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Privacy Policy

Last Updated 9/28/11

1.  About our Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy explains how we collect, store, share and use the personal information that you may give us.

2.  The types of information you give us

When you join our Website, you may provide us with personally identifying information, such as your name, email address, physical address, or other information.

Like most commercial websites, we identify and save the web browser type and IP address of computers that accesses our Website. We may use this data anonymously in aggregate for administrative and maintenance applications, such as traffic analysis and hardware diagnostics.

We may also create small files called “session cookies” that we store on your hard drive and delete when you leave our Website. These files track your movements, selections and clicks while visiting our Website and provide temporary storage for the data necessary to navigate our Website. Our session cookies are used to make our Website work more smoothly and contain no personally identifying information. We never connect any personally identifying information stored on our secure servers with the usage and behavior records stored in a session cookie.

Your browser may also allow websites to create “persistent cookies” that are not automatically erased when you leave the site that created them. If we ever store personally identifying information in a persistent cookie, we will encrypt them so that no one else can read your personal data. If you don't want to allow persistent cookies on your computer, all modern web browsers let you easily disable this feature.

3.  How we use the information you give us

We will not share, sell, or in any way provide any of your personal information with anyone (other members, Sponsors or partners) without your express written permission. Only employees and volunteers of OEIC and our Website developers will have any access to your information and then only when absolutely necessary to maintain our Website or complete transactions that you authorize.  We will, for example, forward your name and email address to a Sponsor when you send a message or otherwise initiate some inquiry or transaction with that particular Sponsor. We will never give your name and email address to a third-party marketing firm.

These protections do not apply to personally identifying information that you voluntarily post on publicly accessible pages on our Website. If you deliberately display personal information to the public, you obviously can’t later claim confidentiality. We are thus not responsible if someone else misuses such publicly published data and we’re not obligated to keep it secret.

We will archive data, including personally identifying information that you provide to our Community, as part of our system backup and recovery procedure. We store that information on servers that are secured and accessed under our control solely by us and our development and hosting service provider to support our Website. Personal information will not ordinarily be erased until you terminate your membership in our Website and, even then, we may retain some or all of your data in backup files.

We may use your personally identifying information anonymously and in aggregate to help us better manage our Website and improve our services. These applications (such as statistical analyses, auditing and research, and performance reports) will not allow other parties to personally identify you. If, for example, we include your physical address when counting the number of users we have in each city, we would not publish that data in a format that would allow third parties to identify your city of residence.

4.  How we protect the information you give us

We take appropriate precautions to protect our Members’ personally identifying information.  Personal data resides on a secure server behind a firewall and the contents of our cookies (as described above) are always encrypted.  But because all security measures are subject to circumvention, we cannot unequivocally guarantee our ability to prevent unauthorized access to information you provide us.

5.  Sharing your information with third parties

We may share demographic data with third parties, including Sponsors with which we have a business relationship, such as numbers of members in our geographic region or by city. And we may, for example, provide information that is directly related to the business activities of service providers that help us run our Website more efficiently.

Although rare, it’s possible that we may be compelled to disclose personal information by a lawful demand, such as a subpoena or court order, and we may decide to share personal information believe necessary to comply with any other law or government regulation, or to protect our legal interests or property.  This might involve sharing information with other companies, lawyers, agents, or government agencies. Unless legally barred from doing so, we will notify you if your personal information is disclosed this way.

6.  Links

This Privacy Policy applies solely to us, our Website, and our Online Community and other products and services we may offer. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of websites that you may access by clicking a link on our site.

7.  Sponsor advertising

Advertisements that appear on our Website are delivered to us by our Sponsors. We require that these ads do not contain any cookies and that accessing them only opens the Sponsor’s page on our Website. If you then choose to open their website, these companies may download their own cookies to your computer in order to facilitate navigation of their site or to identify your system the next time you connect with them. Such data-tracking also allows advertising networks to deliver targeted ads that they believe will be of interest to you. We have no access to or control over these third-party cookies.

If you do not want to receive Sponsor specials as part of our Newsnotes, you may opt out by “unsubscribing” at the bottom of the NewsNote.

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