Sprout Geek Privacy Policy

At Sprout Geek, we appreciate your readership and support and place a high value on your personal privacy. We respect the personal nature of the information you provide us on our web site and staunchly recognize the importance of protecting this information. In adopting this privacy policy (this “Privacy Policy”), our intent is to balance our legitimate business interests in collecting and using your personal information with your reasonable expectations of privacy. This Privacy Policy may be revised or updated at any time and we encourage you to check back often to ensure that you are familiar with the most recent version and the terms of our Privacy Policy.

When does Sprout Geek collect my personal information?

You may provide personal information to Sprout Geek in several ways including:

  • by sharing your e-mail address when subscribing to our newsletter,
  • by sharing personal information when you submit news tips to our editorial team or by submitting a report via our Contact Form,
  • by sharing personal information when you post comments on our posts or stories,
  • by participating in a survey where an email address is requested.

We may also ask for other information at other times but at no time will you be required to share any personal information to gain complete access to our site. Sprout Geek is an open community but email addresses are requested to participate in some of our member-only features.

In addition to basic contact information, our analytics trackers may also collect other information. This may include the operating system you are working on, the Internet browser you are using, and the screen resolution of your computer.

How does Sprout Geek use my personal information?

Depending on the portion of our site that you have subscribed to or interacted with, we may use your information in a number of ways.

The email address you provided through our newsletter subscription form enables us to send weekly newsletters on topics and food areas that you have selected at the point of subscription. This subscription is entirely opt-in by the user. (We cannot subscribe you to the newsletter as you personally must have access to the email account in order to verify the subscription.) Subscribers can opt-out of our newsletter at any time by clicking the “Unsubscribe” link that is present on every email at the very bottom of the newsletter.

The email address that you use when contacting us via our Contact Form will not be used for any reason but for the purposes of responding to your inquiry.

The email address associated with your account when you comment on our stories may be used in conjunction with contests and promotions hosted on Sprout Geek’s website to notify you if you have won. Email addresses provided in comments are not usually used for any other reason except that they may be used as a customer service and policy violation contact mechanism.

If you choose to comment on Sprout Geek’s articles through Twitter and/or Facebook Connect, we do not get access to your email address nor do we have any access to your personal data or private information.

We may at times request your participation in a survey. We will not provide your email addresses to any third party but may contact you via them to distribute prizes in associated giveaways.

To maintain a site that is free of charge, we display advertisements on our website. We also use information you give us through surveys to help our advertisers target the audience they want to reach and to provide you with potentially interesting advertisements. Unless you give consent, at no time does any party other than Sprout Geek have access to your personally identifiable information (with the exception of our survey providers), and unless we have your consent, you will never be contacted by any party other than Sprout Geek.

The only exceptions to the foregoing are that we may disclose personally identifiable information:

  • in response to legal process, for example, in response to a court order or subpoena,
  • in response to a law enforcement agency’s request, or where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take actions regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of another person, violations of our terms of use, or as otherwise required by law, or
  • in the event we are acquired by or merged with another company.

When you sign up for our updates or receive e-mail messages from Sprout Geek, you will always be given the chance to opt-out of our communications. You may change your preferences at any time and will only be contacted in manners consistent with your stated preferences.

Non-personally identifiable information (such as stated above) may be shared in aggregate form with our advertisers, business, or marketing partners but your personally identifiable information will never be disclosed to them.

Who else has access to my personal information?

The ads appearing on Sprout Geek are delivered to you by our Web advertising serving partners. Information about your visit to this site, such as number of times you have viewed an ad (but not your name, address, or other personal information), is used to serve ads to you on this site. And, in the course of serving advertisements to this site, third party advertisers, Google in particular, may place or recognize a unique cookie on your browser.

Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site. Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

We have also contracted with a number of advertising network partners to monitor certain pages of our website and RSS feeds for the purpose of reporting website and RSS traffic, statistics, advertisement “click-throughs,” and/or other activities on our website. Where authorized by us, these advertising network partners may use cookies, web beacons, and/or other monitoring technologies to compile anonymous statistics about our website visitors. No personally identifiable information is collected by or transferred to these network partners. For more information about how the information is collected and used, please see the following:

  • Feedburner’s privacy policy at http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/privacy
  • Google’s privacy policy at http://www.google.com/privacy.html

Third parties and web sites that have links on our site may also collect or use information about you. The information practices of other companies or people that Sprout Geek does not employ or manage are not covered by this Privacy Policy.

Accounts associated with Sprout Geek are all ‘public.’ By ‘public,’ we mean that certain information will be viewable by all users. What you see on other user profiles is the same information that other users can see about you.

Is there anything else I should know about my privacy and Sprout Geek?

Any information you disclose voluntarily on our comments page or in any properties hosted by Sprout Geek becomes public information. Sprout Geek is a public forum. We cannot control the action of our site users and advise you to use your discretion in sharing information about yourself on the Internet. All information sharing is optional and done so at your own risk. Privacy is a very personal matter and we encourage you to be careful and responsible when disclosing personal information online.

Sprout Geek Comment Policy

We never censor comments based on political or ideological point of view or of a critical nature. We reserve the right to delete those comments that are off-topic, “spammy” in nature, abusive, use excessive foul language, or include ad hominem attacks.

Once a comment is made public on the Sprout Geek website, we will not remove it by request. As a user, you are responsible for your own communications and are responsible for the consequences of their posting.

Comments will only be considered for removal:

  • in response to legal process, for example, in response to a court order, or
  • in response to a law enforcement agency’s request, or where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take actions regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of another person, violations of our terms of use, or as otherwise required by law.

All comments and other content contributed to Sprout Geek shall adhere to the following policy, and may be edited or removed at Sprout Geek’s discretion if it is deemed to be in violation of this policy.

  • Personal Attacks: Please don’t engage in personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling or mindless abuse. The Sprout Geek community should focus on intelligently discussing topics by furthering the conversation and informing the participants with resourceful and constructive ideas.
  • Hate Speech: Racism, sexism and homophobia will not be tolerated.
  • Language and Threats: Please watch your language and respect other people’s views, beliefs and emotions. We reserve the right to remove any content that might be found extremely offensive or threatening.
  • No Spam: Spam and advertising content will be removed.
  • Smear Tactics: Although we acknowledge criticism of our articles and our writers, we will not allow misrepresentation. We will distinguish between constructive arguments and smear tactics.
  • Relevancy: Please keep conversations relevant. Off-topic comments are subject to removal in order to keep the thread on track.
  • Quality: We encourage you to take responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you’re participating. Maintain intelligent discussions in the Sprout Geek community by being respectful and considerate.
  • Help Us: Maintain an inviting interaction space by self-policing threads and flagging spam. Although we have a hands-on approach to community engagement, we do sometimes miss problem commenters or trolls. We appreciate your efforts to keep the Sprout Geek community environment inviting, insightful and constructive. Let the conversations be quality ones.