Privacy policy for Universal Hub, Boston Online and the Wicked Good Conference

At Universal Hub and Boston Online, we value your privacy. What follows is a description of how we collect information about you and what we do (or don't do) with it:

Your name and e-mail address

There are currently two ways that we might find out who you are and how to contact you:

  1. You sign up for an account on Universal Hub
  2. You sign up for an account in the Wicked Good Conference

The Wicked Good Conference is an online forum for discussing Boston. You do not need to register to read messages. However, if you wish to start a new discussion or reply to an existing post - or if you wish to have the system keep track of messages for you - you will need to create a free account. To do so, you'll be asked for a user name and an e-mail address. Optionally, you can also add additional information that will be displayed to other forum users who click on your user name in the forum user directory. If you want, you can make your e-mail address public so that others can e-mail you. However, if you are concerned about spammers "harvesting" your e-mail address from the conference, you do not have to include your address (the tradeoff being that other forum users then have no way to contact you in private). Once you create an account, you can have the system send you e-mail notifications when people reply to your posts or when people post new messages in specific forums.

Universal Hub has a similar, but separate, user account system. However, Universal Hub never makes your address public - although you can let other users contact you, it is done through a "proxy" system on our site - another user fills out a form, which our server then mails to you without revealing your address to the other person.

In both cases, we do not sell or give out our user names and addresses to anybody.

Cookies

Boston Online, Universal Hub and the Wicked Good Conference currently use cookies in a couple of different ways:

If you post a message in the Wicked Good Conference or on Universal Hub, or sign up for notification of replies in specific discussions, the software will attempt to put a cookie on your hard drive. This cookie will identify you to the conference the next time you link to it, so that it can tell you which messages are new (i.e., posted since the last time you logged in) and to display them in your preferred form. We do not do anything else with this information.

Boston Online, Universal Hub and the Wicked Good Conference have banner advertising. Some of the advertisers may attempt to write a cookie to your hard drive when you visit their sites.

Similarly, Universal Hub, Boston Online and the Wicked Good Conference employ tracking software from Google Analytics (Universal Hub also has tracking software from Quantcast). These create aggregate reports on the numbers and types of site visitors, but do not track individual users.

If you do not wish to receive a cookie, you can disable them via your browser (each browser has a different way to do this) or with add-on security software. Caveat: Without cookies enabled, you will not be able to have the sites remember your preferences or new-message settings from session to session, i.e., you will have to log in each time.

We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our Web site. These companies may use aggregated information (not including your name, address, email address or telephone number) about your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp.

Other information

In addition to the above, our servers collect certain standard "log" information on each visit - the time of the visit, pages seen, type of Web browser, which site, if any, you came to our sites from and your IP address. We do not attempt to create individual user profiles from this information, but do use the data in the aggregate to help determine our audience's interests, popular pages and the like.

If you have any questions about our privacy and cookie polices, please contact Adam Gaffin at [email protected].

Last modified: 2/17/12.

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