How We Collect and Use Information
We collect the following types of information about you:
Information you provide us directly:
We ask for certain information such as:
- your username, real name, birthdate, address, phone number and email address when you register for a wikiHow account, or if you correspond with us. We collect your email address when you choose to sign up for our newsletters.
- We may also retain any messages you send through the Service, and may collect information you provide in User Content you post to the Service.
- We use this information to operate, maintain, and provide to you the features and functionality of the Service. Your username and if you choose to disclose it, your real name, will be published publicly. Once published, your username and / or real name may not be able to be removed entirely from the Service.
Information we may receive from third parties:
We may receive information about you from third parties.
- For example, if you access our websites or Service through a third-party connection or log-in, for example, through Facebook Connect, by “following,” “liking,” adding the wikiHow application, linking your account to the wikiHow Service, etc., that third party may pass certain information about your use of its service to wikiHow.
- This information could include, but is not limited to, the user ID associated with your account (for example, your Facebook UID), an access token necessary to access that service, any information that you have permitted the third party to share with us, and any information you have made public in connection with that service.
- If you allow us access to your friends list, your friends’ user IDs, and your connection to those friends, may be used and stored to make your experience more social, and to allow you to invite your friends to use our Service as well as provide you with updates if and when your friends join wikiHow. You should always review, and if necessary, adjust your privacy settings on third-party websites and services before linking or connecting them to the wikiHow Service. You may also unlink your third party account from the Service by adjusting your settings on the third party service.
Inviting a friend to use wikiHow:
- wikiHow may, in its sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to invite third parties to the Service. If you choose to use our invitation service to invite a third party to the Service through our “Invite friends” feature, you may directly choose a friend to invite through your mobile device’s native contact list – but we do not require that you import your contacts list to the Service, and we do not retain the information contained in your contacts list. You understand that by inviting a friend to wikiHow through the “Invite friends” feature, you are directly sending a text or email from your personal accounts and that we are not storing your contact list. In addition, you understand and agree that normal carrier charges apply to communications sent from your phone. Since this invitation is coming directly from your email or phone, we do not have access to or control this communication.
Finding your friends on the Service:
- wikiHow may, in its sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to locate your friends with wikiHow accounts through a “Find friends” feature. The “Find friends” feature allows you to choose to locate friends either through (i) your contact list, (ii) social media sites (such as Twitter or Facebook) or (iii) through a search of names and usernames on wikiHow. If you choose to find your friends through your contact list, then you agree to provide wikiHow access to your contact list such that we can perform the search necessary to determine whether or not someone associated with the information you provide is using wikiHow. If you choose to find your friends through social media sites, then you understand that the information these sites provide to use to conduct this type of search is governed by their privacy policies and your account settings on those sites. If you choose to find your friends through a search of names or usernames, then simply type a name to search and see if that name or username appears on our Service. Note that we do not retain any information contained in your contacts list, or information from social media sites about your contacts, and we do not use such information for any purpose other than to help you find your friends on wikiHow.
We may directly collect analytics data, or use third-party analytics tools and services, to help us measure traffic and usage trends for the Service. These tools collect information sent by your browser or mobile device, including the pages you visit and other information that assists us in improving the Service. We collect and use this analytics information in aggregate form such that it cannot reasonably be manipulated to identify any particular individual user.
- A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive after you close your browser. Persistent cookies may be used by your browser on subsequent visits to the site. Persistent cookies can be removed by following your web browser’s directions.
Log file information:
Log file information is automatically reported by your browser or mobile device each time you access the Service. When you use our Service, our servers automatically record certain log file information. These server logs may include information such as your web request, Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type, referring / exit pages and URLs, number of clicks and how you interact with links on the Service, domain names, landing pages, pages viewed, and other such information.
Clear gifs/web beacons information:
When you use the Service, we may employ clear gifs (also known as web beacons) which are used to anonymously track the online usage patterns of our Users. In addition, we may also use clear gifs in HTML-based emails sent to our users to track which emails are opened and which links are clicked by recipients. The information provided by these clear gifs allows for more accurate reporting and improvement of the Service.
When you access the Service by or through a mobile device (including but not limited to smart-phones or tablets), we may access, collect, monitor and/or remotely store one or more “device identifiers,” such as a universally unique identifier (“UUID”). Device identifiers are small data files or similar data structures stored on or associated with your mobile device, which uniquely identify your mobile device. A device identifier may be data stored in connection with the device hardware, data stored in connection with the device’s operating system or other software, or data sent to the device by wikiHow. A device identifier may convey information to us about how you browse and use the Service. A device identifier may remain persistently on your device, to help you log in faster and enhance your navigation through the Service. Some features of the Service may not function properly if use or availability of device identifiers is impaired or disabled.
When you access the Service by or through a mobile device, we may access, collect, monitor and/or remotely store “location data,” which may include GPS coordinates (e.g. latitude and/or longitude) or similar information regarding the location of your mobile device. Location data may convey to us information about how you browse and use the Service. Some features of the Service, particularly location-based services, may not function properly if use or availability of location data is impaired or disabled.
Commercial and marketing communications:
We use the information we collect or receive, such as your email address, to communicate directly with you. We may send you emails containing newsletters, promotions, and special offers. If you do not want to receive such email messages, you will be given the option to opt out or change your preferences. To opt out from our commercial and marketing communications please send us an email at [email protected], or follow unsubscribe directions placed in the body of the commercial and marketing communication that you have received from us.
Where required, we may request that you consent (opt-in) to receiving such materials before we start sending them. We also use your information to send you Service-related emails (e.g., account verification, purchase and billing confirmations and reminders, changes/updates to features of the Service, technical and security notices). You may not opt out of Service-related emails. You may also be able to be “found” on wikiHow based on information that you provide (see “Find friends on wikiHow”) above.
Use of certain service type information we collect about you:
- a) remember information so that you will not have to re-enter it during your visit or the next time you visit the site;
- b) provide custom, personalized content and information;
- c) to provide and monitor the effectiveness of our Service;
- d) monitor aggregate metrics such as total number of visitors, traffic, and demographic patterns;
- e) diagnose or fix technology problems;
- f) help you efficiently access your information after you sign in;
- g) to provide advertising to your browser or device, and
- h) automatically update the wikiHow application on your mobile devices.
Sharing of Your Information
How We Store and Protect Your Information
Storage and Processing:
Keeping your information safe:
wikiHow cares about the security of your information, and uses commercially reasonable safeguards to preserve the integrity and security of all information collected through the Service. To protect your privacy and security, we take reasonable steps (such as requesting a unique password) to verify your identity before granting you access to your account. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your unique password and account information, and for controlling access to your email communications from wikiHow, at all times. However, wikiHow cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to wikiHow or guarantee that information on the Service may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed. Your privacy settings may also be affected by changes to the functionality of third party sites and services that you add to the wikiHow Service, such as social networks. wikiHow is not responsible for the functionality or security measures of any third party.
Compromise of information:
In the event that any information under our control is compromised as a result of a breach of security, wikiHow will take reasonable steps to investigate the situation and where appropriate, notify those individuals whose information may have been compromised and take other steps, in accordance with any applicable laws and regulations.
Your Choices about Your Information
You control your account information and settings: You may update your account information and email communication preferences at any time by logging in to your account and changing your profile settings. You can also stop receiving promotional email communications from us by modifying your preferences.
We make every effort to promptly process all unsubscribe requests. As noted above, you may not opt out of Service-related communications (e.g., account verification, purchase and billing confirmations and reminders, changes/updates to features of the Service, technical and security notices). If you have any questions about reviewing or modifying your account information, you can contact us directly at [email protected].
Opting out of collection of your information for Tracking / Advertising:
Please refer to your mobile device or browser’s technical information for instructions on how to delete and disable cookies, and other tracking/recording tools. Depending on your type of device, it may not be possible to delete or disable tracking mechanisms on your mobile device. Note that disabling cookies and/or other tracking tools prevents wikiHow or its business partners from tracking your browser’s activities in relation to the Service, and for use in targeted advertising activities by third parties. However, doing so may disable many of the features available through the Service. If you have any questions about opting out of the collection of cookies and other tracking/recording tools, you can contact us directly at [email protected].
How long we keep your private profile information:
Following termination of your User account, wikiHow may retain your private profile information for a commercially reasonable time for backup, archival, or audit purposes. For the avoidance of doubt, any information that you choose to make public on the service may not be removable.
The Service and its content are not directed at children under the age of 13. wikiHow does not knowingly collect or solicit any information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register as Users. In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at [email protected].
Our Services and its content are not directed at children under the age of 16 who reside in the EU. wikiHow does not knowingly collect or solicit any information from anyone under the age of 16 who resides in the EU, or knowingly allow such persons to register as Users. In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from an EU resident under age 16 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from or about an EU resident under age 16, please contact us at [email protected].
EU Privacy Rights
For the purposes of the processing of personal data of individuals in the European Union (“EU”), we rely on the following lawful basis for the processing of your personal data:
(a) Our legitimate interests in (among other things) delivering the Services, conducting commercial research, improving and maintaining the Services, personalizing and tailoring content made available to you through the Service, protecting the security or integrity of our databases, protecting our business or reputation, taking precautions against legal liability, dealing with our assets in the event of a business change (see further below), protecting and defending our legal rights or property, or for resolving disputes, investigating and attending to inquiries or complaints with respect to your use of the Services;
(b) Where relevant, your express consent. If you provide us with personal information relating to you and give your consent for using it;
(c) Where relevant, the fulfilment of our contractual obligations to you under our terms and conditions of service; and
(d) Where relevant, for compliance with legal obligations to which we are subject.
Users based in the European Union have the following legal rights in respect of their information:
(a) The right to require us to confirm whether or not your information is being processed, the purpose of any such processing, the recipients of any information that has been disclosed, the period for which your information is to be stored and whether any automated decision-making processes are used in relation to their information;
(b) The right to require us to rectify inaccurate information without undue delay;
(c) Where we relied on the ‘consent’ basis for processing that information, the right to withdraw your consent at any time. This right to withdraw consent does not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal;
(d) The right to request the erasure of your information. Subject to certain conditions, you can make a request for erasure where:
(i) the information is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was collected;
(ii) the processing of the information is based on your consent (and the other circumstances described in the ‘Legal Basis for Processing Your information’ and ‘How We May Share Your information’ sections above no longer apply), if you withdraw your consent; or
(iii) where the personal data is processed by us solely on the basis of our ‘legitimate interest’ referred to above (and the other legal basis set out above do not apply), if you object to the processing of your personal data and there are no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing (such as, for example, where the processing of the data is required to meet statutory obligations or for the defence of legal claims).
Where we disclosed your information to a third party and you request the erasure or rectification of the data, we will take all reasonable steps to inform the third party of such request;
(e) The right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances, such as where the accuracy of that data is disputed or an objection has been raised. In such circumstances, we will only process that information with you express consent, or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or for the protection of the rights of another natural or legal person or for reasons of important public interest;
(f) Where data is processed based on your consent or to fulfil a contractual obligation, under certain conditions you may have the right to receive your personal data from us in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format;
(g) The right to object to the processing of personal data where:
(i) we rely solely on the ‘legitimate interest’ basis for processing that data, in which case we may be legally required to stop processing your information unless we have compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your privacy rights and interests; or
(ii) the information is used for direct marketing purposes, in which case we will immediately stop processing your information for such purposes;
(h) You have the right to lodge a complaint with the data protection supervisory authority of the EU member state where you reside.
Please note that the above legal rights are subject to various conditions and exceptions including where the data is used for statistical or scientific research purposes and the exercise of the right would prevent such purposes from being attained or would seriously impair their attainment.
California Privacy Rights
This section provides additional details about the personal information we collect about California residents and the rights afforded to them under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). Our Services may collect information that identifies, relates to, describes, references, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or device (”Personal Information”).
Personal Information wikiHow collects. If you have accessed or used the wikiHow service in the last 12 months, we may have collected one or more of the following categories of Personal Information:
- Identifiers (such as your name, postal address, email address, IP address or other online identifiers).
- Protected classification characteristics under California or federal law such as age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, sex (including gender, gender identity, gender expression), sexual orientation. We do not solicit this information and may have collected only if you had chosen to share that information with us.
- Internet or other similar network activity. (such as browsing history, search history, information on a consumer’s interaction with a website, application, or advertisement).
- Geolocation information (such as IP address).
If you created an account with wikiHow and included these in your wikiHow profile page, you may have provided wikiHow with other data such as demographic information, visual information (for example, your profile pictures) and personal interests. For more details about the personal information we collect please see the “How We Collect and Use Information” section above.
Personal Information wikiHow shares. We may share your Personal Information by disclosing it to a third party for a business purpose. We only make these business purpose disclosures under written contracts that describe the purposes, require the recipient to keep the Personal Information confidential, and prohibit using the disclosed information for any purpose except performing the contract. In the preceding twelve (12) months, wikiHow has disclosed Personal Information for a business purpose to the categories of third parties as indicated in the table below.
We may also share certain Personal Information (as your location, browser, cookies, and other data related to your use of the Services) by selling it to third parties to deliver targeted advertisements on the wikiHow Service, subject to your right to opt-out of those sales. In the preceding twelve (12) months, wikiHow has sold the following categories of personal information to the categories of third parties indicated in the table below. To opt-out of these sales, please use the following link: Do Not Sell My Personal Information. We will not knowingly sell any Personal Information of children under 16 without parental consent.
|Personal Information Category||Category of Third-Party Recipients|
|Business Purpose Disclosures||Sales|
|A: Identifiers||With Service Providers to enable us to provide the Services||With Ad networks to deliver targeted advertisements|
|B: California Customer Records personal information categories.||With Service Providers to enable us to provide the Services||None|
|C: Protected classification characteristics under California or federal law.||With Service Providers to enable us to provide the Services||None|
|F: Internet or other similar network activity.||With Service Providers to enable us to provide the Services||With Ad networks to deliver targeted advertisements|
|G: Geolocation data.||With Service Providers to enable us to provide the Services||With Ad networks to deliver targeted advertisements|
Your Rights as a California Resident
Effective on January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) provides consumers (California residents) with specific rights regarding their Personal Information. If you reside in California, you may exercise the following rights:
- A right to disclosure of the categories of Personal Information collected by us
- A right to disclosure of the specific pieces of Personal Information collected by us
- A right to deletion of Personal Information by us (subject to certain Exceptions outlined below)
- A right to receive Personal Information in a format that will allow its transfer to third parties by you
- A right to opt-out of the “sale” of Personal Information, where a “sale” under the CCPA means “selling, renting, releasing, disclosing, disseminating, making available, transferring, or otherwise communicating orally, in writing, or by electronic or other means, a consumer’s Personal Information to another business or a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration.”
A right to sue for security breaches of Personal Information.
Access to specific information and data portability rights
You have the right to request that we disclose to you your Personal Information we have collected about you over the past 12 months from the day of your request. Once we receive and confirm your request, we will disclose to you:
- The categories of Personal Information we collected about you.
- The categories of sources for the Personal Information we collected about you.
- Our business and commercial purposes for collecting or selling that Personal Information.
- The categories of third parties with whom we shared that Personal Information.
- The specific pieces of Personal Information we collected about you.
- If we “sold” or disclosed your Personal Information for a business purpose, up to two separate lists disclosing:
- if we “sold” your Personal Information, “sales”, identifying the Personal Information categories that each category of recipient “purchased”; and
- if we disclosed your Personal Information, disclosures for a business purpose, identifying the Personal Information categories that each category of recipient obtained.
Deletion request rights
You have the right to request that we delete any of Personal Information data that we collected from you and retained, subject to certain Exceptions (as listed below). Once we receive and confirm your request, we will delete your Personal Information from our records unless an Exception applies.
We may deny your deletion request if retaining the information is necessary for us or our Provider(s):
- to complete the transaction for which we collected the Personal Information, provide a good or service that you requested, take actions reasonably anticipated within the context of our ongoing business relationship with you, or otherwise perform our contract with you;
- to detect security incidents, protect against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity, or prosecute those responsible for such activities;
- to debug products to identify and repair errors that impair existing intended functionality;
- to exercise free speech, ensure the right of another consumer to exercise their free speech rights, or exercise another right provided for by law;
- to comply with the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Cal. Penal Code § 1546 et. seq.);
- to engage in public or peer-reviewed scientific, historical, or statistical research in the public interest that adheres to all other applicable ethics and privacy laws, when the information’s deletion may likely render impossible or seriously impair the research’s achievement, if you previously provided informed consent;
- to enable solely internal uses that are reasonably aligned with consumer expectations based on your relationship with us;
- to comply with a legal obligation; or
- to make other internal and lawful uses of that information that are compatible with the context in which you provided it (each an “Exception” and collectively, “Exceptions”).
We will not discriminate against you for exercising any of your CCPA rights. Unless permitted by the CCPA, we will not:
- deny you goods or services.
- charge you different prices or rates for goods or services, including through granting discounts or other benefits, or imposing penalties.
- provide you a different level or quality of goods or services.
- suggest that you may receive a different price or rate for goods or services or a different level or quality of goods or services.
However, we may still offer you certain financial incentives that can result in different prices, rates or service quality levels as permitted by the CCPA. We do not at this time provide any such financial incentives.
Exercising Access, Data Portability and Deletion Rights
To exercise your rights described above, please submit a request to us by either:
- [email protected]
- (888) 338-6485
Only you, or someone legally authorized to act on your behalf, may make a request related to your Personal Information. You may also make a request on behalf of your minor child. We cannot respond to your request or provide you with Personal Information if we cannot verify your identity or authority to make the request and confirm the Personal Information relates to you.
You may only make a request for access or data portability twice within a 12-month period. The request must:
- provide sufficient information that allows us to reasonably verify you are the person about whom we collected Personal Information or an authorized representative; and
- describe your request with sufficient detail that allows us to properly understand, evaluate, and respond to it.
Making a request does not require you to create an account with us. Also, we will only use Personal Information provided in a request to verify the requestor’s identity or authority to make the request.
Your Authorized Agent
You have the right to designate an authorized agent to make a request under the CCPA on your behalf.
Response Timing and Format
We will confirm that we received your request within ten (10) days and will respond within forty-five (45) days of its receipt. If we require more time, we will inform you of the reason and extension period in writing. We will deliver our written response electronically or, at your option, by mail. Any disclosures we provide will only cover the 12-month period preceding our receipt of the request. The response we provide will also explain the reasons we cannot comply with a request, if applicable. For data portability requests, we will select a format to provide your Personal Information that is readily useable and should allow you to transmit the information from one entity to another entity without hindrance. We do not charge a fee to process or respond to your request unless it is excessive, repetitive, or manifestly unfounded. If we determine that the request warrants a fee, we will tell you why we made that decision and provide you with a cost estimate before completing your request.
Use of Personal Information
wikiHow collects personal information to provide the wikiHow service, and for the business and commercial purposes described in the “How We Collect and Use Information” section above. Please see the “Sharing of Your Information” section above for details about how wikiHow shares your information with third parties. For details regarding the potential sale of personal information please read the “Ads on wikiHow” sub-section above. As described therein, we may provide data such as your location, browser, cookies, and other data related to your use of the wikiHow Service to deliver targeted advertisements on the wikiHow Service. To opt out of these sales, please use the following link: Do Not Sell My Personal Information.
How to Contact Us
530 Lytton Avenue, 2nd Floor
Palo Alto, CA 94301
- Email [email protected]
- Call 650-492-8008