Information Collection and Use
The information we collect falls into one of two categories – PII and aggregated information. PII is information that can be used to identify you as described above.
Aggregated information is information that is not associated with a specific user, but instead contains anonymous information on many users, such as the number of visitors to the website during a particular period of time. We collect and store statistics and other information about the online activities of our visitors on an aggregated, collective basis. For example, we track the number of people who view each page, the order in which pages are viewed, and other information to learn which features are the most popular and to refine our design and marketing efforts. Whenever you visit the Offthebookshelf.com website, Offthebookshelf.com also receives and records information on our server logs from your browser, including your IP address, Offthebookshelf.com cookie information and the pages you request, and relates it to the PII you provide.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve advertisements when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, mailing address, e-mail address or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements on the website about goods and services that may be of interest to you.
We collect PII (such as name, e-mail address, mailing address, and credit card information) whenever you voluntarily submit it to the website. Examples of occasions on which you submit information voluntarily are when you make a purchase, answer our polls, enter sweepstakes or contests, fill out the registration page, send us feedback, become a member, download a book or post in our chat rooms or to our message boards. If you register for an account on our website, we might also ask you about your book preferences or other information to customize the website for you. Once you have registered, we reserve the right to send you certain communications relating to Offthebookshelf.com products and services, such as service announcements, promotional announcements, administrative messages, contest promotions, and Offthebookshelf.com messages about featured authors, which are considered part of your Offthebookshelf.com account.
If you become an Author Member, we may also require your social security number to comply with applicable tax requirements, if any. If required by applicable law or a governmental authority, we may also make filings with the IRS or a state or local tax authority in connection with the sale of your Works on the website. Please note, we do not require your social security number when you join.
You always have the option of choosing not to reveal PII to us, although certain services may be unavailable if you do not. You will be offered the opportunity to opt-out of receiving future messages and announcements and remove your name from Offthebookshelf.com mailing lists. The opt-out provisions do not apply to information collected by cookies or used internally to recognize you and/or facilitate your visits to the website or information we may retain to comply with legal requirements.
“Web beacons” are small pieces of code placed on a web page to monitor the behavior and collect data about the visitors viewing a web page. For example, web beacons can be used to count the users who visit a web page or to deliver a cookie to the browser of a visitor viewing that page. We may use web beacons on our website from time to time for this purpose.
Information Sharing and Disclosure
If you give us your permission, we may share your PII with third parties. We also may share your PII with third parties who provide services to us in order to enhance the functionality available to you as part of the website. We use the PII we collect to communicate with you about your purchases, to deliver purchases, to notify you if you have won a prize for a contest that you have entered or to be able to personalize a part of the website with the services and information you choose. We may use the PII that you supply to us and work with other third parties to bring selected retail opportunities to our members via direct mail, e-mail and telemarketing. These third parties may include providers of direct marketing services and applications, including lookup and reference, data enhancement, suppression and validation and e-mail marketing.
Offthebookshelf.com uses aggregated information to sell and deliver advertising. We disclose aggregated information about our website to third parties, including information regarding the effectiveness of our advertisers’ advertisements. Some online activities necessarily lead to disclosure of your PII to third parties, such as when you include your name and e-mail address in an e-mail to a third party or when you order merchandise in our website’s shopping areas.
Remember, information you provide as part of your profile of preferences (User Profile) is not confidential and is accessible by Offthebookshelf.com. Similarly, any information you provide in chat rooms, message boards, on blogs or other Offthebookshelf.com forums is not confidential and we may not remind you, so please keep this in mind if you are going to use these parts of our website. Your choice to disclose PII in such cases is up to you.
We automatically scan and may manually filter messages to check for spam, viruses, phishing attacks and other malicious activity or illegal or prohibited content, but we do not permanently store messages sent through these tools. If you send an e-mail to an e-mail address that is not registered with our website, we do not permanently store that e-mail or use that e-mail address for any marketing purpose.
Credit card information is used only for payment processing and fraud prevention. Credit card information and other sensitive personal information required to process a purchase is not used for any other purpose by our financial services providers or us and will not be kept longer than necessary for providing the services offered by us.
We may transfer PII about you if we or one of our business units are acquired by, sold to, or merged with another company.
Confidentiality and Security
PII that we collect is stored in secure operating environments that are not available to the public. Credit card information is encrypted. All the information we collect and store is protected by our firewall. Also, any information that we store at our physical locations is kept secure, and only designated employees may obtain access to it.
We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic and management procedures in an effort to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security and correctly use the information we collect online. Nevertheless, we cannot fully ensure that your private communications and other PII will not be disclosed to third parties. We may be forced to disclose information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, or third parties may unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications. If we need to investigate or resolve possible problems or inquiries, we may use any information about you to help third party entities, law enforcement, or other government officials as we deem necessary.
We are particularly sensitive to users’ security concerns regarding the use of credit cards to purchase Offthebookshelf.com’s products and services. For orders placed on our website, we use a technology that automatically encrypts credit card data while information is being transmitted over the Internet at check-out, provided that the user’s browser supports the Secure Socket Layer protocol (SSL).
To verify the security of your computer’s web connection at our check-out service, check the lower left corner of your browser window after accessing the server. If you see an unbroken or a closed lock, then SSL is active, and the server is secure. You may also check by looking at the URL line of your browser. When accessing a secure server, the website address will change from “http” to “https.”
Offthebookshelf.com is not responsible for and will not be a party to any transactions between you and a third party provider of products, information or services. Offthebookshelf.com does not monitor such transactions to ensure the confidentiality of your credit card information. Any separate charges or obligations you incur in your dealings with these third parties linked to Offthebookshelf.com’s website are your responsibility.
Your California Privacy Rights
If you are a California resident, California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits you to request and obtain from us once a year, free of charge, information about the PII (if any) we disclosed to third parties for direct marketing purposes in the preceding calendar year. If applicable, this information would include a list of the type of PII that was shared and the names and addresses of all third parties with which we shared information in the immediately preceding calendar year. If you do not want your name and contact information to be shared with any third party, you may notify us at any time by writing to us at the e-mail and or mailing address below.
Access by Children
We are committed to protecting the safety and privacy of all our users, especially those who are under 18. To this end, we comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA, 16 C.F.R. Part 312) with respect to children under 13, and various other state laws that protect the privacy of children under 18. For more information about COPPA, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s FAQ at http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/coppafaqs.shtm. We do not collect or display the PII of users who are under the age of 18. Except for the public areas of Offthebookshelf.com, if you are under 18, you will be able to create a user name and password, but we will not keep any information that is personal to you. In addition, because we do not collect your PII if you are under 18, you will not receive any direct communications from Offthebookshelf.com.
Correcting Personal Information Provided by You
Everything you need to make changes to your basic user profile information is in your User Profile or, for Author Members, in your “back office” on your Member Author page.
Third Party Cookies: In the course of serving advertisements to the website, our third-party advertisers may place or recognize a unique “cookie” on your browser. Even though these advertisements are embedded within our website, cookies may be assigned by the advertisers themselves. Offthebookshelf.com does not control these cookies. To find out more about these “cookies,” click here.
Questions and Suggestions
If you have questions or suggestions, please e-mail Offthebookshelf.com at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-413-298-0077.
Off The Bookshelf, Inc.
118-21 Queens Blvd, Suite 311
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Attn. Privacy Manager