GATHERING AND USE OF INFORMATIONVentura Brands collects personally identifiable information from visitors to our sites solely on a voluntary basis. Such personally identifiable information may include your name, postal address, email address, company name and/or telephone numbers, etc., (collectively referred to herein as "Personal Information"). We will never sell, transfer or disclose any Personal Information we gather at our Web sites to any third parties without your prior consent, except in cases when we believe in good faith that we have a legal obligation to disclose such Personal Information. We collect Personal Information primarily for the following reasons: 1) to e-mail consumers with updates and news, 2) to notify winners of contests, games and sweepstakes, and to distribute prizes, 3) to send out brochures, etc., via regular mail to subscribers, 4) to distribute items that are part of "giveaways" that you have registered for, 5) for use in our online and off-line marketing and advertising campaigns. There may be times when we share aggregate information about our users (for example, the percent of male and female visitors to our sites) with advertisers, business partners, sponsors, and other third parties in any effort to customize or enhance the content and advertising on our sites for our users.
We recognize there are unique issues raised about the protection of our children's privacy over the Internet. All children-directed Venture Brands sites are designed to comply with the requirements of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) guidelines for Web sites gathering identifiable information from children (under age 13). Consistent with these requirements and guidelines, and provided that we have been given accurate information by the child when asked, we do NOT:
- collect personally identifiable off-line contact information without prior parental consent;
- distribute to third parties any personally identifiable information without prior parental consent;
- entice children by the prospect of a special game, prize or other activity, to divulge more information than is needed to participate in the activity;
- use or disclose online contact information without prior parental consent or parental notification, which will include an opportunity for the parent to prevent use of the information and participation in the activity. Without prior parental consent, online information will only be used to respond directly to the child's request and will not be used for other purposes without prior parental consent. We collect online contact information from children only in connection with online contests and sweepstakes; our policy with respect to using this information is provided below in the "Contests/Sweepstakes" section; or
- enable children to publicly post or otherwise distribute personally identifiable contact information without prior parental consent.
Parents can always ask to review any Personal Information about their child that may have been collected at one of our sites, have us delete any such Personal Information, and/or instruct us not to collect or use such Personal Information about their child in the future. To do so, simply contact us following the procedure outlined below in the "How To Contact Us" section.
As the new technology of the Internet evolves, and the COPPA requirements and CARU guidelines evolve as well, Ventura Brands intends to comply with these requirements and guidelines in a manner and in as timely a fashion as is technologically feasible in order to protect our children and their privacy.
CONTESTS/SWEEPSTAKESWe periodically run contests and sweepstakes on our sites for which we ask users/participants to provide contact information (such as their e-mail address). This information is used to contact the participant only when necessary in accordance with the rules of the contest or sweepstakes. If a participant has indicated upon entering a contest or sweepstakes that he/she is under 13 years of age, the participant is instructed to enter the e-mail address of his/her parent or guardian. Further, for any game or contest where the screen names of the high scorers are posted, a user under 13 can only select a generic screen name from a list that has been developed in advance. This prevents the disclosure of any personally identifiable information.
When a participant under the age of 18 is selected as a prize-winner in a contest or sweepstakes, an e-mail is sent to the parent or guardian. This e-mail contains a form that requests the participant's real name and address and a parental permission form. For the participant to receive the prize, the parent or guardian must fill out and sign the form and then mail or fax it to the address or number indicated on the form.
COOKIES/IP ADDRESSESLike many companies, Venture Brands may use "cookie" technology to track customer visits through our sites. Cookies are pieces of information that a Web site transfers to an individual's hard drive for record-keeping purposes. They enhance the online experience by saving your preferences while you are visiting a particular site. The cookies Venture Brands uses do not contain any personally identifying information and cannot profile your system or collect information from your hard drive. And although you may receive cookies from many different sites, each cookie can only be read by the Web server that originally issued it. You are not even identified by name or e-mail address, just by a unique string of numbers that we assign the first time you come to our site.
We use your IP address in two ways: to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our Web sites, and also to gather broad demographic information.