GradeBuddy.com Privacy Policy

Your privacy is of paramount importance to GradeBuddy.com and we want you to feel comfortable using our web site. With that in mind, this Privacy Policy sets forth the information gathering, use, and dissemination practices of GradeBuddy, its affiliate and subsidiary companies (collectively, “GradeBuddy.com”) in connection with its Web site located at www.GradeBuddy.com (the “Site”). This Privacy Policy provides important information about the use and disclosure of user information ("Information") collected on the GradeBuddy Service. GradeBuddy provides this Privacy Policy to help you understand what Information GradeBuddy collects and how that Information will be used. This Privacy Policy does not apply to the practices of companies that GradeBuddy does not own or control or to people that GradeBuddy does not employ or manage. This Privacy Policy addresses GradeBuddy.com’s practices regarding information collected only directly through or from the Site – it does not address or govern any information gathering, use, or dissemination practices related to information collected from the visitor (sometimes referred to as "you" or "your") other than directly through or from the Site, including, without limitation, from or via telephone, facsimile, postal mail, personal delivery, or other or additional offline means or media. This Privacy Policy is incorporated into GradeBuddy’s Terms and Conditions of Use by reference, as if set forth fully therein, which must be reviewed and accepted by you. We work hard to earn and keep your trust, so we adhere to the following principles to protect your privacy: We will never commercially profit by selling information that personally identifies you to third parties for marketing purposes. We use industry-standard protocols and technology to protect sensitive information that you provide us. Notice of changes that materially affect ways in which your personally identifiable data may be used or shared will be posted in updates to this Privacy Policy. Your continued use of the Websites or the Services means you consent to the changed practices. By participating, using or viewing the GradeBuddy Service or any content thereof you are accepting the practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to any of these terms, then please do not use the GradeBuddy Service or its content. We reserve the right to modify or amend the terms of our Privacy Policy at any time without prior notice. Your continued use of the GradeBuddy Service following the posting of changes to these terms means that you accept those changes.

Information Collected:

During registration for the Services, you may be required to give contact information such as first and last name, email address, school, major, classes, city, state and gender, as well as a protected password. We ask that you provide demographic information (such as your school, school year and gender) to us so we can provide you with a more personalized experience on our Web sites and to comply with state sales tax laws that may provide sales tax relief on certain transactions depending on the nature of the transaction, your grade and the type of school you attend. Once you become a user, you may provide additional information in the Profile section describing your contact information, student information and billing and shipping address changes. Providing additional information in your Profile beyond what is required at registration is entirely optional.

We use the information you provide upon registering and in your Profile to send you an informational email with confirmation details and other information. GradeBuddy also may provide you with notice of Website updates from time to time and responses to any inquiries or problems of which you have notified us.

Many emails you initiate through the Services will list your email address and name in the header of the message. Other communications that you initiate through the Websites, like a request for contact, will list your name as the initiator but will not include your personal contact information. Your contact information may be shared to provide shipping, and pick up or drop off information for your orders.

Order Communication

If you use the Services to place an order, we request certain personally identifiable information from you on our order form. You must provide contact information such as first and last name, address, city, zip, email and phone number and financial information such as credit card type, credit card number, expiration date and CVV2 (security code). All financial data submitted through the Website is 1024-bit RSA encrypted and compliant with industry standards. We use this information for billing purposes and to fill your orders. If we have trouble processing an order, we will use this information to contact you. GradeBuddy may contact you by email, phone or letter.

Facebook Connect

The GradeBuddy application allows users to access Facebook Connect to interact with friends and to share on Facebook through their Wall and friends’ News Feeds. If you are already logged into GradeBuddy and Facebook, when you click on “Connect with Facebook” you will be prompted to merge your profiles. If you are already logged into GradeBuddy but not logged into Facebook, when you click on “Connect with Facebook” you will be prompted to enter your Facebook credentials or to “Sign up for Facebook.” By proceeding, you are allowing the GradeBuddy application to access your information to provide a personalized experience on the Websites, and you are agreeing to the Facebook Terms of Use in your use of the GradeBuddy application. There is no merging of profiles from the GradeBuddy mobile application.

Conversely, if you are not currently registered as a GradeBuddy user and you click on “Sign in Using Facebook,” you will first be asked to enter your Facebook credentials and then be given the option to register and join GradeBuddy. Once you register on the GradeBuddy sites and Connect with Facebook, you will be able to post recent activity back to Facebook. You have the option to disable Facebook Connect at any time by logging into “My Profile” and clicking on “My Facebook Profile.” Further, you can edit privacy settings for the reviews that appear on Facebook or disconnect this service by visiting the Facebook Application Settings page.

Referral Features

The Websites offer customer referral features whereby users may use an email tool to invite friends to use the Services using a one-time email. GradeBuddy stores this information for the purpose of verification, as well as tracking the success of our referral program. GradeBuddy will not use those referred email addresses for any other purpose (unless, of course, the referred user comes to the Websites and registers as a user in which case GradeBuddy may use the email address provided by the referred user in accordance with this Privacy Policy). The referred person may contact us at to request that we remove this information from our database.
Testimonials

GradeBuddy posts customer testimonials on our Websites which may contain personally identifiable information such as the customer’s name and photo. We do obtain the customer’s consent to post their name and photo prior to posting their testimonial. If a consenting user later requests removal, we comply with the user’s request immediately.
Special Promotions

GradeBuddy may email customers special promotional emails, which may include discounts, coupons and special offers, as a part of our service. If you would not like to receive these promotional emails, please log in to your account and click the “Notifications Settings” link in your account settings. Once you have clicked that link, there is a check box which allows you to remove yourself from the promotional-email list. In addition, in promotional emails, users can click the “Unsubscribe” link found at the bottom of the email, and they will be automatically removed from the promotional email list. Users may also send us an email to opt out of promotional emails at support@GradeBuddy.com.

Other Information that is Collected and Used

Like other websites and online services, we collect from the Websites and the Service information that does not personally identify you as an individual (such as, by way of example, patterns of utilization of the Service), as described below. This information is exclusively owned by GradeBuddy and can be utilized by GradeBuddy in such manner as GradeBuddy, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate.

Information Tracking

We collect some information via tracking technologies in order to improve our services. Information we track includes state, city, site usage, page views, location of usage and other standard and typical demographic and analytical tracking methods that are found in tracking programs like Google Analytics. None of this type of information we track using third-party analytic services is linked to personally identifiable information. All of the tracking information is general, not person-specific.

Cookies and Log Files

Like most websites, GradeBuddy uses cookies and Web log files to track usage of our Websites. A cookie is a tiny data file which resides on your computer, and which allows GradeBuddy to recognize you as a user when you return to our Websites using the same computer and Web browser. Unfortunately, if your browser settings do not allow cookies, you will not be able to use our Websites as fully as intended. Like the information you enter at registration or in your profile, cookie and log file data is used to customize your experience on the Websites.

One type of cookie we use, known as a “persistent” cookie, is set once you’ve logged in to your GradeBuddy account on the Services. If you do not log out of your GradeBuddy account, then the next time you visit the Websites, the persistent cookie will allow us to recognize you as an existing user so you will not need to log in before using the Service. Of course, if you are using a public computer or sharing your private computer with others, you should log out of your GradeBuddy account after each visit. If you log out of the Services, you will need to re-enter your password the next time you visit in order to log in to your account. We also use a cookie which functions as a “session” cookie, meaning that it is used to identify a particular visit to the Websites. Session cookies expire after a short time or when you close your Web browser.

GradeBuddy works with third parties that collect non-personally identifiable information by placing cookies on its visitor’s browsers. The information collected by such third parties may be used for targeting more relevant advertisements to such visitors on other sites. If you do not wish to have such cookies on your browser, GradeBuddy works with Truste which gives you the ability to opt out of some or all tailored advertising networks here . http://preferences.truste.com/truste/

Due to the communications standards on the Internet, when you visit the Websites we automatically receive the URL of the site from which you came and the site to which you are going when you leave GradeBuddy. We also receive the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your computer (or the proxy server you use to access the World Wide Web), your computer operating system and type of Web browser you are using, as well as the name of your Internet service provider (ISP). This information is used to analyze overall trends to help us improve the Services. The linkage between your IP address and your personally identifiable information is never shared with third parties without your permission, except as provided under Legal Disclosures and Business Transitions below.

Web Beacons

We, as well as our affiliate program partners, third-party tracking utility companies, and service providers employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web beacons/Web bugs), that help us better manage content on our site by informing us of what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users for our affiliate program. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We do not tie the information gathered by clear gifs to our customers’ personally identifiable information. This information is used to help improve the overall quality and experience of our website.
Ad Networks

We allow other companies, called ad networks, to serve advertisements to users who visit our website. Ad networks include third-party ad servers, ad agencies, ad technology vendors and research firms. GradeBuddy may serve tailored advertising to users who are interested in products we sell or fit a certain individual profile for example, "engineering students at Stanford University." We may share a customer’s personally-identifiable information, including name, address, email address, as well as a record of any transactions conducted on our website or offline with us with a third-party advertising partner and its service providers to deliver banner advertisements and other advertising tailored to a user’s interests when they visit certain websites. We will provide that information to ad networks indirectly through a third party vendor that anonymizes customers’ personally-identifiable information before making it available to the rest of the ad network, and on terms that do not permit further dissemination of that information or use of that information for any other purpose beyond the delivery of the ad service.

To deliver these ads properly, GradeBuddy may include a file, called a Web beacon, from these ad networks within pages served by GradeBuddy so the networks may provide anonymous, aggregated auditing, research and reporting for advertisers, as well as to target ads to you while you visit other websites.

Because your Web browser must request these advertisements and Web beacons from the ad network’s servers, these companies can view, edit or set their own cookies, just as if you had requested a Web page from their site. These general targets may also be used by ad networks to display targeted ads on other websites as a substitute for random, irrelevant ads. You will never see additional ads when browsing the web as a result of being a GradeBuddy user. To learn more about the use of this information or choose not to have this information used by our third-party advertising partner by opting out please visit the Truste website here. http://preferences.truste.com/truste

Information Sharing

GradeBuddy takes the privacy of our users very seriously. We will never sell, rent or otherwise provide your personally identifiable information to any third parties for marketing purposes without your consent or as described in this Privacy Policy. We will share your personally identifiable with third parties to carry out your instructions and to provide specific services but subject to confidentiality obligations which limit their use and disclosure of such information. We may also disclose your personal information when required by law, to defend our rights, in response to a written request from law enforcement regarding an investigation into criminal activity that may have occurred through or in any way using GradeBuddy’s site or property, or as part of an investigation into academic integrity or a business transition, as provided below.

Agents

We may use an outside partner company for shipping and fulfilling orders, a credit card processing company to bill you for goods and services, and other companies to process personal information on our behalf. We require that these companies not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any other purpose without your permission.

Service Providers

We use a third-party service to provide order transactions as part of the Services. When you place an order on the Services, we will share your name and credit card information with a third-party gateway, using security technology, in order to collect payment and transact your order. We also use third-party software and services for the purpose of providing analytics and tracking to help improve our Websites and Services, and for the purpose of providing certain mobile use features, such as location tracking. These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.

GradeBuddy may partner with other online services to give you the combined results of both services. Whenever we offer such combined services, it will be your choice to make use of the combined services or not. In these cases, your personally identifiable information will be provided by GradeBuddy to the partner for the partner’s use (including marketing purposes) only if you choose to use the combined services. Please note that, in these circumstances, your information will be subject to the partners’ privacy policy. If you wish to opt out of receiving promotional communications from these partners, you may do so by following the instructions provided by the partner.

Authorized GradeBuddy Affiliates

If you choose to use the Powered by GradeBuddy® kiosk at a participating Authorized GradeBuddy Affiliate, the affiliate will be provided with your personal information, including your contact information, the books you are renting, and rental fees. These affiliates are permitted to use your personally identifiably information only for purposes of processing the transaction and providing the service. Sharing Aggregated Information with Third Parties

We may provide aggregated data about the usage of our Websites and our Service to third parties for such purposes as we deem, in our sole discretion, to be appropriate. We may segment our users by status (i.e. freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, etc.), major, geographic location, university or other demographic criteria for the purpose of improving our Websites and our Services. If you would like to be excluded from the aggregated research or products based upon aggregated data about our users’ activities on the Services, please email customer service at contact@GradeBuddy.com.

Legal Disclosures

It is possible that we may need to disclose personal information when required by law. We will disclose such information wherein we have a good-faith belief that it is necessary to comply with a court order, ongoing judicial proceeding or other legal process served on our company.

We also may access, use, preserve and disclose your personal information if we have a good faith belief that is it necessary to (a) enforce the Terms of Use, including investigations of potential violations and for collection of amounts owed to GradeBuddy, (b) identify, prevent and deal with fraud or security or academic integrity issues or (c) exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims.

Business Transitions

In the event that GradeBuddy goes through a business transition, such as a merger, acquisition by another company, or sale of all or a portion of its assets, your personally identifiable information will likely be among the assets transferred. This Privacy Policy will become binding upon the new owner of the information until amended.

Accessing and Changing Your Account Information

You can review the personal information you provided us and make any desired changes to the information, or to the settings for your account, at any time by logging in to your account on the Services and editing the information on your Profile page. If you close your GradeBuddy account, we will remove your name and other personally identifiable information from our publicly viewable data. To request that we close your account and remove your information from the Services, please send your request to contact@GradeBuddy.com. Please send your request using an email account that you have registered with GradeBuddy under your name. You will receive a response to a request sent to contact@GradeBuddy.com within five business days of our receiving it.

Even if your account is closed, we may retain certain data contributed by you if it may be necessary to prevent fraud or future abuse or for legitimate business purposes, such as analysis of aggregated, non-personally-identifiable data, account recovery or if required by law. All retained data will continue to be subject to the terms of the GradeBuddy privacy policy that you have previously agreed to.

Security

GradeBuddy follows accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. For example, when you enter sensitive information such as a credit card number and CCV2 number on our checkout forms, that information is encrypted using secure socket layer (SSL) technology, to protect the communications between you and our payment partners. We take reasonable precautions to provide security to our customer information in our possession.

However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, while we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, as in any real-life scenario, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. If you have any questions about security on our website, you can email us at contact@GradeBuddy.com.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

GradeBuddy may update this Privacy Policy at any time, so please review it frequently. In the event that there are significant changes to the way we treat your personally identifiable information, we will display a notice on the Websites. We may also notify you by email. Unless stated otherwise, our current Privacy Policy applies to all information that we have about you and your account. If you continue to use the Websites or the Services after notice of changes have been sent to you or published on our Website, you provide your consent to the changed practices.

Questions or Comments

If you have questions or comments about this privacy policy, please email us at contact@GradeBuddy.com or contact us at:
GradeBuddy, LLC. Attn: Privacy Policy Issues
16756 Ventura Blvd,
Encino, CA 91436