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This site is owned and operated by AIM. Your privacy on the Internet is of the utmost importance to us. At AIM, we want to make your experience online satisfying and safe.
Because we gather certain types of information about our users, we feel you should fully understand the terms and conditions surrounding the capture and use of that information. This privacy statement discloses what information we gather and how we use it.
Definition of the Information AIM gathers and keeps track of.
AIM gathers two types of information about users:
Information that users provide through optional, voluntary submissions. These are voluntary submissions to receive our electronic newsletters, to participate in our message boards or forums, to email a friend, and from participation in polls and surveys: Information AIM gathers through aggregated tracking information derived mainly by tallying page views throughout our sites. This information allows us to better tailor our content to readers’ needs and to help our advertisers and sponsors better understand the demographics of our audience. AIM derives its revenue mainly from sponsorships and advertising, providing such aggregated demographic data is essential to keeping our service free to users. Under no circumstances does AIM divulge any information about an individual user to a third party.
AIM Gathers User Information In The Following Processes:
Optional Voluntary Information
We offer the following free services, which require some type of voluntary submission of personal information by users:
Electronic newsletters (Dispatches)
We will offer a free electronic newsletter to users. AIM gathers the email addresses of users who voluntarily subscribe. Users may remove themselves from this mailing list by following the link provided in every newsletter that points users to the subscription management page. Users can also subscribe to the newsletters at the time of registration.
“E-mail this to a friend” Service
Our site users can choose to electronically forward a link, page, or documents to someone else by clicking “e-mail this to a friend”. The user must provide their email address, as well as that of the recipient. This information is used only in the case of transmission errors and, of course, to let the recipient know who sent the email. The information is not used for any other purpose.
We may offer interactive polls to users so they can easily share their opinions with other users and see what our audience thinks about important issues. Opinions or other responses to polls are aggregated and are not identifiable to any particular user. AIM may use a system to “tag” users after they have voted, so they can vote only once on a particular question. This tag is not correlated with information about individual users.
AIM may occasionally conduct user surveys to better target our content to our audience. We sometimes share the aggregated demographic information in these surveys with our sponsors, advertisers and partners. We never share any of this information about specific individuals with any third party.
Consistent with the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), we will never knowingly request personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13 without requesting parental consent.
AIM tracks user traffic patterns throughout all of our sites. However, we do not correlate this information with data about individual users. AIM does break down overall usage statistics according to a user’s domain name, browser type, and MIME type by reading this information from the browser string (information contained in every user’s browser).
AIM sometimes tracks and catalogs the search terms that users enter in our Search function, but this tracking is never associated with individual users. We use tracking information to determine which areas of our sites users like and don’t like based on traffic to those areas. We do not track what individual users read, but rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us continue to build a better service for you.
USE OF INFORMATION
AIM uses any information voluntarily given by our users to enhance their experience in our network of sites, whether to provide interactive or personalized elements on the sites or to better prepare future content based on the interests of our users.
As stated above, we use information that users voluntarily provide in order to send out electronic newsletters and to enable users to participate in polls, surveys, message boards, and forums. We send out newsletters to subscribers on a regular schedule (depending on the newsletter), and occasionally send out special editions when we think subscribers might be particularly interested in something we are doing. AIM never shares newsletter mailing lists with any third parties, including advertisers, sponsors or partners.
When we use tracking information to determine which areas of our sites users like and don’t like based on traffic to those areas. We do not track what individual users read, but rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us continue to build a better service for you. We track search terms entered in Search function as one of many measures of what interests our users. But we don’t track which terms a particular user enters.
AIM creates aggregate reports on user demographics and traffic patterns for advertisers, sponsors and partners. This allows our advertisers to advertise more effectively, and allows our users to receive advertisements that are pertinent to their needs. Because we don’t track the usage patterns of individual users, an advertiser or sponsor will never know that a specific user clicked their ad. We will not disclose any information about any individual user except to comply with applicable law or valid legal process or to protect the personal safety of our users or the public.
SHARING OF THE INFORMATION
AIM uses the above-described information to tailor our content to suit your needs and help our advertisers better understand our audience’s demographics. This is essential to keeping our service free. We will not share information about individual users with any third party, except to comply with applicable law or valid legal process or to protect the personal safety of our users or the public.
AIM operates secure data networks protected by industry standard firewall and password protection systems. Our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary and only authorized individuals have access to the information provided by our customers.
We give users options wherever necessary and practical. Such choices include: Opting not to register to receive our electronic newsletters. Opting not to participate in certain interactive areas, which completely alleviates the need to gather any personally identifiable information from our users.