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User Information Privacy Policy

This user information privacy policy describes how the Web sites maintained by — including, The Boston Globe online,, and all sub-sections — collect and utilize users' personally identifiable information. It is our policy that a user controls:

  • What personal identifiable information is collected
  • What sites can do with that information. will not disclose a user's personally identifiable information to any third party without the user's express permission.

Information Not Collected:

A user can access our Web sites and utilize many of our services without providing any information at all.  Nor do we follow a user's browsing path outside of our Web sites.

We do develop summary - not individual - reports for our advertisers. The people that make it possible for visitors to use for free - our advertisers - need this information to determine how effective their advertising investments are. We never tell our advertisers the identity of a user who saw or clicked on their advertisements unless the user has expressly given permission to do so.

In accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), does not collect or store any personal information, even in aggregate, about children under the age of 13.

Information Collects:

Optional sign ups:
If users wish to utilize certain services located on any of our sites, they must sign up. Services that require some form of sign up currently include:

  • Purchase of articles from the Boston Globe archives
  • Purchase of recent home sale reports
  • Participation in contests
  • Online placement and management of classified advertisements on BostonWorks or on
  • Use of Boston Globe subscriber services
  • Placing an online personal ad
  • Online purchase of goods from The Globe Store
  • Submitting a resume on
  • Engaging in other e-commerce transactions
  • E-mail newsletters (e-mail address only)
  • E-mail special offers
The information collected when a user signs up for a service can include an e-mail address (which also functions as an account ID in some instances), name, a credit card number for e-commerce transactions and, in the case of hard goods purchases, a billing/shipping address. This transaction information is encrypted and retained in a database, independently of other Web site information. When signing up for a service, a user may also "opt out" of various e-mail notifications or offers (see Opt Out Procedures below).

Polling: offers interactive polls so users can easily share their opinions with others and see what other users think about important issues. uses a cookie (see more on cookies below) to "tag" users after they have voted, so they can vote only once on a particular question. No personal identifiable information is required to do this "tagging," and the cookie that is set relates only to that specific poll.

Chat Rooms:
Users have access to chat rooms and other public forums on While no personal information need be disclosed to gain such access, users should understand that should they choose to disclose personal information in these areas, it will become public information.

"Pass it on" service:
A user can electronically forward a news story to someone else by clicking the link at the top and/or bottom of a story. The user must provide a valid e-mail address for both the sender and the recipient in order to ensure that the service functions properly and to inform the recipient who sent the story. There is also an option to include a name which is only used for the e-mail salutation. None of this information is used for any other purpose.

Occasionally conducts user surveys to better understand our user community. We sometimes share the aggregated demographic information in these surveys with our advertisers and partners. When we conduct surveys, we may ask for personally identifiable information such as name and specific address.

Contests and sweepstakes: offers contests and sweepstakes in which we request certain personal information. At a minimum, the required information includes name and e-mail address; in some cases, the user must answer mandatory survey questions about a range of other personal data. The information gathered in the entry form may be used to verify the entrant's identity and to contact winners and/or prize recipients. will divulge this information to:

  • a contest sponsor, if a user expressly asks to receive additional information from the contest sponsor.
  • the contest administrator, if not, and if the user expressly consents.
Because the rules and terms of each contest can vary, all information about each contest is clearly posted during the event.

Usage tracking: does track usage patterns on our sites and breaks 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). However, we do not match this information with users' personally identifiable information.

A cookie is a small data file that a Web site transfers to a user's hard drive when a user visits the Web site. A cookie file can contain information such as a user ID that the site uses to track the pages visited. The only personal information a cookie can contain is that which a user supplies. A cookie can't read data off a hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. does not use cookies to store passwords or any other personal information about a user.

One common use of a cookie on can be seen in our online polls. We set a cookie after a user votes once in a particular poll. This cookie recognizes that a user has already voted once and prevents them from being able to vote again in the same poll.

We also use an advertising server developed by a third party, 24/7 Real Media, to display ads on our site. Some of these ads may contain cookies that are set by third parties (i.e. advertising agencies or advertising clients). We do not have access to these cookies or any information that they may contain; please contact the advertiser for more information on these cookies.

The user may, however, elect to provide information that he wants to remember. Users who are comfortable providing such information about themselves can access enhanced services that we cannot offer to anonymous users. (See Optional Registration above for a list of such services.)

Opt Out Procedures For E-mail:

If a user chooses to sign up for a service, the user can choose not to receive communications from:

  •— services such as e-mail newsletters announcing contests, new features and/or added value services
  • Third parties who offer a product or service that we think would be of value to the user.
Correcting And Updating: offers users the ability to change certain personal identifiable information (e-mail address, credit card information and mailing address) collected during the sign up process. Users who wish to change this information, or who have any questions about how our services work can contact us at
Please note, though, that our sites do not offer users the means to delete personal identifiable information associated with past use of the Web sites' services.

How To Contact Us:

For any questions or comments regarding our information or security practices, you may contact us:

  • By E-mail:
  • By Phone: 617-929-7900 (between 9:00am and 5:30pm EST.)
  • By Fax: 617-929-8690, Attention Operations Manager
  • By Mail:, 320 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210-1205, Attention Operations Manager

See's Help page for additional contact information.

Last modified May 27, 2003

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