Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

We’re updating this Privacy Policy on January 1, 2021. Our new policy and current policy are both below.

This is our updated Privacy Policy, taking effect on January 1, 2021.

Your privacy is critically important to us. At Automattic, we have a few fundamental principles:

  • We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal information that we collect about you through the operation of our services.
  • We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it.
  • We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control what information on your website is shared publicly (or kept private), indexed by search engines, and permanently deleted.
  • We help protect you from overreaching government demands for your personal information.
  • We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information.

Below is our Privacy Policy, which incorporates and clarifies these principles.

Who We Are and What This Policy Covers

Howdy! We are the folks from bloggers, to take full advantage of the power and promise of the open web. Our mission is to democratize publishing so that anyone with a story can tell it, and anyone can turn their great idea into a livelihood. We believe in powering the open internet with code that is open source and are proud to say that the vast majority of our work is available under the General Public License (“GPL”). Unlike most other services, because our GPL code is public, you can actually download and take a look at that code to see how it works.

This Privacy Policy applies to information that we collect about you when you use:

  • Our websites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, woocommerce.com, crowdsignal.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, akismet.com, simplenote.com, simperium.com, leandomainsearch.com, cloudup.com, longreads.com, atavist.com, mailpoet.com, automatewoo.com, jetpackcrm.com, and happy.tools);
  • Our mobile applications (including the WordPress mobile app for Android and iOS);
  • Other users’ websites that use our Services, while you are logged in to your account with us.

This Privacy Policy also applies to information we collect when you apply for a job at Automattic or one of our subsidiaries.

Throughout this Privacy Policy we’ll refer to our websites, mobile applications, and other products and services collectively as “Services.” And if you’d like to learn more about which Automattic company is the controller of information about you, take a look at the section below on Controllers and Responsible Companies.

Please note that this Privacy Policy does not apply to any of our products or services, like Tumblr, that have a separate privacy policy.

Below we explain how we collect, use, and share information about you, along with the choices that you have with respect to that information.

Creative Commons Sharealike License

We’ve decided to make this Privacy Policy available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license. You can grab a copy of this Privacy Policy and other legal documents on GitHub. You’re more than welcome to copy it, adapt it, and repurpose it for your own use. Just make sure to revise the language so that your policy reflects your actual practices. If you do use it, we’d appreciate a credit and link to Automattic somewhere on your site.

Information We Collect

We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so — for example, to provide our Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better.

We collect this information from three sources: if and when you provide information to us, automatically through operating our Services, and from outside sources. Let’s go over the information that we collect.

Information You Provide to Us

It’s probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us directly. Here are some examples:

  • Basic account information: We ask for basic information from you in order to set up your account. For example, we require individuals who sign up for a WordPress.com account to provide an email address and password, along with a username or name — and that’s it. You may provide us with more information — like your address and other information you want to share — but we don’t require that information to create a WordPress.com account.
  • Public profile information: If you have an account with us, we collect the information that you provide for your public profile. For example, if you have a WordPress.com account, your username is part of that public profile, along with any other information you put into your public profile, like a photo or an “About Me” description. Your public profile information is just that — public — so please keep that in mind when deciding what information you would like to include.
  • Content information: You might provide us with information about you in draft and published content (a blog post or comment that includes biographic information about you, or any media or files you upload).
  • Communications with us (hi there!): You may also provide us with information when you respond to surveys, communicate with our Happiness Engineers about a support question, post a question in our public forums, or sign up for a newsletter like the one we send through Longreads. When you communicate with us via form, email, phone, WordPress.com comment, or otherwise, we store a copy of our communications (including any call recordings as permitted by applicable law).

Information We Collect Automatically

We also collect some information automatically:

Information from cookies & other technologies: A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Pixel tags (also called web beacons) are small blocks of code placed on websites and emails. Automattic uses cookies and other technologies like pixel tags to help us identify and track visitors, usage, and access preferences for our Services, as well as track and understand email campaign effectiveness and to deliver targeted ads. For more information about our use of cookies and other technologies for tracking, including how you can control the use of cookies, please see our Cookie Policy.

How and Why We Use Information

Purposes for Using Information

We use information about you for the purposes listed below:

To ensure quality, maintain safety, and improve our Services. For example, by providing automatic upgrades and new versions of our Services. Or, for example, by monitoring and analyzing how users interact with our Services so we can create new content that we think our users will enjoy and that will help them create and manage websites more efficiently or make our Services easier to use.

To place and manage ads in our advertising program. For example, to place ads on our users’ sites and some of our own sites as part of our advertising program, and understand ad performance.

To protect our Services, our users, and the public. For example, by detecting security incidents; detecting and protecting against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity; fighting spam; complying with our legal obligations; and protecting the rights and property of Automattic and others, which may result in us, for example, declining a transaction or terminating Services.

To fix problems with our Services. For example, by monitoring, debugging, repairing, and preventing issues.

To customize the user experience. For example, to personalize your experience by serving you relevant notifications and advertisements for our Services, recommending content through our Reader post suggestions, and providing new essays and stories through Longreads for your reading pleasure.

To communicate with you. For example, by emailing you to ask for your feedback, share tips for getting the most out of our services.

Legal Bases for Collecting and Using Information

A note here for those in the European Union about our legal grounds for processing information about you under EU data protection laws, which is that our use of your information is based on the grounds that:

(1) The use is necessary in order to fulfill our commitments to you under the applicable terms of service or other agreements with you or is necessary to administer your account — for example, in order to enable access to our website on your device or charge you for a paid plan; or

(2) The use is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; or

(3) The use is necessary in order to protect your vital interests or those of another person; or

(4) We have a legitimate interest in using your information — for example, to provide and update our Services; to improve our Services so that we can offer you an even better user experience; to safeguard our Services; to communicate with you; to measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising; and to understand our user retention and attrition; to monitor and prevent any problems with our Services; and to personalize your experience; or

(5) You have given us your consent — for example before we place certain cookies on your device and access and analyze them later on, as described in our Cookie Policy.

Sharing Information

How We Share Information

We share information about you in limited circumstances, and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy. These are spelled out below, as well as in the section called Ads and Analytics Services Provided by Others:

  • Legal and regulatory requirements: We may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how we respond to requests for information about WordPress.com users, please see our Legal Guidelines. Additionally, if you have a domain registered with WordPress.com, we may share your information to comply with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) regulations, rules, or policies. For example, your information relating to your domain registration may be available in the WHOIS database, or we may be required to share your information with ICANN-approved Dispute Resolution Service Providers. Please see our Domain Registrations and Privacy support document for more details.
  • To protect rights, property, and others: We may disclose information about you when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Automattic, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if we have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, we may disclose information related to the emergency without delay.
  • With your consent: We may share and disclose information with your consent or at your direction. For example, we may share your information with third parties when you authorize us to do so, like when you connected your site to a social media service through our Publicize feature.

We have a long-standing policy that we do not sell our users’ data. We aren’t a data broker, we don’t sell your personal information to data brokers, and we don’t sell your information to other companies that want to spam you with marketing emails.

We show ads on some of our users’ sites as well as some of our own, and the revenue they generate lets us offer free access to some of our Services so that money doesn’t become an obstacle to having a voice.

Under a new California law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), some personalized advertising you see online and on our services might be considered a “sale” even though we don’t share information that identifies you personally, like your name or email address, as part of our advertising program.

You have choices about these ads, learn more about them and our ads program.

Information Shared Publicly

Information that you choose to make public is — you guessed it — disclosed publicly.

That means information like your public profile, posts, other content that you make public on my website, and your “Likes” and comments on other websites are all available to others — and we hope they get a lot of views!

How Long We Keep Information

We generally discard information about you when it’s no longer needed for the purposes for which we collect and use it — described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information — and we’re not legally required to keep it.

Security

While no online service is 100% secure, we work very hard to protect information about you against unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so. We monitor our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.

Choices

You have several choices available when it comes to information about you:

Limit access to information on your mobile device: Your mobile device operating system should provide you with the option to discontinue our ability to collect stored information or location information via our mobile apps.

  • Opt out of marketing communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from us. Just follow the instructions in those communications or let us know. If you opt out of promotional communications, we may still send you other communications, like those about your account and legal notices.
  • Set your browser to reject cookies: At this time, Automattic does not respond to “do not track” signals across all of our Services. However, you can usually choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies before using Automattic’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of Automattic’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
  • Opt out of our internal analytics program: You can do this through your user settings. By opting out, you will stop sharing information with our analytics tool about events or actions that happen after the opt-out, while you’re logged in to your WordPress.com account. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.

Your Rights

If you are located in certain parts of the world, including California and countries that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (aka the “GDPR”), you may have certain rights regarding your personal information, like the right to request access to or deletion of your data.

European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are located in a country that falls under the scope of the GDPR, data protection laws give you certain rights with respect to your personal data, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the rights to:

  • Request access to your personal data;
  • Request correction or deletion of your personal data;
  • Object to our use and processing of your personal data;
  • Request that we limit our use and processing of your personal data; and
  • Request portability of your personal data.

You also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.

Terms of Service

We’re updating our Terms of Service on January 1, 2021. Our new Terms of Service and current Terms of Service are both below.

This is our updated Terms of Service, taking effect on January 1, 2021.

These Terms of Service (“Terms”) describe our commitments to you, and your rights and responsibilities when using our services. Please read them carefully and reach out to us if you have any questions. These Terms include a mandatory arbitration provision in Section 16. If you don’t agree to these Terms, don’t use our services.

We’ve made these Terms available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license, which means that you’re more than welcome to copy them, adapt them, and repurpose them for your own use. Just make sure to revise them so that your Terms of Service reflect your actual practices. Also, if you do use these Terms, we’d appreciate a credit and link to Automattic somewhere on your website. You can grab a copy of these Terms and other legal documents on GitHub.

These Terms govern your access to use the services we provide through our website.

These Terms also govern visitors’ access to and use of any websites that use our Services, like the websites that we use. Please note though that the operators of those websites may also have their own separate terms of use.

Please read these Terms carefully before accessing or using our Services. By accessing or using any part of our Services, you agree to be bound by all the Terms and all other operating rules, policies, and procedures that we may publish via the Services from time to time (collectively, the “Agreement”). You also agree that we may automatically change, update, or add on to our Services, and this Agreement will apply to any changes.

Your Account

When using our Services, you agree to provide us with complete and accurate information and to keep the information current so that we can communicate with you about our services. We may need to send you emails about notable updates (like changes to our Terms of Service or Privacy Policy), or to let you know about legal inquiries or complaints we receive about the ways you use our Services so you can make informed choices in response.

You’re solely responsible and liable for all your activity and you’re also fully responsible for maintaining the security of your activity. We’re not liable for any acts or omissions by you, including any damages of any kind incurred as a result of your acts or omissions. If you get fired because of your comment on our blog post by your boss, that’s on you.

Don’t share or misuse your access credentials. And notify us immediately of any unauthorized uses of our website, or of any other breach of security. 

Our Services are not directed to children.

We love hearing from you and are always looking to improve our Services. When you share comments, ideas, or feedback with us, you agree that we’re free to use them without any restriction or compensation to you.

Our mission is to make the web a better place.

You will not be used to send spam or bulk unsolicited messages.

You will not interfere with, disrupt, or attack any service or network.

By uploading or sharing Content, you grant us a worldwide, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, adapt, publicly display, and publish the Content solely for the purpose of providing and improving our products and Services and promoting your website.