phone number you use to send us a text message and the content of the messages sent between you and Merewell. When you send a text message to Merewell or via Merewell, we log the incoming phone number, the wireless provider associated with the number, and the date and time of the transaction. The only information we automatically collect is that related to the use of our Mobile Services. Merewell uses this data to analyze the message traffic in order to operate, develop and improve our SMS Service.

Non-Personal Information Collected Using Technology

Information Collected by Us Using Technology

Device Information. We may collect non-personal information about the computer, mobile device or other device you use to access the Merewell Services, such as IP address, geolocation information, unique device identifiers, browser type, browser language and other transactional information.

Cookies. In providing the Merewell Services, we use “cookies,” Web beacons and other similar technologies to recognize you and provide personalization, as well as to help us understand where our visitors are going and how much time they spend there. You will not be able to access certain areas of our Web sites, including chicagophoenix.com, if your computer does not accept cookies from us. For more detailed information about our use of cookies, see Frequently Asked Questions About Cookies in our Help section.

Merewell Web sites also transmits non-personally identifiable Web site usage information about visitors to the servers of a reputable third party for the purpose of targeting our Internet banner advertisements on other sites. To do this, we use Web Beacons in conjunction with cookies provided by our third-party ad server on this site. For more information about our third-party ad server, or to learn your choices about not having this non-personal information used to target ads to you, please click here.

Analytics Technologies. We have hired third parties to provide us information, reports and analysis about the usage, browsing patterns of users of the Merewell Services.

WebTrends tracks and analyzes non-personally identifiable usage and volume statistical information from our visitors and customers on chicagophoenix.com. All data collected by WebTrends on our behalf is owned and used by us. For more information about how WebTrends collects data, please read their privacy policy at https://ondemand.webtrends.com/privacypolicy.asp#PSFV

Audience Science tracks and analyzes anonymous usage and browsing patterns of our Web site users. All data collected by Audience Science on our behalf is owned and used by Merewell alone. For more information about Audience Science’s privacy policy, including how to opt out, go to http://www.audiencescience.com/privacy.asp.

We use Localytics and Flurry to track and report on the usage and browsing patterns on some of our mobile applications. For more information about Flurry and its privacy policy, please go to http://www.flurry.com/about-us/legal/privacy.html. For more information about Localytics and its privacy policy, please go to http://www.localytics.com/privacy-policy. Flurry and Localytics may independently record the type of device and operating system you are using, general location information, as well as events that occur within our apps, such as how often you use our apps. We do not receive that information.

IP Addresses. Merewell logs Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, or the location of your computer on the Internet, for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes. We use this information in an aggregate fashion to track access to our Web sites and mobile applications.

Log Files and Your Reading History. We automatically log certain usage information about your use of Merewell Service. This information includes a reading history of the pages you view.

We use this information in order to provide you with customized Recommendations on chicagophoenix.com based on your reading history. For more information on the Recommendations feature, please read the Recommendations FAQ. We also use log files in the aggregate to analyze usage of our Web sites and mobile applications.

If you install the Fabric Social Reader software on your Facebook account, the log files will automatically be collected by the application and sent to our servers when your account syncs up for the latest news.

Location Information. Some of our mobile applications can deliver content based on your current location if you choose to enable that feature of the app. If you enable the location-based feature, your current location will be stored locally on your device, which will then be used by the app. If you elect to have a location-based search saved to your history, we will store that information on our servers. If you do not enable the location-based service, or if an app does not have that feature, the app will not transmit to us, and we will not collect or store, location information.

Ads may be displayed within our apps. The ads you see are not targeted to you based on your current GPS location, but they may be targeted to you based on your device’s IP address or ZIP code.

Information Collected by Third Parties Using Technology

Some of the services and advertisements included in the Merewell Services, including on chicagophoenix.com and within our mobile apps, are delivered or served by third-party companies that may place or recognize cookies, Web beacons or other technology to track certain non-personal information about our Web site users. For example, in the course of serving certain advertisements, some advertisers may place or recognize a unique cookie on your browser in order to collect certain information about your use of the Merewell Services. In many cases, this information could be used to show you ads based on your interests on other Web sites.

We do not have access to, nor control over, advertisers’ or service providers’ use of cookies or other tracking technologies or how they may be used.

Please click here to see a list of third parties that may be using cookies to serve advertising on our Web sites. For example, Google is one of the companies that serve advertisements onto chicagophoenix.com. It uses the DART cookie to serve ads based on your visit to chicagophoenix.com and other sites on the Internet. You may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

You have choices about the collection of information by third parties on our Web site:

1) If you would like more information about advertisers’ use of cookies, and about your option not to accept these cookies, please click here.

2) If you would like to opt-out of having interest-based information collected during your visits to this or other sites, click here.

Your access to our Web sites should not be affected if you do not accept cookies served by third parties.

WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE INFORMATION WE GATHER ABOUT YOU?
Providing the Services You Request

We use the information we gather about you to enable your use of the Merewell Services, fulfill your requests for certain products and services, such as sending out electronic newsletters and enabling you to participate in and renew paid services, polls, contests, and message boards.

Statistical Analysis

We perform statistical, demographic and marketing analyses of users of the Merewell Services, and their subscribing and purchasing patterns, for product development purposes and to generally inform advertisers about the nature of our subscriber base. We use this information for analysis purposes, including analysis to improve customer relationships.

Customizing Your Experience

We use the information that we collect to allow advertising to be targeted to the users for whom such advertising is most pertinent. We also use this information to customize certain features of the Merewell Services to provide you with an enhanced experienced based on the type of device you are using to access the Merewell Services, and in certain cases, provide you with requested services.

Relevant Advertising

We may use demographic and preference information to allow advertising on the Merewell Service to be targeted to the users for whom they are most pertinent. This means users see advertising that is most likely to interest them, and advertisers send their messages to people who are most likely to be receptive, improving both the viewer’s experience and the effectiveness of the ads. We disclose information to third parties only in aggregate or de-identified form.

E-Mail Newsletters

Merewell will periodically send you e-mail newsletters or promotional e-mail about services offered by Merewell and its advertisers. For details about New York Times e-mail, please see the section labeled “What Is Our E-Mail Policy?”

WITH WHOM DO WE SHARE THE INFORMATION THAT WE GATHER?
Merewell

If you have registered to use the Merewell Services, we will not sell, rent, swap or authorize any third party to use your e-mail address or any information that personally identifies you without your permission.

We also share information about our audience in aggregate or de-identified form. Nothing in this Privacy Policy is intended to restrict Merewell’s use of aggregated or de-identified information in any way.

In the future, we may sell, buy, merge or partner with other companies or businesses. In such transactions, we may include your information among the transferred assets.

Third Parties

Service Providers

We contract with other companies to provide services on our behalf, including credit-card and billing processing, shipping, e-mail distribution, list processing and analytics or promotions management. We provide these companies only with the information they need to perform their services. These service providers are restricted from using this data in any way other than to provide services for Merewell, and they may not share, resell or use the data for their own direct marketing purposes.

We reserve the right to disclose your opt-out information to third parties so they can suppress your name from future solicitations, in accordance with applicable laws. We may occasionally release personal information as required by law, for example, to comply with a court order or subpoena. (For more information, see the “Compliance with legal process” section of this policy.)

WHAT IS OUR E-MAIL POLICY?
Merewell complies fully with the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. We will not share, sell, rent, swap or authorize any third party to use your e-mail address for commercial purposes without your permission. If you feel you have received an e-mail from us in error, please contact inquiry@chicagophoenix.com.

Account and Service-Related E-Mail. Merewell reserves the right to send you e-mail relating to your account status. This includes order confirmations, renewal/expiration notices, notices of credit-card problems, other transactional e-mails and notifications about major changes to the Merewell Services and/or to our Privacy Policy. If you have registered for online discussions or other services, you may receive e-mail specific to your participation in those activities.

E-Mail Newsletters. Merewell offers several e-mail newsletters. If you no longer wish to receive a specific newsletter, follow the “unsubscribe” instructions located near the bottom of each newsletter. To manage your chicagophoenix.com e-mail preferences, please click here.

Promotional E-Mail. Merewell may periodically e-mail you messages about products and services that we think may be of interest to you. You can choose not to receive messages in the future by either (1) following the “unsubscribe” instructions located near the bottom of each e-mail, or (2) you can opt-out.

From time to time, Merewell may obtain e-mail addresses from third party sources to be used for promotional e-mails. You can choose not to receive messages in the future by either (1) following the “unsubscribe” instructions located near the bottom of each e-mail, or (2) you can opt-out.

Survey E-Mail. We may send you an e-mail inviting you to participate in user surveys, asking for feedback on chicagophoenix.com and existing or prospective products and services, as well as information to better understand our users. User surveys greatly help us to improve the Merewell Services, and any information we obtain in such surveys will not be shared with third parties, except in aggregate form.

HTML E-Mail. When you sign up to receive e-mail from us, you can select either plain text or HTML (with images) format. If you select the HTML format, we may place a one-pixel gif to determine whether or not readers viewed the e-mail. This process does not leave any information on your computer, nor does it collect information from your computer. Merewell may share this data with others in aggregate only.

E-Mails From You. If you send us e-mails, you should be aware that information disclosed in e-mails may not be secure or encrypted and thus may be available to others. We suggest that you exercise caution when deciding to disclose any personal or confidential information in e-mails. We will use your e-mail address to respond directly to your questions or comments.

E-Mail This Article Feature. chicagophoenix.com readers may use this feature to e-mail links to articles (or other content such as slideshows). The e-mail addresses that you supply to this service are saved for your convenience for future articles you may wish to e-mail; these addresses are not used for any other purpose, and will not be shared with any third parties.

HOW DO I CHANGE OR UPDATE MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Merewell Home Delivery Web Account. You may update and/or edit your Home Delivery account information online at the Home Delivery Web site by clicking on the link for Update Account. Should you require assistance, please call our toll free number, 1-800-MerewellIMES.

Manage Your chicagophoenix.com Account at Reader Center. You may review and update your chicagophoenix.com membership or account information and access your transaction history in the Subscriber Center.

There are a number of things you can do in the Subscriber Center to ensure your personal information is accurate and up to date. For one, you can update the information you provided during the free registration process. The E-mail Preferences tab is the place to go to sign up for our e-mail newsletters and manage your delivery options. To gain access to the areas of the Subscriber Center containing personal information, you will be asked to re-enter your password. If you do not remember your password, you can reset your password here. If you need further assistance, please contact Customer Service.

HOW DO I OPT-OUT FROM RECEIVING PROMOTIONAL OFFERS?
E-Mail Promotions

If, at any time, you prefer not to receive e-mail marketing information from us, simply follow the unsubscribe options at the bottom of each e-mail, or:

1. Click here to remove your e-mail address from any future promotional e-mail campaigns originated by Merewell and its third party affiliates.

2. Click here to manage your e-mail subscriptions from chicagophoenix.com.

3. Click here and log in to your New York Times Online Store account. Click on the “My Account” section at the top of the navigational bar and proceed to “Update Account Info & Password”. On the Update Account page, scroll down to the Other Information section and uncheck “I would like to receive updates and promotions by email” to no longer receive e-mail communications from The Store.

If you experience difficulty with the unsubscribe process, feel free to contact us at inquiry@chicagophoenix.com and provide your e-mail address along with the name of the newsletter from which you would like to unsubscribe.

Mail or Telephone Promotions

If, at any time, you prefer not to receive mail or telephone solicitations originated by Merewell, or if you prefer that we do not share this information with third parties for marketing purposes, please e-mail us at inquiry@chicagophoenix.com. If you are a current subscriber, please remember to include your account number and phone number in the body of your e-mail, and if you choose to opt-out via e-mail, please put “Opt-out” in the subject line.

IS MY INFORMATION PROTECTED?
Data Security: To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy and ensure the appropriate use of information, we have put in place commercially reasonable physical, technical and administrative controls to protect the information. Please note that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure.

OTHER INFORMATION:

Compliance With Legal Process

We may disclose personal information if we are required to do so by law or we have a good faith belief that such action is necessary to (1) comply with the law or with legal process; (2) protect and defend our rights and property; (3) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of the Merewell Services; or (4) protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public (among other things, this means that if you provide false information or attempt to pose as someone else, information about you may be disclosed as part of any investigation into your actions).

Children’s Guidelines

COPPA Compliance: Merewell does not knowingly collect or store any personal information about children under the age of 13.

Your California Privacy Rights

Under the California “Shine The Light” law, California residents may opt-out of the Merewell’s disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. As detailed above, you may choose to opt-out of the sharing of your personal information with third parties for marketing purposes at any time by submitting a request by e-mailing us at inquiry@chicagophoenix.com. It is important to note that this opt-out does not prohibit disclosures made for non-marketing purposes.

Changes to This Policy

This Privacy Policy may be amended from time to time. Any such changes will be posted on this page. If we make a significant or material change in the way we use your personal information, the change will be posted on this page thirty (30) days prior to taking effect and registered users will be notified via e-mail.

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