Privacy statement

The Office Watch privacy statement – summary and full text.

Here’s the fast track summary of our privacy statement::



  • When subscribing to any of our email newsletters, we only ask for your email address.
  • That information is only used to send you our famous free email newsletters.
  • We don’t rent, sell or distribute subscriber information to anybody.  We never share your information except to carry out the services you request.  Period.
  • You can unsubscribe from the email newsletters at any time you like. You have complete control over your subscriptions.
  • The instructions to remove yourself from an ezine are given at the bottom of every issue.  Follow those instructions and our automated system will handle the rest.
  • Our online store keeps limited personal and order details but, as with all other information about you, it is kept secure and confidential at all times. We don’t store credit card information at all.

None of this is new or a change in our policies.  Ever since we started Office Watch in 1996 we’ve always kept our readers’ personal information confidential.  This privacy policy just formalizes what we’ve always done.



If you feel that this company is not abiding by its posted privacy policy, you should first contact our Manager, by sending email to manager@office-watch.com with full details of your concerns.


Information Collection and Use

Office Watch is the sole owner of the information collected on the Office Watch web sites.  We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement.  Office Watch collects information from our users at several different points on our websites and also receives requests for subscription to our free email newsletters that are collected by third-parties on our behalf.  As a long-standing policy we only ask you for information that is necessary for us to provide services to you.

Office Watch has three parts of its operations that need some personal information from you as follows:


Email Newsletters

Our famous free email newsletters are at the core of what we do, for most people it is our only point of contact with them.  Therefore we restrict the information we request from you to a bare minimum.

If a user wishes to subscribe to our newsletters, we only ask for your email address.  We may also store your name if you subscribe via email and your name is included in your email message header.  

Your email address is only used by us to send the email newsletters you have requested.

Your email address is not otherwise retrievable by us in the normal course of business.

We send all new subscribers a welcoming email to verify their email address.   That message prominently includes information on how to stop receiving that email newsletter.


Correction/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (ie email address), or if a user no longer desires our service, then the user has full control over the information we store.

We provide several ways to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data.  This can be done at the Subscriber Services web page for each email newsletter on the office-watch.com web site. 

Removing or unsubscribing from an email newsletter can be done via the office-watch.com web site or via email.  Current instructions for this are provided at the bottom of each email newsletter that we send.

It is vital that any request for unsubscribing is done at exactly the same email address as originally subscribed — the exact address stored on our list system is displayed in the ‘Administrivia’ section at the bottom of each of our email newsletters sent to you.

Since the subscription system is fully automated and secure you must use one of the several methods outlined to unsubscribe.  Sending requests to other email addresses related to Office Watch (including replying to an email newsletter) will not be received and acted upon.  

A confirmation email of your unsubscription from an email newsletter will be sent to your email address.  If you do not receive that confirmation then the request to unsubscribe has been unsuccessful, please check carefully the email address used.


Choice/Opt-out

Office Watch does not use personal information for purposes not directly related to our site or sending of our email newsletters.

Users who no longer wish to receive one or more of our newsletters may opt-out of receiving these communications by using the web site or email methods shown at the bottom of each issue of our email newsletters.  An email acknowledgement of the removal the list of subscribers will be sent to the email address.

The mechanism for removing or unsubscribing from an email newsletter is fully automated.  You must follow the instructions given at the bottom of the most current issue you have received in order to be unsubscribed.  Taking other actions (such as replying to an ezine sent to you or sending email requests to other addresses) will not be read by anyone and will not unsubscribe you.


Contests / Giveaways

From time-to-time we offer prizes to our readers.  Some contests need your participation to enter via email (eg sending in your favorite tips) while others are random drawings from the list of current ezine subscribers and therefore requires no separate registration or entry.

Participation in these contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose information.  If you are chosen as a winner then our Manager will email you to request contact information (such as name, address and phone number) so we can send your prize to you.  Contact information will be used to notify the winners and distribute prizes only.

Contest winners will need to supply us with their name and shipping address upon a specific request from an authorized staff member of Office Watch (usually the Manager or Editor-in-Chief).  This address information is only used for the purpose of delivering your prize and is only held temporarily in private storage at our office.  You can review or correct name / address that you can given for this purpose by sending email to manager@office-watch.com 

The public announcement of contest winners will only show an abbreviated name and broad location (ie city or state / country).  

All Office Watch subscribers are eligible to participate in contests or win randomly drawn prizes regardless of where they live in the world.  Normally the majority of winners come from North America because that’s where the majority of the subscribers reside.  Employees, writers and any other people connected with the operation of Office Watch, their family and relatives are ineligible to enter or win any prizes.


Surveys

From time-to-time our site may request information from users via surveys.

Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose information.  Information requested may include contact information (such as name and address), and demographic information (such as postal/zip code, age level).  Contact information will be used to notify any winners and award prizes only.  Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of this site and email newsletters.

Contest winners will need to supply us with their name and shipping address upon a specific request from an authorized staff member of Office Watch (usually the Manager or Editor-in-Chief).  This address information is only used for the purpose of delivering your prize and is only held temporarily in private storage at our office.  You can review or correct the status of any name / address that you can given for this purpose by sending email to manager@office-watch.com 

The public announcement of any survey winners will only show an abbreviated name and broad location (ie city or state / country).


Tell-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address.  Office Watch will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting them to visit the site and/or subscribe to one of our free email newsletters. .  Office Watch stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email and then discards the information.  The information is not used, sold or shared.



Registration

Registration is not required to use any part of the Office Watch web sites.

If you wish to receive one or more of our free email newsletters you are required to supply to your email address only.  


Orders

Office Watch sells products via our shop.office-watch.com web site.  The name, email address and other details related to ordering a product are kept by us.  These details are visible to a customer after they login to the online store and can be changed as necessary online.

We never keep credit card and other payment information, even for a short time.  That information is entered onto the payment gateway web site – Paypal, Google Wallet etc  – directly and we never see it. 


Cookies

A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive containing information about the user. 

The Office Watch web sites and email newsletters do NOT use cookies. 

The main web site does have a system level ‘session’ cookie on the web server over which we have no control.

Our online store shop.office-watch.com does save a cookie in some limited circumstances to track the source of visits to the site for the purpose of tracking affiliate entitlements.  The cookie only stores the date of the first visit and the affiliate’s internal ID code. NO personal details of the customer are stored in the cookie.  The cookie is set to automatically expire after a period of time.

Some of our advertisers may use cookies on our site and email newsletters.  However, we have no access to or control over these cookies.


Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.  IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


Sharing

We may share aggregated demographic information with our partners and advertisers. This is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person.

We use an outside company to dispatch our email newsletters. This company does not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

If we merge our operations or assign a newsletter and its subscriber data to another publisher, we will let you know before the merger or assignment takes place so you have an opportunity to unsubscribe beforehand. Any merger or assignment would be with or to an entity that has a privacy policy with provisions to allow you to unsubscribe at any time. This means you will have the option to unsubscribe at any time before or after the merger or assignment.


Links

Our web sites and our email newsletters contain links to other sites. Please be aware that Office Watch is not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites.  We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information.

This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site and email newsletters.


Security

Our websites take every precaution to protect our users’ information.  If users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and off-line.

All of our users’ information is held by restricted access in our offices.  Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job are granted access to personally identifiable information.  For the vast majority of customers we hold little, if any, information about them, apart from the subscriber’s email address and possibly their name  


Site and Service Updates

We may in the future send the user site and service announcement updates. Members are not able to un-subscribe from service announcements, which contain important information about the service. We communicate with the user to provide requested services and in regards to issues relating to their account via email or the web site only.


Collection by outside parties

To date we have not permitted our services to be used for collection of information by outside parties and it is not anticipated that we will do so.  Users of our site would always be notified if their information was being collected by any outside parties.  We do this so our users can make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with services that require an outside party, or not.


Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on our privacy related web pages so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under circumstances, if any, we disclose it.  If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email.  Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

This policy was amended in March 2005 to reflect the creation of our online store shop.office-watch.com and the limited use of cookies on that site.  Our underlying policy of only asking for the information we need and keeping that information confidential remains unchanged.


Effective Date

While this policy formalizes the practices of Office Watch since it’s inception in 1996, for the purposes of any dispute resolution this privacy policy is effective on 5th February 2001.