Personally Identifiable Information We Collect
There are many features on this Web site for which no registration is required. However, if you are interested in obtaining information, products or services from National Geographic, or in participating in certain activities on this Web site (such as making an online purchase, subscribing to one of our magazines, becoming a member of National Geographic, making an online donation to National Geographic, or participating in sweepstakes, contests, surveys, or certain special initiatives), you may need to provide us with information about yourself. For example, if you order a product from us, we ask for your name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number and your credit card number. If you are ordering a product as a gift for another person, we will ask you for that person's name, postal address and phone number in order to enable us to deliver the gift to the recipient. If you participate in an activity such as a survey or sweepstakes, we may also ask you to provide other types of information such as gender and personal interests, which we may associate with personally identifiable information. In addition, we may combine personally identifiable information that you have provided to us with other information that is publicly available or that we receive from other reputable sources.
Other Information Collected Through Technology
In addition to information you choose to provide to us, we also collect non-personally identifiable information through technology to make our site more interesting and useful to you. For instance, when you come to our site, we collect your Internet Protocol ("IP") address. An IP address is often associated with the portal through which you enter the Internet, like your ISP (Internet service provider). Standing alone, your IP address is not personally identifiable. At times, we also use IP addresses to collect information regarding the frequency with which our visitors visit various parts of our sites. We may combine this information with personally identifiable information that you have provided to us and/or with other information that is publicly available or that we receive from other reputable sources in order to make our Web site and communications more targeted to your interests.
Finally, our Web site uses a variety of technical methods for tracking purposes, including clear gifs (also known as Web beacons). Clear gifs are small pieces of data that are embedded in images on the pages of Web sites. We use these technical methods to tell us what parts of our Web site you have visited or to measure the effectiveness of any searches you may do on our site. These technical methods may involve the transmission of information directly to us or to a service provider authorized by us to collect information on our behalf. We also use these technical methods in HTML e-mails that we send our visitors who have agreed to receive e-mail from us, to determine whether our visitors have opened those e-mails and/or clicked on links in those e-mails. The information from use of these technical methods may be combined with information that is personally identifiable so that we can make our Web site, and any e-mails you have agreed to receive, more interesting to you.
National Geographic may use your personally identifiable information to deliver the products and services that you request, enhance your experience on our site, provide you with informational and/or promotional materials that you might find interesting, and for internal business analysis and other business purposes consistent with this policy. These uses may generally be categorized as relationship maintenance uses and promotional uses. We describe these uses in more detail below.
Relationship Maintenance Uses
National Geographic uses your personally identifiable information to maintain and manage your account, deliver services that you have requested, and generally enhance your experience on our Web site. Collectively, we refer to these types of uses as "Relationship Maintenance Uses," and they include all of the ways in which we use your personally identifiable information to maintain and manage our relationship with you that do not involve sending promotional materials. Examples of Relationship Maintenance Uses include, but are not limited to:
- Processing and tracking your membership and magazine subscriptions
- Processing and tracking your product orders
- Processing and tracking your online donations to National Geographic
- Providing the services you request
- Contacting you about the status of an order
- Sending you magazine renewal notifications
- Sending you other administrative communications
- Sending you surveys
- Making changes to Web-based features
National Geographic may also use your personally identifiable information to provide you with promotional information about activities, services and products offered by us or selected third parties, including promotional material that you have requested. We strive to select trustworthy, reputable companies who offer high quality products or services of interest to you. Examples of promotional uses include, but are not limited to:
- Providing you with information about educational opportunities
- Providing you with promotional materials about National Geographic products and services
- Providing you with e-mail newsletters
National Geographic may provide you with promotional materials by postal mail, e-mail, telephone or other means. You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from us by mail, e-mail and/or telephone and in the case of e-mail, you can always opt out of receiving subsequent promotional e-mails by clicking on the unsubscribe link that we provide in every such promotional e-mail message. Please keep in mind, however, that when you purchase or request products or services from National Geographic or our licensees, promotional materials may accompany delivery of that product or service. Any opt-outs that you may make will therefore not apply to these materials because they accompany products or services that you have requested.
Information Sharing and Disclosure:
We take very seriously our responsibility to maintain your privacy with respect to your personally identifiable information. We will therefore share that information only with the following entities, and only in the manner described below.
National Geographic Licensees
We may share your personally identifiable information with third parties that offer products and/or services under or in association with brand names of National Geographic. These third parties are called "licensees," and some examples include, but are not limited to:
- Tour operators that offer expeditions under the National Geographic brand name
- The bank that issues the National Geographic Mastercard
- The company that offers you the National Geographic holiday greeting card program
You can tell when a licensee offers one of our products or services, because our name appears on the product or on materials describing the service, or the licensee's name appears jointly with ours. These licensees are restricted by contract from using your personally identifiable information that we share with them for any marketing or promotional purpose that is not related to their National Geographic licensed product or service. To protect your rights, the use of your personally identifiable information by our licensees is subject to the same opt-out rights (and limitations upon those rights) that apply to the use of personally identifiable information by National Geographic and that are described below in the section entitled "Your Choices." However, if you choose to access or purchase a product or service that is offered by one of our licensees, that licensee may in some cases then collect your personally identifiable information subject to its own privacy practices. Because we do not control the privacy practices of our licensees, you should review their practices before you choose to access their products and services.
National Geographic may share your information with our partners when you engage in certain activities on our sites that they co-sponsor, such as purchasing products or services offered by our partners, electing to receive information or communications from our partners, or electing to participate in contests, sweepstakes, games or other programs sponsored in whole or in part by our partners. National Geographic may also share your personally identifiable information when you respond to promotional materials from National Geographic that authorize our partners to use your personally identifiable information for purposes such as sending you additional promotional materials, providing you a product or service, or entering you in a contest, sweepstakes or game. We refer to all these activities and requests as "Co-Branded Activities." When you participate in Co-Branded Activities, you will either be required or asked to agree that the sponsor or partner may use your personally identifiable information in accordance with the sponsor or partner's privacy practices.
Subsidiaries and Affiliated Entities
National Geographic has a number of subsidiary and affiliated entities ("Affiliates") that offer a wide range of products and services. One example is NGT, Inc., which operates the National Geographic Channel in the United States. We may share your personally identifiable information with our Affiliates so they can let you know about product and service offerings in which you might be interested. The use of your personally identifiable information by our Affiliates is subject to the same opt-out rights (and limitations upon those rights) that apply to the use of personally identifiable information by National Geographic and that are described below in the section entitled "Your Choices."
Other Third Parties for Promotional Purposes
National Geographic may share your personally identifiable information with other selected third parties so that they may send you promotional materials about goods and services that they offer. When we share your information for promotional purposes, we attempt to select only reputable companies that offer high-quality products and services. You have the opportunity to opt out of our sharing your personally identifiable information with these selected third parties for promotional purposes, as described below in the section entitled "Your Choices." And we will not share your e-mail address with third parties for promotional purposes unless you consent to such sharing by affirmatively agreeing to it on our e-mail newsletter registration page or elsewhere.
Legal Purposes; Business Transactions
Aggregate Information (non-personally identifiable)
National Geographic may share with third parties aggregated information about you and other visitors to our Web site. When we do this, however, we make any personally identifiable information non-personally identifiable by combining it with information about other individuals or by removing characteristics that make the information personally identifiable to you. We share this information in order to improve our Web site and develop content and services that we hope will be of interest to you.
We understand the importance of protecting our customers' privacy, and we therefore provide you with the opportunity to opt-out of having your personally identifiable information used or disclosed for certain purposes. Receiving promotional communications from National Geographic, including our Affiliates and our licensees, is optional. If you do not wish to receive promotional communications from National Geographic, including our Affiliates and our licensees, please call or write to us at the address below.
You may also use this address and phone number to request us to update or change any of your personally identifiable information, or to request additional information regarding our disclosure of your personally identifiable information to certain third parties for promotional purposes.
Call us at General Society Information 800 NGS LINE (800 647 5463), 800 548 9797 (TDD), or outside the United States and Canada at +1 813 979 6845.
Write to us at: National Geographic Society, Attn: Marketing Services - Privacy, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688, and include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and a note of instructions.
If you have previously agreed to receive e-mail and/or e-mail newsletters from us, you may use the address and phone number above to notify us that you no longer wish to receive such e-mail and/or e-mail newsletters, or you may change your preferences by going to www.nationalgeographic.com/register.html
and clicking on the "change your selections" link.
Because we plan our communications in advance, it may take several weeks for your request to become effective. If, due to human error, you continue to receive our communications, please contact us again and we will make every effort to correct the situation.
We may provide links on our Web site to other sites we think you will enjoy. These sites operate independently of National Geographic and have established their own privacy and security policies. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our site and to read these policies at any site you visit.
The security and confidentiality of your information is extremely important to us, and we take a number of steps to safeguard any personally identifiable information or credit card information that you provide to us. We use data encryption technology to help protect against loss, misuse or alteration of your credit card information. Secure Socket Layers (SSLs) encrypt the credit card information sent between your computer and our database. However, no method of transmitting or storing electronic data is ever completely secure, and therefore we cannot warrant or guarantee that such information will never be accessed, used or released in a manner that is inconsistent with this policy.
Personally Identifiable Information Contained in User Content
Some sections of our Web site may allow users to post or transmit messages, comments, screen names, computer files and other materials. National Geographic does not monitor such transmissions, and therefore cannot be responsible for any personally identifiable information or other information that may be contained in such transmissions.
Other than certain sections of this Web site that are intended for visits from children under the age of 13—including www.nationalgeographic.com/kids , www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids , and www.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer — our Web site is a general audience site, and we do not knowingly collect information about children. Should a child whom we know to be under 13 make known to us his or her personally identifiable information, we will use that information only to respond directly to that child to inform him or her that we must have parental consent before receiving his or her personally identifiable information.
National Geographic Society
Attn: Marketing Services - Privacy
1145 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036-4688
This policy was last updated April 21, 2005