Thank you for visiting this site, which is owned and operated by The Thought & Expression Company LLC (“we” “our” or “us”). We want you to know how information about you is collected, used, and shared with others.  We also want you to know about the choices you have when you visit us at https://thoughtcatalog.com, https://collective.world/, https://creepycatalog.com, https://shopcatalog.com, or any other web site or mobile app that displays this privacy statement (our “Sites”).  As used in this privacy statement, the word “including” means including, without limitation.  If you do not agree to the collection, use, or sharing of your information in the manner described in this privacy statement, please do not access or use the Sites or communicate with our writers or us.

Our business is located in the United States.  Any information that you provide to us, including personal information, may be transferred to and processed in the United States.  If you reside outside of the United States, please be advised that the United States does not offer safeguards to protect personal information that are as stringent as some other jurisdictions in the world.  The European Union does not consider U.S. privacy safeguards to be adequate to protect personal information.  When we collect personal information from outside of the United States, we rely on lawful mechanisms to transfer to and process that information in the United States.  Lawful mechanisms include your consent, performance of a contract, and other legitimate interests.  In situations where we rely on your consent to process your personal information, you have the right to withdraw your consent.  By using our Sites, you consent to your information being collected, used, and transferred as disclosed herein.

  1. Information We Collect
    1. Personal Information. When you visit our Sites, send us or one of our writers an email, submit or comment on an article, or otherwise communicate with us or one of our writers, we may collect or have access to personal information that you voluntarily provide to us, one of our writers, or third parties acting on our behalf. We may also collect personal information from third parties including our business partners for marketing and other purposes. Personal information is information through which we can identify you such as your name, email address, postal mailing address, and telephone number.
    2. Social Media Information. Our Sites include social media features, such as the Facebook “Like” button, and widgets, such as the “Share This” button or interactive plug-ins that run on our Sites. These features may collect information about you including your Internet protocol address and the pages you visit on our Sites.  These features may also set cookies to enable the features to function properly.  Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy statement of the social media platform providing the features.  If you engage with our Sites through third-party social networking platforms, we may have access to certain personal information associated with your social media account such as your name, email address, photograph, birthday, location, and people you follow or like. We may also use analytics tools provided by social media platforms to understand how you interact with us, to measure the performance of our social media posts, and for other marketing and analytics purposes.  For information on controlling access to your personal information through social networking platforms, you should review their privacy statements and terms of use.
    3. Information Obtained Through Tracking Technologies. We may use (or authorize third parties to use) web beacons, cookies, pixel tags, scripts, e-tags and other technologies (“Tracking Technologies”) at our Sites to collect information about you, your online behavior, your computer, and your mobile device to optimize our Sites’ functionality, collect statistics, and deliver content tailored to your interests.  Such information may include the type of browser and operating system you are using, the domain name of your Internet service provider, your geographic location, the pages you visit, how long you visit each page, the unique number assigned to your server or Internet connection, etc. These are stored in log files. We may combine this automatically collected information with other information we collect about you. We do this to improve the services we offer you, to improve marketing and analytics or Site functionality. We (or authorized third parties) may also collect anonymized cookies and other data obtained through Tracking Technologies from third parties for ad-targeting purposes.
    4. Privacy Preferences. At this time, we do not recognize automated browser signals regarding tracking mechanisms, which may include “do not track” instructions. However, you can change some of your privacy preferences through your browser.  For example, you can delete browser cookies from your computer or set your browser to reject browser cookies. However, doing so may limit some functionalities of our Sites. Also, blocking or deleting browser cookies may not block or delete other types of cookies including flash cookies. We use Local Storage (LS) such as HTML5, to store content information and preferences. Third parties with whom we partner to provide certain features on our Sites or to display advertising based upon your web browsing activity also use HTML5 or Local Shared Objects (LSO’s) such as Flash Cookies to collect and store information. Various browsers may offer their own management tools for removing HTML5. To manage Flash cookies, please click here. For additional information about browser privacy preferences, please consult the “Help” section of your browser.
  2. Use of Information We Collect
    1. Our Purposes. We may use the information we collect for our own marketing and non-marketing purposes, and we may share the information we collect among our Sites and our subsidiaries (together, our “Subsidiaries”).  For example, we and our Subsidiaries may use your personal information to alert you to upcoming articles, features, or events.  If you do not want us to use your personal information for marketing purposes, you may opt-out in accordance with the “How to Opt-Out” section below.  Please note that even if you opt-out, we may still use and share your personal information with third parties for non-marketing purposes such as fulfilling your requests, responding to your inquiries, etc.  In such cases, the companies with whom we share your information are authorized to use your information only as necessary to provide these non-marketing services.
    2. Legal Compliance. We may disclose your information as required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena or similar legal process when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud, respond to a government request, etc.
    3. Analytics and Advertising. We may use and share information collected through Tracking Technologies with third parties in the United States and other jurisdictions for marketing and non-marketing purposes, including analytics and advertising.  For example, information collected through Tracking Technologies may be shared with our Subsidiaries and business partners for joint marketing purposes or for their own marketing purposes.  You may also opt-out of the use and sharing of some information collected through Tracking Technologies for advertising in accordance with the “How to Opt-Out” section below.  Please note that even if you opt-out, we may still use and share your information with third parties for non-marketing purposes such as fulfilling your requests, responding to your inquiries, etc.  In such cases, the companies with whom we share your information are authorized to use your information only as necessary to provide these non-marketing services.
    4. Merger of Personal and Other Information. We may merge personal information with information collected through Tracking Technologies and with information we may obtain from other sources and, as a result, such information may become personal information.
  3. Certain Business Transactions

We may share or transfer your personal information and information collected through Tracking Technologies and other sources if we enter into a business transaction such as a merger, acquisition, reorganization, bankruptcy, or sale of some or all of our assets, or in preparation for any of these events. Any party that acquires our assets as part of such a transaction may continue to use and share your information in accordance with the terms of this privacy statement.

  1. Service Providers and Payment Processing

We may use third parties to assist with some of the services we provide (e.g., Site maintenance, analytics, payment processing, marketing, etc.).  In such cases, these third parties may be provided with access to your information as reasonably necessary to perform such services on the condition that they not use or disclose your information for other purposes.  We use Stripe, Inc. (“Stripe”) to process payments made to us through the Sites.  We do not have access to payment card information collected by Stripe.  Such information is collected by Stripe under the terms of its privacy policy, which is located at www.stripe.com.

  1. Information Collected by Third Parties
    1. Hosted and Co-Branded Content. Some content on our Sites may be hosted, sponsored by or co-branded with third parties who may obtain personal information from you if you voluntarily submit such information or participate in sponsored or co-branded activities such as sweepstakes and promotions. When you provide your personal information to such third parties, their privacy statement will detail how you may exercise choice regarding your personal information use and further sharing. We are not responsible for the information collection or privacy practices of such third parties. Therefore, you should review their privacy practices carefully before participating or providing personal information to such third parties.
    2. Information Collected for Analytics and Advertisements. Third parties may serve advertisements and use Tracking Technologies to collect information about you and your activities at our Sites such as the links you click, the advertisements you see and click, the categories of search terms you enter, etc. These third parties may use the information collected at our Sites and other websites for a variety of purposes including analytics and providing advertisements about goods and services that may be of interest to you. This type of advertising customization is sometimes referred to as interest-based advertising.  We are affiliated with CMI Marketing, Inc., d/b/a CafeMedia (“CafeMedia”) for purposes of placing advertising on this Site, and CafeMedia collects and uses certain data for advertising purposes.  The use of data by Café Media is subject to Café Media’s privacy statement, not our privacy statement.  To learn more about CafeMedia’s data usage, please click here: www.cafemedia.com/publisher-advertising-privacy-policy.  For general information about interest-based advertising and the use of Tracking Technologies please visit http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/faqs.asp or if you are located in the European Union, please go to http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/.
  2. How to Opt-Out
    1. Personal Information. If you do not want personal information that we collect about you to be used for our own marketing purposes, you can opt-out of such use by emailing your request to us at privacy@thoughtcatalog.com with the words “OPT-OUT” in the subject line of the email.
    2. Advertising. For information about your choices concerning interest-based advertising, including how to opt-out of some uses of information collected for interest based advertising, please visit Café Media’s privacy statement at  www.cafemedia.com/publisher-advertising-privacy-policy.  We adhere to the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. You can also opt-out of some uses of information collected by members of the Digital Advertising Alliance by clicking the “Ad Choices” link which is on our Sites and in some advertising on our Sites. For further information about the Digital Advertising Alliance, please visit http://www.aboutads.info.
  3. Links to other Websites

Our Sites contain links to other websites. We are not responsible for the information collection or privacy practices of other websites. For example, if you click on an advertisement that links to another website, this privacy statement will not apply to information collected at that other website. We recommend that you review the privacy statements of other websites before you visit those websites or provide any personal information.

  1. Submissions and Comments 

You can submit articles for publication on Thought Catalog by visiting Collective World at https://collective.world and uploading your submission. All information you provide through the Collective World Site is subject to this privacy statement.  You can also post your own comments and other information at our Sites (“Comments”) through our comments platform, which is run by Facebook. Comments posted at our Sites are subject to our privacy statement and Facebook’s privacy statement. Because our Sites receive significant traffic and are accessible to anyone on the Internet, you should not submit articles or post Comments that are private or that you do not want to be used and viewed by others. You are solely responsible for any legal or other repercussions that occur as a result of articles you submit or Comments you post at our Sites. We assume no responsibility or liability which may arise from your articles or Comments posted on our Sites.

  1. Access to Personal Information 

You may access, update, and correct inaccuracies in your personal information which is in our custody and control by emailing us at privacy@thoughtcatalog.com. We may request certain personal information from you for the purposes of verifying your identity. We will endeavor to respond to your request as promptly as possible.

  1. Data Retention

We will retain your personal information for as long as necessary to provide any services you request (e.g., our newsletter, author profiles, etc.), and as necessary for the performance of legal agreements, to comply with legal obligations, to resolve disputes, and for other legitimate purposes.

  1. Security

We have implemented administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to help prevent unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of personal information in our custody or control. However, we cannot guarantee that these safeguards will prevent the unauthorized access, use or disclosure of your personal information.

  1. Persons Under 18

Our Sites are not intended for persons under 18 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from persons under 18. If you are the parent or guardian of a person under 18 and believe that he or she has provided personal information to us, please contact us at privacy@thoughtcatalog.com and we will endeavor to delete their information promptly.

  1. California Shine the Light Law

The California “Shine the Light” law requires certain businesses to respond to requests from California residents asking about the disclosure of personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes.  Please be advised that we do not disclose personal information such as your name, email address, postal mailing address, and telephone number to third parties for their marketing purposes.

  1. California Consumer Privacy Act (Applicable to CA Residents Only)

If you are a California resident, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) requires that we disclose certain additional information to you and provides you with additional privacy rights, which are described below.  You have the right not to be discriminated against for exercising these rights. You also have the right to designate an authorized agent to exercise your CCPA rights on your behalf.  If you have questions or need information on how to exercise your CCPA rights in an alternative, accessible format due to a disability, please send an email with your name and contact information at privacy@thoughtcatalog.com.

A. Categories of Personal Information Collected. Below are the categories of personal information that we have collected about California consumers during the preceding 12 months, including the categories of sources from which that information was collected, the business or commercial purpose for which it was collected, and the categories of third parties with whom the information was shared.  We do not knowingly collect or share the personal information of minors under the age of 16.

Categories of Information Collected Purposes of Use Sources of Personal Information Categories of Third Parties to Whom We Disclose the Information
Contact information (e.g., name, email address, postal mailing address, social media account handles, etc.)
  • Communicate with you
  • Validate your identity
  • Respond to your inquires
  • Fulfill your requests
  • You
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Your social media accounts
  • Service providers
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Governmental entities (e.g., in response to a subpoena or other legal process)
  • Third parties in connection with merger or transfer of assets
Customer service interaction information (e.g., questions or messages you send us through online forms, by email, via social media messaging, etc.)
  • Communicate with you
  • Respond to your inquires
  • Fulfill your requests
  • Improve our Site
  • Bug detection and error reporting
  • You
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Your social media accounts
  • Service providers
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Governmental entities (e.g., in response to a subpoena or other legal process)
  • Third parties in connection with merger or transfer of assets
User-generated content (such as comments and any other information you submit in public forums, reviews and feedback you provide about our Site)
  • Communicate with you
  • Provide customer service
  • Improve our Site
  • Bug detection and error reporting
  • Respond to your inquires
  • Fulfill your requests
  • You
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Service providers
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Other users who are able to view content you post
  • Governmental entities (e.g., in response to a subpoena or other legal process)
  • Third parties in connection with merger or transfer of assets
Social media information (If you link your account or access our Site through a third-party social connection or login, we may have access to any information you provide that social network depending on your privacy settings such as your name, gender, profile picture, birthdate, your “likes” and comments, and your list of friends. We will also collect information from you if you interact with our pages on social media networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
  • Communicate with you
  • Provide customer service
  • Improve our Site
  • Understand your interests
  • Research, analysis, and reports
  • Our marketing and advertising purposes
  • Bug detection and error reporting

 

  • You
  • Social media networks
  • Our subsidiaries

 

  • Service providers
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Other users who are able to view the content you post
  • Governmental entities (e.g., in response to a subpoena or other legal process)
  • Third parties in connection with merger or transfer of assets
Device information and identifiers (e.g., IP address; browser type and language; operating system; platform type; device type; and software and hardware attributes.
  • Provide customer service
  • Personalize your experience and customize our services
  • Improve our Site
  • Understand your interests
  • research, analysis, and reports
  • Our marketing and advertising purposes
  • Bug detection and error reporting

 

  • You (through your device)
  • Advertising providers and affiliates
  • Analytics providers
  • Cookies and tracking technologies
  • Service providers, including online advertisers, ad networks, and advertising partners that assist with our online advertising activities
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Governmental entities (e.g., in response to a subpoena or other legal process)
  • Third parties in connection with merger or transfer of assets
Internet network and device activity data (such as information about landing pages, browsing activity, content or ads viewed and clicked, dates and times of access, pages viewed, forms you complete or partially complete, search terms, uploads, referral and exit URLs, and other web usage activity and data logged by our web servers.
  • Provide customer service
  • Personalize your experience and customize our services
  • Improve our Site
  • Understand your interests
  • Research, analysis, and reports
  • Our marketing and advertising purposes
  • Bug detection and error reporting

 

  • You (through your device)
  • Advertising providers
  • Analytics providers
  • Cookies and tracking technologies
  • Our affiliates
  • Service providers, including online advertisers, ad networks, and advertising partners that assist with our online advertising activities
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Governmental entities (e.g., in response to a subpoena or other legal process)
  • Third parties in connection with merger or transfer of assets Entities for legal purposes
Geolocation information (e.g., city, state, and zip code associated with your IP address or derived through Wi-Fi triangulation, and precise geolocation information from GPS-based functionality on your mobile devices, with your permission in accordance with your mobile device settings.
  • Provide customer service
  • Personalize your experience and customize our services
  • Improve our Site
  • Understand your interests
  • Research, analysis, and reports
  • Our marketing and advertising purposes
  • Bug detection and error reporting
  • You (through your device)
  • Advertising providers
  • Analytics providers
  • Our affiliates
  • Service providers, including online advertisers, ad networks, and advertising partners that assist with our online advertising activities
  • Our subsidiaries
  • Governmental entities (e.g., in response to a subpoena or other legal process)
  • Third parties in connection with merger or transfer of assets

B.  Request to Know. You have the right to request, for the 12-month period preceding the date we receive your request: (1) the categories of personal information we have collected about you, (2) the categories of sources from which personal information was collected about you, (3) the business or commercial purpose for which your personal information was collected, and (4) the categories of third parties to whom we have sold or disclosed your personal information.  In addition, you have the right to know the specific pieces of personal information we have collected about you during the 12-month period preceding your request.  If you are a California resident, and wish to request this information, please email us privacy@thoughtcatalog.com and include the words “CCPA Right to Know Request” in the subject line of your email.  Alternatively, you may send your request by postal mail to The Thought & Expression Company LLP, Attn: Privacy Team, 190 N. 10th St., Suite 305, Brooklyn, NY 11211.  In your email or postal mail message, please tell us what information you want to receive and include your first and last name, your postal mailing address, and your email address.  This information will be used for identity verification, security and fraud prevention purposes, subject to applicable laws.  All requests are subject to verification of your identity.  Please note that we are required to fulfill these requests no more than twice within a 12-month period.  If we are unable to comply with your request, we will explain the reasons for declining your request.

C.  Request to Delete. You have the right to request that we delete your personal information, subject to certain exceptions including our need to comply with legal obligations, fulfill orders, complete transactions, etc. If you are a California resident, and wish to request deletion of your personal information, please email us privacy@thoughtcatalog.com and include the words “CCPA Request to Delete” in the subject line of your email.  Alternatively, you may send your request by postal mail to The Thought & Expression Company LLP, Attn: Privacy Team, 190 N. 10th St., Suite 305, Brooklyn, NY 11211.  In your email or postal mail message, please confirm that you wish to have us delete your personal information and include your first and last name, your postal mailing address, and your email address.   This information will be used for identity verification, security and fraud prevention purposes, subject to applicable laws.  All deletion requests are subject to verification of your identity.  If we verify your request, we will also instruct our service providers (if any) to delete your personal information from their records, subject to applicable legal requirements. If we are unable to comply with your request, we will explain the reasons for declining your request.

D.  Requests to Opt-Out of the Sale of Your Personal Information. You have the right to opt-out of having your personal information sold to third parties.  We do not sell personal information such as your name, email address, postal mailing address, and telephone number to third parties.  However, we and our third-party advertising partners may collect and share cookies and other information stored on your computer or mobile device to deliver advertising tailored to your interests.  The sharing of such information may be considered a “sale” under the CCPA.  To opt-out of the sharing of such information, which enables the delivery of interest-based advertising, please click the “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link at the bottom of our Site.  Please note that even if you opt-out of the sale of your personal information, we may still (1) share your personal information with service providers and other entities for business purposes consistent with the CCPA, and (2) share your personal information in connection with certain business transactions consistent with Section 3 above.

E.  Verification of Your Identity. In order to verify requests made pursuant to the CCPA, we may require at least two (2) pieces of identifying information that match information maintained by us. In some cases, we may require additional identifying information and a signed declaration attesting to your identity. If you do not respond to our emails or other communications, or fail to timely provide information we request, we may be unable to fulfill your request.  Requests to opt-out pursuant to Section 14.D. above, do not require verification of your identity.

F.  Authorized Agents. In situations where we receive a request from an authorized agent on your behalf, we may require written proof that the agent is, in fact, authorized to act on your behalf and we may take additional steps to verify your identity and the authorized agent’s identity.  In situations where a request is for an entire household, we may require written proof that each member is currently a member of the household, each household member’s identity is verified, and that such members of the household are jointly submitting the request. We may also take additional steps to verify each household member’s identity.

15. Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this privacy statement, you may email us at privacy@thoughtcatalog.com.  We will do our best to answer your questions and address any concerns in a timely manner.

16. Revisions to this Privacy Statement

We may revise this privacy statement from time-to-time in our sole discretion. We will provide notice to you by posting a notice to our Sites before we make any material changes to our privacy practices or to this privacy statement. Please visit our Sites and review our privacy statement periodically for changes. By continuing to access or use our Sites after changes become effective, you agree to be bound by the terms of the revised privacy statement.

Effective: August 6, 2020           

The Thought & Expression Company

190 N. 10th St., Suite 305

Brooklyn, NY 11211

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