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Privacy Policy

Last updated: May 27th 2018.

This document is a part of the TeenHelp Terms of Service. For other information governing the usage of services provided by TeenHelp, please click here.

TeenHelp aims to keep your personal information safe and protect it from harm. As an anonymous, confidential service, we aim to collect as little information about you as possible when you use our website. TeenHelp recognises that users come from many countries, including those in North America, Europe and Oceania. We aim to follow best practice in data protection laws including the USA “Children Online Privacy Protection Act” (COPPA), UK “Data Protection Act” (DPA) and EU “General Data Protection Regulations” (GDPR).

In this section:
> Definition of service
> What information we collect about you and why we collect it
> Cookies
> Keeping you safe
> How and where we store your information
> Who can see your information – Confidentiality Policy
> Access to your information
> Correcting your information
> Removing your information
> How long we keep your information – Retention Policy
> Sharing and selling information
> Automated decision making
> Right to object
> Protection of users under the age of thirteen – COPPA Compliance Statement
> Contact us

Definition of service

TeenHelp defines itself under the General Data Protection Regulations as an “online preventive or counselling service provided directly to children”.

What information we collect about you and why we collect it

Type of information

Basis for collecting this

How we use it

Who has access to this

Information we collect automatically when you visit our website (unregistered guests and registered users)

IP address

Legitimate interest

We use this to maintain the security of our website, including preventing fraud. This is hidden from public view.

Project Coordinators and other key volunteers

Computer information such as operating system, web browser, and Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Legitimate interest

We use this to maintain the security of our website, including preventing fraud. This is hidden from public view.

Project Coordinators

Mandatory information you must give us to register (registered users)

Username

Legitimate interest

This is used to identify you on the website. This can be any nickname, alias or word(s) the user chooses, though we do not permit full names (i.e. surnames) be used as part of usernames.

All site users

Email address

Legitimate interest

We use this to maintain the security of our website, including preventing fraud. This is hidden from public view.

Project Coordinators and other key volunteers

Date of birth

Legitimate interest

We use this to ensure that registered users are over the age of 13 and to determine whether users are considered children or adults under data protection laws. By default this is hidden from public view.

By default Project Coordinators and other key volunteers, but you can choose to show this to all site users.

Country

Legitimate interest

We use this to determine whether the user is covered by the General Data Protection Regulations or Children Online Privacy Protection Act.

By default all site users, but you can choose to restrict this to Project Coordinators and other key volunteers

Optional information you may choose to give us but that we don’t ask for (registered users)

Email updates

Consent

You can withdraw your consent for us to hold this information at any time in your User Control Panel: http://www.teenhelp.org/usercp/

You will have the option to opt-in to occasional email updates about our services sent to you by TeenHelp. If you choose not to opt-in to these it will not impede your use of TeenHelp in any way. TeenHelp does not maintain a separate marketing email list apart from our requirement that all users provide email addresses as above.

Project Coordinators and other key volunteers

Personal information such as name

Consent

You can withdraw your consent for us to hold this information at any time in your User Control Panel: http://www.teenhelp.org/usercp/

We do not require you to provide this information, and failure to provide this will not impede your use of TeenHelp in any way. We provide you full rights to correct or remove this information at any time.

You have full control over who can see this in your privacy controls.

Sensitive information such as ethnicity and sexuality

Consent

You can withdraw your consent for us to hold this information at any time in your User Control Panel: http://www.teenhelp.org/usercp/

We do not require you to provide this information, and failure to provide this will not impede your use of TeenHelp in any way. We provide you full rights to correct or remove this information at any time.

You have full control over who can see this in your privacy controls.

Cookies

Like many websites we use cookies to improve your experience on TeenHelp. A cookie is a small piece of text that is placed in your website browser (e.g. Firefox or Chrome). The only cookies we use are those that are essential for your use of our website and include keeping you logged in and remembering your preferences and settings on the site for example in our Support Forums and Chat Room. We do not use any third party cookies, such as those that track behaviour or show targeted advertising

Keeping you safe

Here are some of the ways we keep you safe:

  • Resources and information - We provide you a wide range of resources to help you stay safe on our website, for example our Safety Zone (click here) provides a lot of information on protecting your personal information.
  • Anonymity and use of pseudonyms - All TeenHelp users are recorded in an anonymised way using pseudonyms (your username). We never ask for your real name from you. TeenHelp does not permit full names (i.e. surnames) be used as part of usernames and does not recommend personal information such as phone numbers and street addresses are disclosed anywhere on TeenHelp, even to trusted parties. We will pro-actively remove this information when we see it. This helps you to stay anonymous and makes it impractical to identify you personally.
  • Controlling your information - We provide you with a wide range of controls over your information. You can choose to complete or leave blank many parts of your profile, control who can see which parts of your profile and control options like whether or not we send you emails. All of this can be controlled from your User Control Panel: www.teenhelp.org/usercp

How and where we store your information

All information you give to TeenHelp is stored within the TeenHelp server. Periodic back ups are made to an external computer. All data is stored using secure methods and is password protected, including the back up database file. This information is only accessible to authorised individuals who only have access to the information they need to perform their duties. Full information is available to Project Coordinators, who then authorise additional members of the TeenHelp staff team to view parts of this information that are necessary for them to perform their roles.

Who can see your information – Confidentiality Policy

Most information disclosed to a member of the TeenHelp staff will be kept confidential at all times. TeenHelp staff members are permitted to disclose information about safety and moderating concerns to the Moderating Team and other key volunteers. TeenHelp cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information disclosed to non-staff members. TeenHelp accepts no responsibility for the misuse or distribution of any personal information that users voluntarily disclose to non-staff members. Reasonable efforts will be made by the Project Coordinators to protect the privacy of TeenHelp users, and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against staff members who break these privacy agreements.

In exceptional situations such as immediate risk of harm or a vital or public interest this Confidentiality Policy may be dismissed and personal data may be disclosed to appropriate authorities; such a decision rests solely with the Project Coordinators.

Access to your information

The majority of information you give to us is accessible to you 24 hours a day through your User Control Panel at: www.teenhelp.org/usercp

If you would like to request any further information we hold about you, you may do this by contacting us via email at contact [at] teenhelp.org

We will establish that it is truly you before releasing any information. Under no circumstances will we release information about you to anybody else. We will complete this within a reasonable time frame, not longer than a month.

Correcting your information

You have the right to correct the information we hold about you to be correct. The majority of information you give can be corrected by yourself 24 hours a day through your User Control Panel at: www.teenhelp.org/usercp

If you would like to correct any further information we hold about you, you may do this by contacting us via email at contact [at] teenhelp.org

We will establish that it is truly you before correcting any information. We will complete this within a reasonable time frame, not longer than a month.

Removing your information

You have the right to remove your account at any time. Any information remaining on the site at this time will automatically be anonymised. You can do this here: www.teenhelp.org/delete

You can remove the majority of personal information and sensitive information about yourself 24 hours a day through your User Control Panel at: www.teenhelp.org/usercp

We will establish that it is truly you before removing any information. We will complete this within a reasonable time frame, not longer than a month.

How long we keep your information – Retention Policy

Your membership does not expire, therefore will remain active until you request to end it.

We will retain your information for no longer than 12 months after your membership ceases, however if you request account deletion this will be completed at the same time.

Data relating to volunteers is archived 12 months after it is no longer relevant, which is usually after they stop volunteering.

Our standard retention period for any other information is 5 years.

Sharing and selling information

We do not share or sell your information at any time. No information collected on TeenHelp will be actively disseminated, commercially or otherwise, to third parties or advertisers. Such third parties may unduly collect any content that is willingly displayed publicly, but TeenHelp will not play a role in this, and will actively prevent this occurrence where possible.

Automated decision making

We do not use your information for profiling or to make automated decisions about you at any time.

Right to object

You have the right to object to how we use your personal information. In some situations we must stop using your information immediately, for example sending you marketing communications. In other situations you need to explain why you object to this use of your information and we will have to consider this request. Please contact us for further information.

Protection of users under the age of thirteen – COPPA Compliance Statement

TeenHelp does not collect any personal information from users under the age of thirteen. Users under the age of thirteen and parents or guardians of such users should be aware that not all content on TeenHelp may be appropriate for those users. Content on TeenHelp is moderated to be suitable for a thirteen year old. Parents or guardians of users under the age of thirteen are ultimately responsible for the activities their children take part in on the Internet.

Under the USA Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) users under the age of thirteen should obtain the consent of their parents or guardians before they use any services provided by TeenHelp. Parents or guardians of children under the age of thirteen have the entitlement to review all personal information collected about their child while on TeenHelp. The parent or guardian may demand the deletion of this information, and the suspension of their child’s usage of these services. Parents or guardians will be required to demonstrate evidence of their relation to the child before any information is released or modified. Under no circumstance will requests for advice, private journal entries, private messages, chat logs, or similar information be released to the parents or guardians of TeenHelp users.

Please be aware laws relating to children under the age of thirteen are different for EU citizens under the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and this policy will apply differently to such users.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about the data we collect about you or how we use it, or you are a parent of someone under the age of 13, please contact us on contact [at] teenhelp.org

All complaints will be addressed according to our Complaints Procedure: www.teenhelp.org/complaints




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