Privacy Policy

Privacy Policies are notoriously hard to read. We think you’ll find ours worthwhile nonetheless, and perhaps the most understandable privacy policy you’ve encountered in the tech world. All of our technologies, operations, and policies, are available for critique and discussion in our peer review forums.

We at United Resource Connection respect your right to privacy, and will do whatever we can to make your privacy technologically possible on our websites.

There are generally three types of private information that others may have access to when you browse the internet or use a particular website: 1) Information you are asked to provide as a requirement for services, such as when you register for a service on a website, 2) Information you volunteer, such as when you post a comment on social media blogs, etc., and 3) Invisible technological information, which nonetheless may be very personally revealing, that is generated whenever you interact with technology.

The Privacy Policy of United Resource Connection attempts to provide you with realistic expectations about your privacy in these three areas, in terms that are easy to understand. It also attempts to identify resources that can help you maximize your anonymity online should you want to, and to inform you to the best of our knowledge, under what circumstances information you disclose is passed along to other entities.

 

1. The privacy of information you are asked to provide us as a requirement for services.

You can browse and have access to most of the information resources provided by United Resource Connection without registering an account with us. This does not mean, however, that no information has been generated by your visit  — technological information is generated whenever you go anywhere on the internet, the privacy of such information is discussed further in section 3 below. The present section deals only with the privacy of information you are explicitly asked to provide us in exchange for services.

In the following instances we explicitly ask that you provide us information: (1) when you want to contact United Resource Connection via email or contact forms, (2) when you create a user account (e.g., to comment, create topics or replies on our network, blogs, or forums), or (3) when you donate to support our services. In all these instances we require that you provide an email address that can be validated, and a username. In the third instance, we also require that you provide payment information.

Privacy of the username you provide us. The username you provide will be used as the public identity of your account, and should therefor have no expectation of privacy associated with it, insofar as that it will appear alongside any comments, forum or blog posts that you voluntarily create. It is not, however, publicly associated with the email address or financial information you provide us.

Privacy of the email address you provide us. We do not give out the email address you provide us, or associate it with your username to any third party, unless required by law (see below). Under no circumstances do we sell or trade the information you give us to others. We have a private messaging system in place that allows members to communicate with one another without anyone seeing each others email address, only their usernames, which insures a standard of privacy commonly accepted. We also provide instructions on how to create anonymous accounts using disposable email addresses if you prefer to register this way. The drawback of using a disposable email address is that you can not configure your account to send you updates for certain events (such as when someone responds to your most recent post) because your email address has been disposed of.  Another drawback is that we have no way of reaching you in the rare instance that there is a problem with your account (and you have not responded to private messaging).

Privacy of payment information provided by our donors.  Generally speaking, whenever you purchase a product or service online, the credit card transaction is handled by third party banking, processing agents and distribution institutions. The information you provide is therefor subject to their privacy policies.

For the ease of our donors, we have several portals for making donations. Each use a different credit card processor. For instance, if you use Facebook to make a donation to us, you are subject to their privacy policy. Donations made directly on one of our websites are processed by Stripe, and subject to their privacy policy.

Credit card information passed from our site to these credit card processors is secured during transmission by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology, an industry standard e-commerce security format.

We understand if donors do not feel comfortable sending credit card information to us over the Internet and are happy to accept donations via mail. Contact us by phone to make arrangements if you would like to send your payment by mail (800) 341-3946. Please also note that if you choose to mail your donation your payment information will still be known by the banks processing payment to us.

Whether donation is handled via mail or online, ultimately the payment information is received by the banks to which we make deposits, and so the privacy policies of US Bank and PNC may be reviewed. We do not otherwise disclose the payment information you provide us unless required by law (see below).

 

2. Privacy of information you volunteer, such as when you post a comment on social media, blogs, and forums, etc.

We provide technologies to help people openly share information about their experience and resources in their local community. We encourage this type of voluntary sharing of information insofar as it is good for your local community to have the enhanced coordination and collaboration that our communication technologies help make possible.

It is important to note that the information you volunteer in this way, such as in social network status updates, comments to posts or blogs, online groups or forums, are publicly available to others by nature — it is not private nor a secure and/or confidential means of communication. By accepting our privacy policy, you acknowledge that there can be no expectation of privacy with this type of information. We do provide you the ability to edit and/or delete content you post on the website if you change your mind later about what you shared — but this does not change the fact that others can copy and record your content prior to you editing or deleting it on our website. We require that you use your own discretion about how much personally revealing information you post (so long as it does not violate the civility clause of our terms of service).

 

3.  Privacy of invisible technological information you provide when visiting us.

Generally speaking, whenever anyone uses the internet certain technological information is recorded automatically, which nonetheless may be very privately revealing. “Cookies” are one of the main ways in which this type of information is gathered.

Information collected by Cookies. “Cookies” are a type of record that are placed on your computer’s hard drive automatically by your web browser to distinguish you from other visitors on a website.  At United Resource Connection, we only use these cookies to allow you to log in and out of your account with as much security as possible. The technology exists, however, to analyze cookies and determine information such as the date and time of your visits, pages viewed, time spent at a particular site, and the website visited just before and just after your visit. You can choose to have your browser warn you every time a cookie is being sent to you or you can turn off cookie placements.  If you refuse cookies on our website, you will not be able to login to your account, but you can still view the resources available.

Other technical information that is automatically collected may include some or all of the following items: the name of the domain and host from which you access the Internet, including the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer you are using and the IP address of your Internet Service Provider; the type and version of Internet browser software you use and your operating system; the date and time you accessed our site, the length of your stay and the specific pages, images, video or forms that you access while visiting the site; the Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our website, and if applicable, the search engine that referred you and any search strings or phrases that you entered into the search engine to find our website; and demographic information concerning the country of origin of your computer and the language(s) used by it.

This information is offered to us by technology companies to monitor the usage of our website, assess its performance, ensure technological compatibility with computers used to visit our website — and to understand the relative importance of the information provided on our website.  We do look at this information occasionally for those stated purposes, but do not EVER seek out to connect this technical information to the individual identity of any visitor to our website. The technological ability to do so does exist, and just because we don’t use it doesn’t mean others don’t.

For national security purposes certain government agencies and their contractors monitor and store everybody’s communications and internet data as much as technologically possible under the law. There are private companies that do this as well for business purposes. United Resource Connection does not monitor or store any personal information about you without your consent, nor do we give the information you provide us privately to anyone else unless required by law.

 

4. Circumstances in which we are required by law to release to third parties the information you have provided. 

There are several circumstances in which we are required by law to release the information you have provided us.

Judicial or other government subpoenas, warrants and court ordersInformation you provide us is subject to disclosure in response to judicial or other governmental subpoenas, warrants and court orders served on United Resource Connection in accordance with their terms, as otherwise required by applicable law, and/or to prevent harm to you or others. It is important to note that in some circumstances under the law we are prohibited from telling you that your information has been subpoenaed.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Compliance. User Information is subject to disclosure to enforce the provisions of our DMCA Statement, which refers to investigative compliance following allegations of copyright infringement.

 

5.  Your control over the information you have provided us.

We at United Resource Connection know that you prefer to have access to and a degree of control over whatever personally identifiable information exists on the internet about you. The following information is presented for your use to help maximize your privacy online.

Changing or deleting information you have provided us.  If at any time you would like to change the username or the details of the account information you have provided us, or to delete your account and the information we have about you in its entirety, you may do so.

You can delete information from our website that you have previously posted by logging into your account and visiting the location on our website where you posted the information — there will then be an edit or delete button next to any of the content you posted. You can also delete your account with us in its entirety, which will delete on our website the association to you of any content posted from your account (i.e., your username will be deleted and the content associated with it will either be deleted or attributed to a different account). If you are having difficulty deleting information you posted on our website, contact us for assistance, and we will help you delete it. Please remember that once your posts and comments have been deleted we can not retrieve them even if you change your mind. As a matter of internal evaluation of privacy compliance we may keep records of tech support emails and faxes concerning account deletion requests for 1 year following the deletion of an account.

Privacy policies of third-party websites. Please note that many of the resources available at United Resource Connection involve links to other websites on the internet and that those websites have THEIR OWN privacy policies. While we support the protection of privacy on the Internet, United Resource Connection cannot be responsible for the actions of any third-party websites.  We encourage you to either read the posted privacy statement of every website you visit, OR to presume that your visit to that website and any information you share there is publicly known and permanently recorded.

Compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. United Resource Connection is targeted for use by adults.  We do not have special areas for use by children.  Accordingly, we do not knowingly collect age identifying information, nor do we knowingly collect any personal information from children under the age of 13 years.  However, we hereby advise all visitors to our site under the age of 13 not to disclose or provide any personally identifiable information on our website.  In the event that it is brought to our attention that a child under the age of 13 has provided personally identifiable information to us, in accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (please see the Federal Trade Commission’s website for more information about this Act), we will delete the child’s personally identifiable information from our files to the extent technologically possible.

Further recommendations to protect your personally identifiable information. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org) is the best website we’ve found that offers useful information about how to protect personally identifiable information provided to a website or on the internet in general.

What to do if you suspect privacy violations. Contact us so that we can address your concern if at any time you believe we have not adhered to the policies and principles set forth in this Privacy Statement.

 

6.   Changes to our Privacy Policies. 

Our Privacy Policy is subject to change from time to time in an effort to be more understandable to the general public, as well as to maintain accuracy in an ever-changing technological environment.  The current Privacy Policy will always be posted on the present page (https://unitedresourceconnection.org/privacy-policy).

YOUR CONTINUED USE OF OUR WEBSITES CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT.

 

7. Questions or Comments about our policy and/or security measures.  

While United Resource Connection attempts to prevent unauthorized access to your private information, or other information you submit, such access may occur as a reality of the technical age we live in.  We keep our security measures up-to-date to minimize this risk as much as possible.  Any questions you have about our security measures, or any questions or comments in general about our privacy policy, may be asked using the peer review forums or our contact form.

 

Revisions: 10/18/12 major overhaul with emphasis on rephrasing text to make the policy easier to understand for the general public.

Revisions: 9/17/13 minor alteration, updating the link to the peer review forums which had been inadvertently changed during website restructuring.

Revisions: 5/24/16 changed the wording of the section on Privacy of payment information to more accurately reflect the limited situations in which we receive payment information.

Revisions: 6/28/18 significant changes throughout, reflecting new organizational structure as a 501(c)(3) non profit.

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