General Privacy Statement
Valid until Fall 1999
•• Items of interest have been highlighted ••
WebTV Networks, Inc. (WNI) provides a fully integrated, sophisticated consumer Internet service, called the WebTV Network, which enables subscribers to access the Internet utilizing the WebTV™ Classic or WebTV™ Plus Internet Terminal (a set-top box), a television and a phone line. We make it easy for users to access the Internet without a computer. Maintaining our subscribers' privacy is a high priority for us and we will maintain the privacy of our subscribers' personal information to the best of our abilities. However, as a practical matter, the WebTV Network™ could not operate nor provide the level of quality our users expect without logging the many types of data that are necessary for us to run and maintain the service and in some cases providing that information to others. Thus, we have put in place policies and procedures that enable us to safeguard the use by WNI and our authorized partners of any data we collect, while allowing us to provide the greatest user experience and customer service possible.
Data That is Collected
In the normal course of the operation of the WebTV Network™, all of the information provided by our subscribers is collected and stored by WNI for use in the maintenance of that user's account. Thus, name and address information provided by the subscriber during registration is stored for identification of the account and for such things as billing and communication. In addition, various types of information is provided and collected through the process of using the WebTV Network™. When a user sends and receives e-mail, this is stored for their viewing and retrieval. When a user selects favorite sites, those sites' URLs are stored so that the user can access them instantly from session to session. The most recent web sites that each user has visited are stored by our system so that a press of the "Recent" button pops up thumbnail images of the last web sites seen, making browsing more efficient. We may also keep track of the selection of certain web sites so as to deliver those web sites faster the next time they are accessed. All of these features of the service involve some amount of data logging for the sole purpose of enhancing the user experience. While the very nature of the WebTV Network™ service requires that considerable information be stored for use by the system for the sake of an individual subscriber, we are very careful to protect such information from any unauthorized access through the use of encryption technologies, network firewalls, physical security, and use and access policies.
Usage by Type of Information
1. Totally Private Information. WNI does not share any of the information about you that would not be known to others with anyone outside of WNI without your informed consent. Examples of this information include your in- and outbound communications (such as electronic mail ), your web browsing activity, your payment information (including credit card number), credit history, favorites and personal e-mail address lists. Exceptions to this policy are:
A. With your explicit permission, such as when you press "Send" to send your e-mail message out (which will have your e-mail and registered name attached) or when you elect to fill in information requested by us or another party that is specifically intended to be provided to a third party (i.e. an on-line product warranty registration card that is sent to the manufacturer of your WebTV-based Internet unit).
B. When necessary to protect our subscribers from unauthorized uses of the WebTV Network™, including any user's abuse of the system to harass or harm anyone else or disrupt normal usage of the service or Internet, including various legal or illegal activities, which, in the view of WNI, constitute a misuse of the service, whether or not required to do so by law.
C. When required by applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request to disclose such information to law enforcement authorities or anyone else.
2. Personal Information. WNI considers your name, address, phone and user logon information to be confidential but also a type of information that would generally be known to others. Such information may be utilized by WNI or provided to responsible third parties under strict usage terms and confidentiality agreements for legitimate business purposes specifically authorized by WNI and deemed necessary and/or beneficial to the service as a whole. Examples of such uses are:
A. Conducting corporate user satisfaction surveys, recruiting for focus group participants or for trial participants to test upcoming new features for the WebTV Network™ or other similar, professionally managed marketing purposes.
B. Under strictly limited conditions, providing similar information to key corporate partners such as the manufacturers of the WebTV Network™ Product for their internal information purposes regarding product activation information.
C. Offers by WNI to its subscribers for premium services, promotions run by WNI in conjunction with partners that in WebTV Networks' opinion provide substantial benefit to a broad distribution of WebTV Networks subscribers and other necessary communications from WNI regarding its service.
Accessing such information in order to assist you with your questions about your membership, billing or use of (or inability to use) WebTV Network™or the Internet.
In the future, WNI will add features to the system giving the subscriber the option, during the sign up process or in such other place as the information is collected or kept, to allow or decline to allow such information to be used for certain purposes. Thus, a user will be able, for example, to decline to have WNI forward his registration information to the manufacturer of his unit, thus not registering automatically for that manufacturer's product warranty. In the meantime, you should contact WNI by mail at the address provided below.
WNI will also disclose this information when necessary to enforce its Terms of Service or if required by applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request.
Aggregate Information. WNI aggregates certain non-personal information and business data pertaining to the usage of its service, including such things as net subscription activations, geographic distribution of subscribers and revenue collections. Such aggregate information does not contain user-specific information that reveals any specific subscriber's identity. WNI may share this information with anyone since it does not personally identify you.
For the purposes of understanding subscriber usage of the service, to both improve existing features and to add additional features, capabilities and new services, WNI and its authorized agents and partners collect and aggregate certain non-personal usage data. Examples of non-personal usage data that is tracked and utilized exclusively in aggregate form include (but are not limited to) such things as amount of subscriber usage of features like "Mail," "Search," and "Explore;" hits on specific daily spot features, advertisements and promotions; access by users of partner and other Web sites and the behavior of users within the TV Home Page (limited to WebTV Plus users). All such data is used strictly in aggregate form and may be shared with anyone since it does not personally identify any single user.
Access to Information
1. Access by Authorized WNI Employees. WNI safeguards its customer information from unauthorized access. Only authorized employees or agents carrying out legitimate business functions are permitted access to customer information. Employees who violate WNI's privacy access policies are subject to disciplinary actions, including termination where appropriate.
2. Access by Subscribers. By contacting WNI, subscribers can have access to their personal registration information at all times in order to determine its accuracy and make changes if necessary.
3. Access by Unauthorized Individuals. WNI does its commercially reasonable best to protect its customers' privacy by using technologies and processes such as encryption, access control procedures, network firewalls and physical security. These technologies and methods increase the security and privacy of information traveling to, from and within the WebTV Network™ service but cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality or security of information.
4. WNI Communications. WNI may choose to forward occasional promotions to or communicate directly with to its subscribers via e-mail regarding certain information and/or special offers regarding the WebTV Network™ service that WNI deems of value and interest to its users. In these rare instances, WNI sends such information itself and does not provide any subscriber e-mail lists to any third party, even if the promotion or communication involves a partner, so as to ensure the protection of this information.
5. WNI's Reports to Advertisers. WNI does report on the success rates for subscriber visits to ads placed by advertisers on the WebTV Network™ service but WNI does not deliver any information about the identity of a specific subscriber along with its summary of aggregate information about ad hits to any advertiser.
6. Other Access by WNI. WebTV Networks subscribers may complain about being the target of certain unwanted or illegal behavior or others may complain about being the target of unwanted or illegal behavior coming from a WebTV Network™ user. In such instances, WNI reserves the right to inspect any subscriber information necessary to investigate any allegations or complaints received by WNI and to respond regarding actions taken to resolve a complaint. Typically, WNI will send an e-mail to any subscriber against whom a complaint has been received to warn them that certain behavior is not permitted on the WebTV Network™. If such behavior persists, WNI may warn the subscriber that additional complaints may result in the suspension or termination of their account; however, WNI reserves the right to suspend or terminate a user account without notice. Lastly, WNI will notify a subscriber by mail if, as a result of continued disallowed behavior, their subscription account has been terminated. This notice may occur after WNI already has terminated the account. Although rare, there are times when WNI becomes aware that illegal activities are being conducted using a WebTV Network™ account. WNI reserves the right to contact the appropriate authorities at its discretion when it appears that illegal activities are taking place within the context of a user account.
Subscriber Responsibility for Protection and Privacy
1. User Account Protection. WebTV Network™ subscribers are responsible for the use of their accounts. WNI recommends that customers use passwords to protect their accounts from unauthorized access by others. Specifically, WebTV Network™ subscribers that allow access by others, including family or household members, to their WebTV Network™ accounts are responsible for the actions of those individuals, including the invasion of privacy on the user's totally private information.
2. Protection of Children. WebTV Network™ is a family-friendly service, however, the Internet contains information that may be offensive to certain WebTV Network™ users, particularly children. In addition, there may individuals seeking to obtain access to children for various unauthorized purposes. WNI provides some filtering tools to help parents prevent direct access to unwanted and/or adult material by their children, however, WNI cannot prevent inappropriate contacts (such as with e-mail or chat) between other Internet users and children who are Secondary Users and who may have revealed themselves to be children. Parents are ultimately responsible for the behavior and use of the WebTV Network™ by their children and should password protect their own account as well as monitor the use of Secondary User Accounts by minors to prevent the inadvertent identification of that child to others or access of inappropriate Materials by the child.
3. Information on Child Users. WNI currently does not collect and/or utilize for personally-identifiable purposes any personal information regarding Secondary Users. Since only adults can be signed up as Primary Users, WNI does not collect and/or utilize personally identifiable information from children. Nevertheless, if we did collect information from minor Secondary Users to be used for any personally-identifiable purpose, we would inform the parent about the uses for which personally identifiable information was being collected from the child and require the parent to provide permission before utilizing such personally-identifiable information for any purpose.
4. Information provided to other Internet Sites. WNI provides its subscribers with access to the vast array of information and, hence, information providers on the Internet. Every content provider manages its information differently and, as a result, WNI cannot control or monitor the information sent and received via the Internet. Subscribers and all Secondary Users should attempt to understand the privacy policies of the web sites to which they choose to provide information and otherwise use common sense and be careful when visiting the web sites of other providers on the Internet to insure that their privacy is not compromised.
5. Disclosures Relating to Abusive Use. Users that violate the Terms of Service may be subject to investigation by WNI, warnings, suspension or termination of their service and even civil or criminal liability through law enforcement. WNI does not treat abusive behavior on the WebTV Network™ nor WNI's actions to prevent abusive behavior as confidential or private information.
How To Find Us
If at any time you have questions about or believe that WNI has not adhered to this Policy, please notify WNI by phone at 1(800) GO-WEBTV (1-800-469-3288) or by mail at WebTV Networks, Inc., 2593 Coast Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043, ATTN: Legal Department. WNI will use all commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and correct any existing problems.
Changes to this Policy
WNI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THIS POLICY AT ANY TIME BY POSTING CHANGES ON-LINE. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REGULARLY REVIEWING INFORMATION POSTED ON-LINE TO OBTAIN TIMELY NOTICE OF SUCH CHANGES. YOUR NON-TERMINATION OR CONTINUED USE OF THE WEBTV NETWORK™ AFTER CHANGES ARE POSTED CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THIS POLICY AS MODIFIED BY THE POSTED CHANGES.
© 1999. WebTV Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.