The Information We Collect and How We Use It
The information we collect falls into two categories: (1) personal information that you provide to us when you register to use our Web site, and (2) certain anonymous information that we collect as you navigate through the merinews.com pages. Below is a description of each type of information we collect and how we use it:
Anyone may visit merinews.com and read its contents, but only registered users may post articles. We require users to register to encourage responsible and courteous conduct. In our registration process, we require you to provide your name, e-mail address, zip code and age. We use this information to create a unique registration profile for you, to communicate with you regarding your registration, and to verify that you are not under the age of 18. We also may ask you to provide, at your option, your address and certain demographic information. This information will help us to better understand our audience, but is not required as a condition of registering; you may decline to provide any or all such optional information. Once you register with merinews.com and sign in to our site, you are not anonymous to us, though you may use an assumed member name when posting to the site if you’d prefer to remain anonymous to other members of the merinews.com community and other visitors to the site.
We require you to provide your e-mail address as part of the registration process. When you register with our site, we will send you an e-mail confirming your registration. We may use your e-mail address to send you administrative e-mails from time to time containing announcements and communications regarding the merinews service. If you do not wish to receive administrative e-mails from us, please do not register to use our site. You also may elect to receive regular newsletters or information updates from us or to receive commercial e-mails from us that advertise our services and the products or services of our advertising partners. Even if you choose to receive commercial e-mails, we will not share your e-mail address with our third-party advertisers, though we may send you advertising materials on their behalf. You may unsubscribe from such emails at any time by following the simple instructions included in each e-mail.
Browser-Level Information and Cookies
Aggregate Information Used to Serve and Target Ads
We may aggregate the information we collect from our users and use this anonymous, aggregated information to target ads on our site. (For example, we may use this information to tell advertisers the age range, gender composition, and geographic location of the audience the advertisers will be reaching.) When we aggregate your information, no specific personal information is included, and you cannot be identified from this aggregate information.
Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily make your personal information available for viewing by third parties on our site – for example, in a post, or on other areas of our site – that information can be seen, collected and used by anyone who visits the site. We cannot control and therefore cannot be responsible for any unauthorized third-party use of such information. Please respect the privacy of others by not posting their personal information on our site without their permission.
Disclosure of Information
Information about our members is an important part of our business, and we are not in the business of selling it to others. merinews.com will not rent, sell, or share your personal information with unaffiliated companies or people except (1) as necessary to provide you with products or services you've requested, (2) when we have your permission, or (3) as follows:
We may disclose your personal information to trusted partners who work on behalf of merinews.com under confidentiality agreements. These companies may use your personal information to help us serve you. However, these companies are not allowed to share this information or to use it for their own purposes.
We may disclose your personal information when release is appropriate to comply with law, or to protect the rights, property or safety of members of the merinews community, other visitors to our site, our advertisers and other customers, the public, or merinews and its employees.
As our business grows we may buy or sell various assets. In the event that merinews.com or some or all of our assets are acquired by another company, information about our users may be among the transferred assets.
Links To Other Sites
Archiving and Storage
All merinews.com postings may be stored in our database, even after deletion from the site. Our web logs and other records may be stored indefinitely. In addition, search engines and other sites not affiliated with merinews.com may cache or archive postings from merinews.com, and may make such postings available for viewing on their sites. (For example, some search engines take a snapshot of each web page examined by the search engine as it crawls the web, and may cache these pages as a backup in case the original page is unavailable. Search engine users can view the cached pages simply by clicking on the “cached” link.) We have no control over this.
merinews.com has taken steps to protect the confidentiality of the personal information it collects from members of the merinews community. Information we gather on merinew .com is stored within merinews.com-controlled databases (or databases hosted on our behalf) on servers maintained in protected environments, and we limit access to your personal information to merinews.com employees who we believe need to see that information to provide you with services or otherwise do their jobs. However, no physical or electronic security system is impenetrable, and we cannot guarantee the security of our servers or databases, nor can we guarantee that the information that you supply to us won't be intercepted during transmission over the Internet. It is important for you to protect against unauthorized access to your merinews.com account, especially on a shared computer, by logging out when you are finished using our site.
Getting in Touch With Us
If you see something on merinews that you consider inappropriate or abusive, please let us know immediately. Click on feedback and fill the form. We will review the content to see if it meets our guidelines.