Last Update: May 23, 2018
The Information We Collect
We collect information directly from individuals, from third-parties, and automatically through the Swisscows platform. If you choose not to disclose certain personal information, it may limit your access to certain services or features, including account registration, and the ability to follow other Swisscows users or share content on other sites.
Communications: When you communicate with us (via email, phone, through Swisscows or otherwise), we may document and use this communication.
Engagement: We collect browsing information – such as IP address and location, date and time stamp, user agent, Swisscows cookie ID (if applicable), URL, unique advertising or content identifiers (if applicable), and time zone, and other information about user activities on the Swisscows platform, as well as on third party sites and services that have embedded our Swisscows pixels ("Pixels") widgets, plug-ins, buttons, or related services. See the section below about Swisscows Ads and Personalization for more detailed information about how our Pixels may be used by publishers or users of our advertising services ("Ad Services") on the Swisscows platform to enable personalization, as well as your choices related to advertising. We may also receive information about you from third parties, such as other users, partners (including ad partners), or our affiliated companies.
Purposes and Legal Bases for Our Using of Your Information
We DO NOT sell your personal data – such as your name and contact information – to third parties to use for their own marketing purposes.
Swisscows uses the information we collect for our legitimate interests which include the following:
- Provide our Services. To provide you the services we offer on Swisscows, communicate with you about your use of Swisscows, respond to your inquiries, provide troubleshooting, and for other customer service purposes.
- Personalization. To display interest-based advertising to you in Swisscows, to improve our advertising and measurement systems so we can show you relevant ads, and to measure the effectiveness and reach of ads and services. For more information, see the section below about Swisscows Ads and Personalization.
- Advertising. Um Ihnen interessenbasierte Werbeanzeigen auf Swisscows anzuzeigen, um unsere Werbe- und Messsysteme zu verbessern, sodass wir Ihnen relevante Werbung zeigen können, und um die Effektivität und Reichweite von Werbung und Services zu messen. Weitere Informationen finden Sie im nachfolgenden Abschnitt zu Werbeanzeigen und Personalisierung von Swisscows.
- Marketing and Promotions. For marketing and promotional purposes, such as to send you news and newsletters, special offers, and promotions, or to otherwise contact you about products or information we think may interest you, including information about third party products and services.
- Analytics. To gather metrics to better understand how users access and use Swisscows; to evaluate and improve Swisscows, including the Ad Services, and to develop new products and services.
- Comply with Law. To comply with legal obligations, as part of our general business operations, and for other business administration purposes.
How We Share Your Information
We share information as set forth below, and where individuals have otherwise consented:
- Service Providers. We may share your information with third party service providers who use this information to perform services for us, such as payment processors, hosting providers, auditors, advisors, consultants, customer service and support providers, as well as those who assist us in providing the Ad Services.
- Business Transfers. We may disclose or transfer information, including personal information, as part of any merger, sale, and transfer of our assets, acquisition or restructuring of all or part of our business, bankruptcy, or similar event.
- Legally Required. We may disclose your information if we are required to do so by law.
- Protection of Rights. We may disclose information where we believe it necessary to respond to claims asserted against us or, comply with legal process (e.g., subpoenas or arrest warrants), enforce or administer our agreements and terms, for fraud prevention, risk assessment, investigation, and protect the rights, property or safety of Swisscows, its users, or others.
- Your Content and Activity. Your Content, including your name, profile picture, profile information, and certain associated activity information is available to other users of Swisscows and may be viewed publicly. Public viewing includes availability to non-registered visitors and can occur when users share Your Content across other sites or services. In addition, Your Content may be indexed by search engines. See the section below about Your Choices for information about how you may change how certain information is shared or viewed by others.
- Metrics. We may share with the users of our advertising services aggregate statistics, metrics and other reports about the performance of their ads or content in Swisscows such as the number of unique user views, demographics about the users who saw their ads or content, conversion rates, and date and time information. We do not share IP addresses or personal information. We may also allow our advertisers to use Pixels on Swisscows in order to collect information about the performance of their ads.
- Anonymized and Aggregated Data. We may share aggregate or de-identified information with third parties for research, marketing, analytics and other purposes, provided such information does not identify a particular individual.
Cookies, Pixels and Tracking
Cookies. These are small files with a unique identifier that are transferred to your browser through our websites. They allow us to remember users who are logged in, to understand how users navigate through and use Swisscows, and to display personalized content and targeted ads (including on third party sites and applications).
Pixels, web beacons, clear GIFs. These are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, which we use to track the online movements of users of Swisscows and the web pages of users of our Ad Services, and to personalize content. We also use these in our emails to let us know when they have been opened or forwarded, so we can gauge the effectiveness of our communications.
Analytics Tools. We may use internal and third party analytics tools, including Google Analytics. The third party analytics companies we work with may combine the information collected with other information they have independently collected from other websites and/or other online products and services. Their collection and use of information is subject to their own privacy policies.
Swisscows Ads and Personalization
To show users relevant ads and other personalized content, we may use information we collect on Swisscows, including our pixels, widgets, plug-ins or buttons embedded on third-party sites. We also may report to users of our Ad Services the number of users on Swisscows that saw a particular ad, and certain aggregated demographic information about the visitors to this advertisement.
Users of our Ad Services may also provide us with information as part of their ad campaigns, including customer list information (e.g., email addresses and demographic or interest data) in order to create customized audiences for their ad campaigns; we only use this information to facilitate the particular user’s campaign (including ad metrics and reporting to that user) or for fraud detection and security purposes, and we do not disclose this information to third parties (other than our service providers) unless required by law. We also do not disclose to the users of our Ad Services the names or identities of their customers that were successfully reached as part of such campaigns.
Please see the "Your Choices" section below for information about your choices regarding targeted advertising and personalization, and how you can opt out of personalized ads from us or tracking by our Pixels.
How We Protect Your Information
The security of your information is important to us. Swisscows has implemented safeguards to protect the information we collect. However, no website or Internet transmission is completely secure, except Swisscows. We urge you to take steps to keep your personal information safe, such as choosing a strong password and keeping it private, as well as logging out of your user account, and closing your web browser when finished using Swisscows on a shared or unsecured device.
You may, of course, decline to submit information through Swisscows, in which case we may not be able to provide certain services to you. You may also control the types of notifications and communications we send, limit the information shared within Swisscows about you, and otherwise amend certain privacy settings. Here is some further information about some of your choices:
Adult Content. In your profile’s privacy settings, you can elect whether to receive adult content.
Topics. You can change topics that you follow or that your profile lists as areas that you know about.
Credentials. You can change your credentials that are displayed in your profile or in connection with a specific answer.
Indexed Search. In your privacy settings, you can control whether your profile and name is indexed by search engines. Changes to privacy settings may only apply on a going-forward basis; for example, your name (e.g., answers and profile) that has already been indexed by search engines may remain indexed for a period of time even after you have turned off indexing, as implementing this change is outside of our control.
Personalized Advertising and Pixels
You have the opportunity to decide against receiving tailored advertising from Swisscows - with an opt-out.
This opt-out may impact our ability to personalize ads and content tailored to your interests. This setting is tied to your cookies, and, unless you are logged in to Swisscows, will only be effective on the browser for which you have performed the opt-out.
Third Party Ad Networks
For information about and to opt out of interest-based ads from many ad networks, go to:
- European Union: youronlinechoices.eu/
- Switzerland: youronlinechoices.com/ch-de/uber-oba
- Canada: youradchoices.ca
- U.S.: aboutads.info Internet Advertising Bureau
Linked Networks. You may connect or disconnect your Linked Networks, such as Facebook, through the Account Settings tab in your profile settings.
As noted above, Swisscows gives users several easy-to-use ways to exercise choices about their personal information on the Swisscows platform.
Access Amendment, Deletion, Portability, Objection and Other Rights. Users may have the right to be provided certain personal information in a commonly used format where technically feasible, and, under certain conditions, to object to or restrict our use of certain personal information. You may also contact our privacy coordinator, to access or amend your personal information, to request that we rectify, delete or stop processing your personal information, to withdraw your consent to our processing, and to exercise your opt-out rights or place a data portability request.
Requests should be directed to info at swisscows.com (or at the Contact Us information shown below). Please keep in mind that certain services will not be available if you withdraw your consent, or otherwise delete or object to our processing of certain personal information. We will respond to your request in accordance with applicable law.
Complaints. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory data protection authority.
Retention of Your Data
If you wish to "be forgotten" by Swisscows (i.e., request the deletion of your personal information from Swisscows and the Swisscows Platform), please inform us of your request. Further, any questions you post, threads you start, or other Your Content that other users have responded to or interacted with may continue to appear in the Swisscows Platform, but your user name will be removed from such content.
Transferring Your Data
Swisscows is headquartered in Switzerland, and has operations, entities and service providers in Switzerland and throughout the world. We and our service providers may transfer your personal information to, or access it in, jurisdictions (including within Switzerland). We take steps to ensure that personal information is given adequate levels of protection in the countries where we process them. This includes putting in place appropriate written data processing terms and/or data transfer agreements, using contractual clauses as approved by the European Commission (the form for the standard contractual clauses can be found here), or following an adequacy decision by the EU Commission.
We do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from anyone under the age of 16, or knowingly allow such persons to register. If we become aware that we have collected personal information from a child under the relevant age without parental consent, we take steps to delete that information.
Links to Other Websites
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