QwertyTown is a subscription based social networking service provided to schools and educational institutions and committed to providing a website that is both educational and safe for people of all ages. We take care to provide suitable content, and we are very careful and conscientious about collecting or using any personal information. We are also very vigilant about how we collect and store information.
COPPA defines personal information as “individually identifiable information,” including things like a first and last name, a street address, an email address, or a telephone number. COPPA places requirements on websites that collect such information from children. At QwertyTown, we never ask for personal information in order to register or to use any of our services from our users. People who register at QwertyTown are called “users.”
To subscribe to our services and be a “user,” we collect payment information and other personal information from the school district or educational institution only. We will never ask for a user’s or such user’s parents’ credit card information or other “individually identifiable information,” including social security numbers.
Content that is submitted for sharing but that contains either inappropriate content or what appears to be personal information may be deleted.
COPPA requires that sites do not condition children’s participation in any activity on the child’s disclosing of more personal information than is necessary. QwertyTown requires no disclosure of any personal information of a child for participation in any activity.
Users may provide additional personal information through chat rooms, blogs, personal pages, etc. This information may be viewed by other users if permitted by the Teacher Account. Care should be taken by users in making any personal information available as other users will have access to such information. QwertyTown does not retain this additional information for its use.
Parental consent may be required for students under the age of 13. Schools can choose to obtain verifiable parental consent before they give the student access to the QwertyTown service if they have not already done so. Schools should supply the parents with a parental consent form to sign, along with the privacy statement, which is available on the QwertyTown site. Once a parent signs the form and returns it to the school, the school may then assign a member ID and a password to that child. Schools and parents should stress to the child that the member ID and password is private and should not be given to anyone else.
The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces COPPA and other government regulations, maintains a website with useful and unbiased information called Kidz Privacy that we encourage you to visit. The FTC also manages another useful, government site called OnGuard Online which “provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.” While most of the information on that site relates to general online safety, it gives some tips for parents, in particular in regards to social networking sites.
Like most websites and web-services, information is important and valuable to us. We collect various information that we use in the aggregate. For example, we collect data to see what things on our site are popular and what are not popular. Data of this sort helps us to continuously improve the site.
As we have described above, we do not collect or store any personally identifiable information about our guests or users. We do collect and store personally identifiable information in the context of processing member credit card payments by parents, from teachers or schools who apply for teacher subscriptions. When visitors come to our site, we automatically collect some non-personally identifiable computer information, such as the type of computer operating system (e.g., Windows or Mac OS X), the visitor’s IP Address, the web browser being used (e.g., Firefox or Internet Explorer), and the default language setting. We also cause this non-personally identifiable information to be sent to a third party so that aggregate usage information may be provided to us.
We use the non-personally identifiable information that we collect to improve the content of our site and to improve each visitor’s experience. We also use this information, in the aggregate, to analyze site usage. We may occasionally provide some aggregate site-usage data to persons with whom we have a business relationship. We never share any information at the level of a single individual in connection with any of these activities.
We will disclose information we maintain when required to do so by law, such as in response to a court order or a subpoena. We also may disclose such information in response to a law enforcement agency or other public agency request or if we feel that such disclosure may help to prevent a crime.
QwertyTown does not rent, sell, share, or provide personal information to any third parties for their promotional purposes. QwertyTown may provide or sell aggregated (anonymous) data. An example would be data from polls or surveys.
We are very serious about security and we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and ensure appropriate use of the information we do collect.
If you are a parent, you have the right to review any information we have about your child or to ask us to delete any information about your child. To do so, please contact us with the QwertyTown user name (screen name / nickname) and password under which your child is registered, as well as your own contact information. We will contact you to further verify that you are the parent of the child before providing or deleting any information.