Your privacy is critically important to us. At Automattic, we have a few fundamental principles:
- We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal information that we collect about you through the operation of our services.
- We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it.
- We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control what information on your website is shared publicly (or kept private), indexed by search engines, and permanently deleted.
- We help protect you from overreaching government demands for your personal information.
- We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information.
Who We Are and What This Policy Covers
Howdy! We are the folks behind a variety of products and services designed to allow anyone — from bloggers, to photographers, small business owners, and enterprises — to take full advantage of the power and promise of the open web. Our mission is to democratize publishing and commerce so that anyone with a story can tell it, and anyone can turn their great idea into a livelihood. We believe in powering the open internet with code that is open source and are proud to say that the vast majority of our work is available under the General Public License (“GPL”). Unlike most other services, because our GPL code is public, you can actually download and take a look at that code to see how it works.
- Our websites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, jetpack.com, woocommerce.com, crowdsignal.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, akismet.com, simplenote.com, simperium.com, leandomainsearch.com, cloudup.com, longreads.com, atavist.com, mailpoet.com, automatewoo.com, jetpackcrm.com, happy.tools, wpcourses.com, wpscan.com, newspack.pub, and wp.cloud);
- Our mobile applications (including the WordPress mobile app for Android and iOS);
- Our other Automattic products, services, and features that are available on or through our websites (for example, WordPress.com plans, the Payments feature, the Pay with PayPal block, WordPress.com, Jetpack, the WooCommerce Shipping & Tax extension, Gravatar, the IntenseDebate comment management system, Akismet plans, Simplenote, Simperium, Cloudup, Longreads, MailPoet, AutomateWoo, Jetpack CRM, Happy Tools, WordPress.com Courses, WPScan and Newspack); and
- Other users’ websites that use our Services, while you are logged in to your account with us.
Below we explain how we collect, use, and share information about you, along with the choices that you have with respect to that information.
Information We Collect
We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so — for example, to provide our Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better.
We collect this information from three sources: if and when you provide information to us, automatically through operating our Services, and from outside sources. Let’s go over the information that we collect.
Information You Provide to Us
It’s probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us directly. Here are some examples:
- Basic account information: We ask for basic information from you in order to set up your account. For example, we require individuals who sign up for a WordPress.com account to provide an email address and password, along with a username or name — and that’s it. You may provide us with more information — like your address and other information you want to share — but we don’t require that information to create a WordPress.com account.
- Public profile information: If you have an account with us, we collect the information that you provide for your public profile. For example, if you have a WordPress.com account, your username is part of that public profile, along with any other information you put into your public profile, like a photo or an “About Me” description. Your public profile information is just that — public — so please keep that in mind when deciding what information you would like to include.
- Payment and contact information: There are various ways in which you may provide us payment information and associated contact information. For example, if you buy something from us or earn revenue through your site, we’ll collect information to process those payments and contact you. If you buy something from us — a subscription to a WordPress.com plan, a premium theme, a custom domain, some Longreads swag — or if you pay fees to a person or business through their WordPress.com site (for example via the Payments feature or the Pay with PayPal block), you’ll provide additional personal and payment information like your name, credit card information, and contact information. We also keep a record of the purchases you’ve made. If you use our Ecommerce Services (including Store on WordPress.com, WooCommerce Shipping & Tax, and WooCommerce Payments), you’ll have to create a WordPress.com account or connect an existing account and, for some Services, provide your site URL. You may also provide us with financial details to set up a payments integration, like the email address for your Stripe or PayPal account or your bank account information. Additionally, if you use WooPay to make purchases on other sites, we will store the contact information and payment information you provide to that service. And if you participate in a revenue sharing opportunity for your site, like WordAds, you’ll provide some additional information — for example, a tax ID or other identifier so we can process payments to you.
- Business Profile: Some of our products collect additional information from you as part of creating a user/customer profile. For example, if you are a Jetpack CRM customer we may add you to our customer relationship database (powered by Jetpack CRM!) using information you provide us including your name, your employer, your job title or role, your contact information, and your communications with us. If you are a Happy Tools user, we use information you provide us like your timezone and location information, your company and team information, and your contact information, to set up your account and power the Service’s features.
- Content information: You might provide us with information about you in draft and published content (a blog post or comment that includes biographic information about you, or any media or files you upload).
- Credentials: Depending on the Services you use, you may provide us with credentials for your self-hosted website (like SSH, FTP, and SFTP username and password). Jetpack and VaultPress users may provide us with these credentials in order to use our one-click restore feature if there is a problem with their site, or to allow us to troubleshoot problems more quickly.
- Communications with us (hi there!): You may also provide us with information when you respond to surveys, communicate with our Happiness Engineers about a support question, post a question in our public forums, or sign up for a newsletter like the one we send through Longreads. When you communicate with us via form, email, phone, WordPress.com comment, or otherwise, we store a copy of our communications (including any call recordings as permitted by applicable law).
- Job applicant information: If you apply for a job with us — awesome! You may provide us with information like your name, contact information, resume or CV, professional or personal references, similar professional and employment-related data, and work authorization verification as part of the application process. We may also collect additional information about you during the process, like background and credit checks (in applicable jurisdictions and only for certain job roles). You may also provide us with demographic information when required by law or to support our diverse workplace initiatives, such as your gender, racial or ethnic origin, veteran status, and disability status if you voluntarily submit such information as part of your application. We collect demographic information in accordance with applicable law, and do not request demographic information in jurisdictions where it may be prohibited. We will only use this sensitive information to accommodate a disability or illness, comply with legal obligations, protect the health and safety of our employees, and facilitate our internal programs relating to diversity, inclusion, and anti-discrimination.
Information We Collect Automatically
We also collect some information automatically:
- Log information: Like most online service providers, we collect information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available, including the browser type, IP address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information. We collect log information when you use our Services — for example, when you create or make changes to your website on WordPress.com.
- Transactional information: When you make a purchase through our Services, we collect information about the transaction, such as product details, purchase price, and the date and location of the transaction. This includes when you purchase something we sell or when you use our Services (like WooPay) to buy something from a third party.
- Usage information: We collect information about your usage of our Services. For example, we collect information about the actions that site administrators and users perform on a site using our WordPress.com or Jetpack services — in other words, who did what and when (e.g., [WordPress.com username] deleted “[title of post]” at [time/date]). Our WooCommerce Usage Tracker also tracks information like your email address, WooCommerce settings, and PHP settings, along with information about your online store, like the aggregate number of orders and customers. We also collect information about what happens when you use our Services (e.g., page views, support document searches at en.support.wordpress.com, features enabled for your website, interactions with our Admin Bar and other parts of our Services) along with information about your device (e.g., screen size, name of cellular network, and mobile device manufacturer). We use this information to, for example, provide our Services to you, get insights on how people use our Services so we can make our Services better, and understand and make predictions about user retention.
- Location information: We may determine the approximate location of your device from your IP address. We collect and use this information to, for example, calculate how many people visit our Services from certain geographic regions. We may also collect information about your precise location via our mobile apps (like when you post a photograph with location information) if you allow us to do so through your mobile device operating system’s permissions.
- Stored information: We may access information stored on your mobile device via our mobile apps. We access this stored information through your device operating system’s permissions. For example, if you give us permission to access the photographs on your mobile device’s camera roll, our Services may access the photos stored on your device when you upload a really amazing photograph of the sunrise to your website.
- Interactions with other users’ sites: We collect some information about your interactions with other users’ sites while you are logged in to your account with us, such as your “Likes” and the fact that you commented on a particular post, so that we can, for example, recommend posts we think may interest you. As another example, we collect information about the comments IntenseDebate users make while logged in and use that information to, for example, tally up statistics about your comments (check them out in your dashboard!) and display information about your comments in your IntenseDebate public profile.
Information We Collect from Other Sources
We may also get information about you from other sources. For example:
- Third Party Login: If you create or log in to your WordPress.com account through another service (like Google) we’ll receive associated login information (e.g. a connection token, your username, your email address)
- Social Sharing Services: If you connect your website or account to a social media service (like Twitter) through our Publicize feature, we’ll receive information from that service (e.g., your username, basic profile information, friends list) via the authorization procedures for that service.
- Financial Account Info: If you use WooCommerce Payments, we’ll receive information relating to your Stripe account, such as your email address and phone number. If you use WooPay, we’ll receive your payment information from Stripe.
- Google Account Information: When you connect your Google account to your Newspack powered site, we may access certain Google user data such as your Google Ad Manager Configuration (the network code and your ad units) and your Google Analytics data to allow you to access and manage features more seamlessly. For example, you may be able to manage your Google ads and see your Google Analytics data directly within the dashboard of your Newspack powered site.
The information we receive depends on which services you use or authorize and what options are available.
Third-party services may also give us information, like mailing addresses for individuals who are not yet our users (but we hope will be!). We use this information for marketing purposes like postcards and other mailers advertising our Services.
How and Why We Use Information
Purposes for Using Information
We use information about you for the purposes listed below:
- To provide our Services. For example, to set up and maintain your account, host your website, backup and restore your website, provide customer service, process payments and orders, and verify user information.
- To ensure quality, maintain safety, and improve our Services. For example, by providing automatic upgrades and new versions of our Services. Or, for example, by monitoring and analyzing how users interact with our Services so we can create new features that we think our users will enjoy and that will help them create and manage websites more efficiently or make our Services easier to use.
- To place and manage ads in our advertising program. For example, to place ads on our users’ sites and some of our own sites as part of our advertising program, and understand ad performance.
- To market our Services and measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our marketing. For example, by targeting our marketing messages to groups of our users (like those who have a particular plan with us or have been users for a certain length of time), advertising our Services, analyzing the results of our marketing campaigns (like how many people purchased a paid plan after receiving a marketing message), and understanding and forecasting user retention.
- To protect our Services, our users, and the public. For example, by detecting security incidents; detecting and protecting against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity; fighting spam; complying with our legal obligations; and protecting the rights and property of Automattic and others, which may result in us, for example, declining a transaction or terminating Services.
- To fix problems with our Services. For example, by monitoring, debugging, repairing, and preventing issues.
- To customize the user experience. For example, to personalize your experience by serving you relevant notifications and advertisements for our Services, recommending content through our Reader post suggestions, and providing new essays and stories through Longreads for your reading pleasure.
- To communicate with you. For example, by emailing you to ask for your feedback, share tips for getting the most out of our products, or keep you up to date on Automattic; texting you to verify your payment; or calling you to share offers and promotions that we think will be of interest to you. If you don’t want to hear from us, you can opt out of marketing communications at any time. (If you opt out, we’ll still send you important updates relating to your account.)
- To recruit and hire new Automatticians. For example, by evaluating job applicants (including verifying their identity, experience, and other information submitted) and communicating with them by phone, email, or social media platforms. If the application progresses, we may also collect interview information and background check information. This may also include verifying information required to initiate employment, for purposes such as confirming ability to legally work in a specific location, setting up payroll, and complying with statutory reporting requirements.
Legal Bases for Collecting and Using Information
A note here for those in the European Union about our legal grounds for processing information about you under EU data protection laws, which is that our use of your information is based on the grounds that:
(1) The use is necessary in order to fulfill our commitments to you under the applicable terms of service or other agreements with you or is necessary to administer your account — for example, in order to enable access to our website on your device or charge you for a paid plan; or
(2) The use is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; or
(3) The use is necessary in order to protect your vital interests or those of another person; or
(4) We have a legitimate interest in using your information — for example, to provide and update our Services; to improve our Services so that we can offer you an even better user experience; to safeguard our Services; to communicate with you; to measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising; and to understand our user retention and attrition; to monitor and prevent any problems with our Services; and to personalize your experience; or
How Long We Keep Information
We generally discard information about you when it’s no longer needed for the purposes for which we collect and use it — described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information — and we’re not legally required to keep it.
For example, we keep web server logs that record information about a visitor to one of Automattic’s websites, like the visitor’s IP address, browser type, and operating system, for approximately 30 days. We retain the logs for this period of time in order to, among other things, analyze traffic to Automattic’s websites and investigate issues if something goes wrong on one of our websites.
As another example, when you delete a post, page, or comment from your WordPress.com site, it stays in your Trash folder for thirty days in case you change your mind and would like to restore that content, because starting from scratch is no fun. After the thirty days are up, the deleted content may remain on our backups and caches until purged.
If you are a job applicant, we will keep your personal data during the application process, and for a certain period thereafter. To determine that period, we take into account a number of factors, like our legal and regulatory obligations (such as equal opportunity obligations) and whether we may need to retain personal data for internal business purposes like analyzing our applicant pool.
While no online service is 100% secure, we work very hard to protect information about you against unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so. We monitor our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.
To enhance the security of your account, we encourage you to enable our advanced security settings, like Two Step Authentication.
You have several choices available when it comes to information about you:
- Limit the information that you provide: If you have an account with us, you can choose not to provide the optional account information, profile information, and transaction and billing information. Please keep in mind that if you do not provide this information, certain features of our Services — for example, premium themes that carry an additional charge — may not be accessible. If you are a job applicant, and you choose not to provide certain data elements to us, we may not be able to proceed with the recruitment process.
- Limit access to information on your mobile device: Your mobile device operating system should provide you with the option to discontinue our ability to collect stored information or location information via our mobile apps. If you choose to limit this, you may not be able to use certain features, like geotagging for photographs.
- Opt out of marketing communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from us. Just follow the instructions in those communications or let us know. If you opt out of promotional communications, we may still send you other communications, like those about your account and legal notices.
- Set your browser to reject cookies: At this time, Automattic does not respond to “do not track” signals across all of our Services. However, you can usually choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies before using Automattic’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of Automattic’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
- Close your account: While we’d be very sad to see you go, you can close your account if you no longer want to use our Services. (Here are account closure instructions for WordPress.com accounts.) Please keep in mind that we may continue to retain your information after closing your account, as described in How Long We Keep Information above — for example, when that information is reasonably needed to comply with (or demonstrate our compliance with) legal obligations such as law enforcement requests, or reasonably needed for our legitimate business interests.
If you are located in certain parts of the world, including some US states and countries that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (aka the “GDPR”), you may have certain rights regarding your personal information, like the right to request access to or deletion of your data.
European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
If you are located in a country that falls under the scope of the GDPR, data protection laws give you certain rights with respect to your personal data, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the rights to:
- Request access to your personal data;
- Request correction or deletion of your personal data;
- Object to our use and processing of your personal data;
- Request that we limit our use and processing of your personal data; and
- Request portability of your personal data.
You also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.
US Privacy Laws
Laws in some US states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia, require us to provide residents with additional information about the categories of personal information we collect and share, where we get that personal information, and how and why we use it. You’ll find that information in this section (if you are a California resident, please note that this is the Notice at Collection we are required to provide you under California law).
In the last 12 months, we collected the following categories of personal information, depending on the Services used:
- Identifiers (like your name, contact information, and device and online identifiers);
- Commercial information (your billing information and purchase history, for example);
- Characteristics protected by law (for example, you might provide your gender as part of a research survey for us or you may choose to voluntarily disclose your race or veteran status as part of your job application);
- Internet or other electronic network activity information (such as your usage of our Services, like the actions you take as an administrator of a WordPress.com site);
- Geolocation data (such as your location based on your IP address);
- Audio, electronic, visual or similar information (such as your profile picture, if you uploaded one);
- Professional or employment-related information (for example, your company and team information if you are a Happy Tools user, or information you provide in a job application); and
- Inferences we make (such as likelihood of retention or attrition).
If you are a job applicant, we may have also collected:
- Education information, such as the education you disclose in your job application.
You can find more information about what we collect and sources of that information in the Information We Collect section above.
We collect personal information for the business and commercial purposes described in the How and Why We Use Information section. And we share this information with the categories of third parties described in the Sharing Information section. We retain this information for the length of time described in our How Long We Keep Information section.
In some US states you have additional rights subject to any exemptions provided by your state’s respective law, including the right to:
- Request a copy of the specific pieces of information we collect about you and, if you’re in California, to know the categories of personal information we collect, the categories of business or commercial purpose for collecting and using it, the categories of sources from which the information came, and the categories of third parties we share it with;
- Request deletion of personal information we collect or maintain;
- Request correction of personal information we collect or maintain;
- Opt out of the sale or sharing of personal information;
- Receive a copy of your information in a readily portable format; and
- Not receive discriminatory treatment for exercising your rights.
You can find detailed metrics about Automattic’s compliance with these rights in our Privacy Report.
Right to Opt Out
We never directly sell your personal information in the conventional sense (i.e., for money).
We may share your information as necessary with our third-party service providers to provide our services to you. To the extent that we share your information with certain advertising, marketing, or analytics vendors, this can be considered a “sale” or “share” in certain U.S. States, which you may have the right to opt out of.
You can learn more about this sharing and how to opt out by clicking the “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link in the footer of our websites, or from the settings page within our apps. Note that in some instances this link will only display to individuals visiting our sites from within the relevant states.
Our opt-out is managed through cookies, so if you delete cookies, your browser is set to delete cookies automatically after a certain length of time, or if you visit sites in a different browser, you’ll need to make this selection again.
We also respect the GPC browser signal and will treat it as a valid means of communicating your desire to opt out.
We do not collect or process your sensitive (and potentially sensitive) personal information except where it is strictly necessary to provide you with our service, where the processing is not for the purpose of inferring characteristics about you, or for other purposes that do not require an option to limit under California law. We don’t knowingly sell or share personal information of those under 16.
Your Information & Personalized Advertising
The personal information we share includes online identifiers; internet or other network or device activity (such as cookie information, other device identifiers, and IP address); and geolocation data (approximate location information from your IP address). These disclosures may be considered a “sale” or “share” of information under some US state privacy laws. We do not sell (or share) information through our ads program that identifies you personally, like your name or contact information. Learn how you can opt out by going to Advertising on WordPress.com Sites and Sites in the WordAds Program.
Contacting Us About These Rights
You can usually access, correct, or delete your personal data using your account settings and tools that we offer, but if you aren’t able to or you’d like to contact us about one of the other rights, scroll down to “How to Reach Us” to, well, find out how to reach us.
When you contact us about one of your rights under this section, we’ll need to verify that you are the right person before we disclose or delete anything. For example, if you are a user, we will need you to contact us from the email address associated with your account. You can also designate an authorized agent to make a request on your behalf by giving us written authorization. We may still require you to verify your identity with us.
Appeals Process for Rights Requests Denials
In some circumstances we may deny your request to exercise one of these rights. For example, if we cannot verify that you are the account owner we may deny your request to access the personal information associated with your account. As another example, if we are legally required to maintain a copy of your personal information we may deny your request to delete your personal information.
In the event that we deny your request, we will communicate this fact to you in writing. You may appeal our decision by responding in writing to our denial email and stating that you would like to appeal. All appeals will be reviewed by an internal expert who was not involved in your original request. In the event that your appeal is also denied this information will be communicated to you in writing. Please note that the appeal process does not apply to job applicants.
If your appeal is denied, in some US states (Colorado, Connecticut, and Virginia) you may refer the denied appeal to the state attorney general if you believe the denial is in conflict with your legal rights. The process for how to do this will be communicated to you in writing at the same time we send you our decision about your appeal.
Controllers and Responsible Companies
Automattic’s Services are worldwide. Different Automattic companies are the controller (or co-controller) of personal information, which means that they are the company responsible for processing that information, based on the particular service and the location of the individual using our Services.
Depending on the Services you use, more than one company may be the controller of your personal data. Generally, the “controller” is the Automattic company that entered into the contract with you under the Terms of Service for the product or service you use. In addition, Automattic Inc., our US-based company, is the controller for some of the processing activities across all of our Services worldwide.
The chart below explains the current controllers for processing your personal information. We use the term “Designated Countries” to refer to Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, and all countries located in Europe (including the UK and ROI).
All Automattic Services (except WooCommerce)
|If you reside outside of the Designated Countries:||Automattic Inc.
60 29th Street #343
San Francisco, CA 94110
|If you reside in the Designated Countries:||Aut O’Mattic A8C Ireland Ltd.
Grand Canal Dock, 25 Herbert Pl
Dublin, D02 AY86
Automattic Inc. is also the controller for some of the processing activities related to Services provided by Aut O’Mattic A8C Ireland Ltd.
WooCommerce Services includes WooCommerce, WooCommerce Payments, WooCommerce Shipping and Tax, MailPoet, and any products purchased from WooCommerce.com.
|If you reside outside of the Designated Countries:||WooCommerce, Inc.
60 29th Street #343
San Francisco, CA 94110
Automattic Inc. is also the controller for some of the processing activities related to Services provided by WooCommerce, Inc.
|If you reside in the Designated Countries:||WooCommerce Ireland Ltd.
Grand Canal Dock, 25 Herbert Pl
Dublin, D02 AY86
Automattic Inc and WooCommerce, Inc are also the joint controllers for some of the processing activities related to Services provided by WooCommerce Ireland Ltd.
How to Reach Us
Other Things You Should Know (Keep Reading!)
Because Automattic’s Services are offered worldwide, the information about you that we process when you use the Services in the EU may be used, stored, and/or accessed by individuals operating outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who work for us, other members of our group of companies, or third-party data processors. This is required for the purposes listed in the How and Why We Use Information section above.
You can ask us for more information about the steps we take to protect your personal information when transferring it from the EU.
Ads and Analytics Services Provided by Others
Third-Party Software and Services
Visitors to Our Users’ Websites
Users control the content posted on their sites, so any disputes regarding content on a user’s site should be made directly to the site owner, through their “contact us” page, at an email address they provide, or by leaving a comment on the site.