CHILDREN'S PRIVACY POLICY

READ BEFORE DISCLOSING INFORMATION

Last Updated on: May 24th, 2018

 

  • This Children’s Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) applies to webkinz.com and Webkinz-branded mobile games and applications on which it is posted (collectively and individually, “Webkinz Service”), regardless of how you access or use them, whether via personal computers, mobile devices or otherwise.  You should read this entire Privacy Policy, but here is a partial list of some of the key topics.  Any capitalized terms have the meanings given to them where defined in the Privacy Policy.
  • We ask you for, and use Tracking Technologies (defined below) to detect information about you and your usage of the Webkinz Service, and third parties may also do so in connection with our Service.  Click here for details.  We do not detect or make any changes to your experience on the Webkinz Service if your browser is set to send so-called browser “do not track” signals. You may have certain other options regarding cookies and tracking.
  • We do not condition user’s participation in any Webkinz Service activity on the user’s disclosure of more Personal Information (defined below) than is reasonably required and is permitted by law and we comply with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”).  Click here for details
  • We do not disclose user information we collect on the Webkinz Service to third parties for Online Behavioral Advertising (“OBA”) or serve OBA ads on the Webkinz Service. Click here for details on advertising on the Webkinz Service.
  • Your California Privacy Rights: This Privacy Policy contains special provisions for users residing in California. If these are applicable to you, please review them carefully. Click here for details.
  • You consent to our practices is detailed in our Privacy Policy. Each time you use the Webkinz Services, the version of our Privacy Policy then posted will apply to that use, subject to Section 7, so you should check back each time you return for updates to prospectively change your consent, delete your account, stop using the Webkinz Service and uninstall any downloads and apps.
  • The Privacy Policy includes the following sections, click to link directly to them:

 


         1.         What Information Do We Collect and How Do We Use It? 

                           (a) What Information Do We Collect and How? 

                           (b) How Do We Use the Information Collected? 

                           (c) What About Cookies and Tracking of Users?  

         2.         How and When Do We Share Information with Third Parties? 

         3.         What About Ads and Advertisers? 

         4.         What Do We Do Regarding Children’s Privacy and Safety? 

         5.         What About Data Security?  

         6.         How Do I Change My Information and Communications Preferences? 

         7.         What About Changes to the Privacy Policy? 

         8.         Notice for California Residents. 

         9.         Notice to Canadian Residents.  

 

When this Privacy Policy refers to “Ganz” or “we”, it means Ganz, an Ontario partnership, operating this Webkinz Service.  When this Privacy Policy refers to “you”, it means a parent or legal guardian of a Webkinz Service user under the age of 18, or otherwise a Webkinz Service user age 18 or older.  To the extent we provide you notice on the Webkinz Service of different or additional privacy policies or practices (e.g., at the point of our collection), those additional terms shall govern such data collection and use.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to our data collection activities outside of the Webkinz Service (unless otherwise stated below), and is limited to our practices and our Webkinz Service and not to third party services or the practices of third parties. Consult their privacy policies regarding their practices.  Please supervise your children’s use of the Webkinz Service and exploration of the Internet.  In addition, please review the Service’s User Agreement, which governs your use of the Service, and includes among other things limits on our liability and your remedies.

By registering to use, and/or by using, the Webkinz Service, you agree to our User Agreement (which grants us rights from you, limits our liability to you and limits your remedies) and consent to our collection, use and sharing of your information and data, and other activities, as described in this Privacy Policy.  If you do not accept the terms of this Privacy Policy or the terms that govern the Webkinz Service, please exit the Webkinz Service and do not submit information to us in any way.

1. What Information Do We Collect and How Do We Use It?

When you (or your child) interact with the Webkinz Service, we may collect and store some personal and non-personal information, including without limitation demographic and usage data, as permitted by applicable law and as described in this Privacy Policy.

When this Privacy Policy uses the term “Personal Information”, it means information that identifies a particular individual. We do not condition user’s participation in any Webkinz Service activity on the user’s disclosure of more Personal Information than is reasonably required and is permitted by applicable law.


(a) What Information Do We Collect and How?

At the time of account setup: (i) from users residing in Canada, Ganz collects their Webkinz pet’s type, name and gender, as well as the Webkinz Service user’s country of residence, user name and password; and (ii) from users residing outside of Canada, Ganz collects their Webkinz pet’s type, name and gender, the Webkinz Service user’s country of residence, first name, gender and date of birth (optional), user name and password, and parent’s email address (optional) which is collected for the sole purpose of notifying parents about their child’s activities on Webkinz Service

We strongly advise children never to provide any Personal Information in their user name or pet’s name. If we discover that we have collected Personal Information from a user in a manner inconsistent with this Privacy Policy, COPPA or PIPEDA requirements, we will either delete the information to the extent required by applicable law or immediately seek any consent required by applicable law and this Privacy Policy for such collection. See Section 6 (below) on how to contact us if you think we have done so, or to otherwise contact us about privacy matters.

In addition to any Personal Information or other information that you choose to submit to us via Webkinz Service, we and our third-party service providers may use a variety of technologies that may automatically (or passively) store or collect certain information whenever you visit or interact with the Webkinz Service (“Usage Information”). This Usage Information may be stored or accessed using a variety of technologies that may be downloaded to your personal computer, browser, laptop, tablet, mobile phone or other device (each a “Device”) whenever you visit or interact with the Webkinz Service. To the extent we associate Usage Information with your Personal Information we collect directly from you on the Webkinz Service, we will treat such combined data as Personal Information, but we do not otherwise treat Usage Information that is not associated with a particular user’s personal information (including UIDs (defined below)) as Personal Information.


(b) How Do We Use the Information Collected?

Ganz stores and processes information collected through the Webkinz Service on servers located in Canada. We may use your Personal Information, and non-personal information (e.g., demographic information or Usage Information) that we collect about you: (1) to provide you with information or services or process transactions that you have requested or agreed to receive, including to send you electronic newsletters, or to provide you with our special offers or promotional materials; (2) to enable you to participate in a variety of the Webkinz Services’ features; (3) to process your account registration request; (4) to improve the Webkinz Services or create new service offerings, to customize your experience on any of the services, or to serve you specific content that is most relevant to you, e.g. country-specific advertising; (5) to contact you with regard to your use of the Webkinz Service and, in our discretion, changes to any of the services and/or any of the Webkinz Services’ policies; (6) for internal business purposes; and (7) for purposes disclosed at the time you provide your information or as otherwise set forth in this Privacy Policy or for any other legal purpose not inconsistent with this Privacy Policy. Such uses will be limited as may be required by applicable law (see for example Section 4 (below) on children’s privacy). Without limiting the generality of the forgoing:

  • We rely on the user name and password to validate Webkinz Service users at the time of login or when they contact Customer Service.
  • We rely on the country of residence data to serve country-specific content, including advertising.
  • If you opt in to receive offers, promotions or other information from Ganz (which is done through the Parent’s Account), we will use your contact information to provide you with such communications.
  • If you consent to your child using the KinzChat PLUS chat feature of the Webkinz Service, your child may be able to chat with other Webkinz Service users, using a restricted dictionary. Please note that our chat areas are monitored and our chat system is filtered using a restricted word dictionary. In order to properly review chat logs, Ganz saves them for a very limited time period after which the logs are erased.
  • In the chat rooms and when trading, users are identified to other users by the first three letters of their user name combined with their pet’s name, unless they are on each other’s “Friends’ List” in which case they are identified to their friends by their user name. Real name, or contact information, is not a permitted user or pet’s name.


(c) What About Cookies and Tracking of Users?

Each user account gets assigned a unique user ID. Ganz relies on such user ID to track game statistics, log Webkinz Service user achievements and analyze basic game data. We may look for and collect other unique identifiers (“UID”) associated with you such as your IP address and Device identifier. We do not consider UIDs on their own to be Personal Information as defined by this Privacy Policy, but to the extent applicable law treats them as personal information we comply with the requirements of such laws notwithstanding how they are defined under this Privacy Policy. In addition, Ganz may rely on other forms of UIDs such as cookies (small text files stored on the user’s hard drive, not the Webkinz Service, which may be HTML files, Flash files, or other technology), web beacons (images, also known as ‘clear gifs’), or other now and later known tracking technologies (collectively, “Tracking Technologies”) to gather data. Without limiting the generality of the forgoing:

  • Ganz uses cookies for general site settings and language selection.
  • We may track traffic patterns by using logs of database transactions and server interactions.
  • Ganz and our approved third party advertising service providers may use Tracking Technologies for ad campaign analytics and frequency capping, or to segregate users from certain further online profiling, but not for OBA (defined below).
  • Ganz may rely on web beacons to count visitors. Web beacons only collect limited information, including a cookie number, a timestamp, and a record of the page on which they are placed. Furthermore, third party advertising service providers may place their own web beacons. These beacons do not carry any Personal Information and may only be used to track the effectiveness of a particular advertising campaign.

Regular cookies may generally be disabled or removed by tools that are available as part of most commercial browsers, and in some but not all instances can be blocked in the future by selecting certain settings. Each browser you use will need to be set separately and different browsers offer different functionality and options in this regard. Also, these tools may not be effective with regard to Flash cookies or HTML5 cookies or other Tracking Technologies. For information on disabling Flash cookies, go to Adobe’s website http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/disable-third-party-local-shared.html. Please be aware that if you disable or remove these technologies some parts of the Webkinz Services may not work and that when you revisit our services your ability to limit browser-based Tracking Technologies is subject to your browser settings and limitations. Further, app-related Tracking Technologies in connection with non-browser usage (e.g., most functionality of an app) can only be disabled by uninstalling the app. To uninstall an app, follow the instructions from your operating system or handset manufacturer.

Third parties may use Tracking Technologies in connection with the Webkinz Service. However, we do not authorize third parties to do so for the purpose of the collection of information about your online activities over time and across third-party web sites or online services to build profiles about you and serve you with interest-based ads based on those profiles (so-called “online behavioral advertising” or “OBA”) and we require third parties that we authorize to associate Tracking Technologies with your Device by means of the Webkinz Service to comply with COPPA’s restrictions regarding such activities, including its restriction on OBA activities. Beyond these limitations we put on third parties, we do not control third party Tracking Technologies and we are not responsible for them to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law. However, you consent to potentially encountering third party Tracking Technologies in connection with the Webkinz Service. Some third parties may offer you certain choices regarding their practices. One way to determine this is to add the free Ghostery plug-in to your browser (www.ghostery.com), which according to Ghostery will display for you cookies associated with the web sites (but not mobile apps) you visit and privacy and opt-out policies and options of the parties operating those cookies. We are not responsible for the completeness or accuracy of this tool.

Also, various third parties are developing or have developed signals or other mechanisms known as “do not track signals”. For instance, some browsers may have such signal options, though they differ as to if the signal is set as default or must be turned on by the user. Further, there is not yet an industry consensus as to what sites and app operators should do with regard to these signals. Accordingly, we do not monitor or take any action with respect to these signals or other mechanisms, though we may consider doing so if an understandable and practical standard is developed and widely adopted. However, as noted above, we do not permit OBA ads on the Webkinz Service.

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2. How and When Do We Share Information with Third Parties?

We may share non-Personal Information, such as aggregated user statistics, with third parties. We do not share your Personal Information that we have collected directly from you on the Webkinz Service with third parties for those third parties’ direct marketing purposes, except as set forth in this Section 2 (e.g., as part of the sale of our business) unless we have given you the choice to consent or withhold consent to such sharing at the time you provide such Personal Information. We also comply with COPPA and PIPEDA regarding their respective data sharing restrictions. Without limiting the generality of the forgoing, we may disclose your information as follows:

  • At times, Ganz may use outside organizations to perform specialized services such as data analysis or e-mail delivery on our behalf. These service providers are only given the information needed to perform those services and they are bound contractually to protect the confidentiality, privacy and security of your information and to limit the use of your information to the service being provided. We may provide these vendors with access to user information, including UIDs and Personal Information, to carry out the services they are performing for us. However, we restrict the use of UIDs we share with our vendors to their and our internal operation purposes as required by COPPA or other applicable laws. Third-party analytics and other service providers may set and access their own Tracking Technologies on your Device and they may otherwise collect or have access to information about you. However, we require the vendors we authorize to do so to restrict the use of UIDs to their and our internal operation purposes as required by COPPA and other applicable laws. We are not otherwise responsible for those third party technologies or activities arising out of them.
  • To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, we may disclose data about you, including Personal Information to government, legal or regulatory authorities: (i) if so ordered by a court of law: or (ii) for other legal reasons, such as, (a) to comply with legal process such as a search warrant, subpoena or court order, (b) to protect the company’s rights and property, (c) to investigate reports of fraud or of users using a false email address or users sending harassing, threatening, or abusive messages, (d) to protect against what we believe in our sole and absolute discretion to be a misuse or unauthorized use of our Webkinz Service, or (e) in emergencies, such as when we believe our integrity requires protection or someone’s physical safety is at risk. In some cases, disclosure may be required by law to be without notice to you.
  • In the case of any significant transaction or event contemplated by Ganz, for example, a sale, merger, amalgamation, financing, re-organization, liquidation, or insolvency, other parties to the contemplated transaction and their professional advisors may need to have access to Ganz’s customer lists and various databases as part of the due diligence process. In this event, Ganz would only provide access under terms of a strict confidentiality agreement. Also, upon completion of the transaction or event, your Personal Information and other data about you may be transferred to Ganz’s successor-in-interest to be used only for the purposes permitted under the applicable Privacy Policy pursuant to which it was collected by Ganz.

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3. What About Ads and Advertisers?

From time to time, Ganz may use third party advertising service providers to serve ads. Ganz is very selective of the third party advertising service providers it works with and only intends to authorize access to the Webkinz Service for ad serving to those that do not (i) use the Webkinz Service to associate cookies with Webkinz Service users or (ii) target OBA to our users while on the Webkinz Service. For more details see Section 1(c) above, and our Ad Policy. Furthermore, Ganz does not seek access to your online profile, if one has been built by third party advertising service providers, to serve you OBA ads while you are on the Webkinz Service. Similarly, the third party advertising service providers we engage to serve ads on the Webkinz Service do not have access to Tracking Technologies set by Ganz, or the Personal Information we collect from users on the Webkinz Service. Ganz makes good faith efforts to monitor its advertising service providers to ensure continued compliance with the above practices and is legally entitled to terminate its relationship with any provider should the third party advertising service provider change its approach to Personal Information and targeted advertising in a manner inconsistent with these restrictions.

We do, however, serve non-OBA ads on the Webkinz Service and we and third parties may use Tracking Technologies for non-OBA purposes, such as to prevent repetition of ads, to track click throughs and other ad campaign effectiveness measurements. For more information on ads and advertisers regarding the Webkinz Service, see our Ad Policy.

We make efforts to keep ads on the Webkinz Service appropriate, in our opinion, to our audience. Further, we may offer certain parents options to limit ads, such as ad blocking for active Webkinz Service users.

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4. What Do We Do Regarding Children’s Privacy and Safety?

We have made efforts to design the Webkinz Service to be what we think is child appropriate. For instance we limit the way people can contact your child. KinzChat is limited to pre-approved words from drop down boxes. If you consent to your child using the KinzChat PLUS chat feature of the Webkinz Service, your child may be able to chat with other Webkinz Service users, using a restricted dictionary. Such chat is monitored and we use filters designed to block submission of Personal Information and what we have identified as clearly age inappropriate language. However, no monitoring or filtering can be error free and what you deem inappropriate may differ. Please supervise your children’s use of the Webkinz Service and their exploration of the Internet and any social services, and teach them about protecting themselves and their Personal Information online.

The Webkinz Service is intended to comply with COPPA and PIPEDA. If you reside in the United States, we encourage you to visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec08.shtm for more information about COPPA and children’s privacy. In the event that we become aware that we have collected COPPA-restricted personal information from any child other than as permitted under that law, we will dispose of that information, or otherwise treat it, in accordance with COPPA and other applicable laws and regulations. If you are a parent or guardian and you believe that your child under the age of thirteen (13) has provided us with personal information (as defined by COPPA) without COPPA-required consent, please write to: Privacy Officer, Ganz, One Pearce Road, Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 3T2, Canada, or submit your inquiry via facsimile: 905-851-7427 or by email at privacyofficer@ganz.com.

Webkinz Service users under the age of eighteen (18) who have registered to use the Webkinz Service, and who have posted content or information on the service, can request that such information be removed from public display by contacting us at the e-mail or address set forth in the paragraph above making such a request, stating that they personally posted such content or information and detailing where the content or information is posted. We will make reasonable good faith efforts to remove the post from prospective public view or anonymize it so the Webkinz Service user cannot be individually identified. This removal process cannot ensure complete or comprehensive removal. For instance, third-parties may have republished the post and archived copies of it may be stored by search engines and others that we do not control.

Parents may want to consider commercially available parental control protections to limit what their children can access online and/or monitor their children’s online activities. Examples include: www.netnanny.com; www.webwatcher.com and www.sentrypc.com. We do not endorse these or other services and are not responsible for them.

There are many things you can do to protect your, and your child’s, privacy and safety, including exercising common sense. For instance, ensure that passwords used to access the Webkinz Service are both easy to remember, but hard to guess and not shared with anyone (other than your child sharing their passwords with you), and do not include Personal Information. We encourage users not to access their accounts from shared computers or devices or public computers or devices, to avoid the unauthorized accessing of their accounts. Furthermore, we recommend that users not store their logins/passwords on their computers or devices in case those fall into the hands of someone else.

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5. What About Data Security?

We endeavor to incorporate commercially reasonable safeguards to help protect and secure your Personal Information.

In addition, our employees and our third party vendors that we give access to your Personal Information, will be contractually bound to protect the confidentiality of Personal Information. Such access to Personal Information is restricted to those with a need to know the information to carry out the approved activity. In any instance that we collect your Personal Information in connection with the Webkinz Service, we will retain it only so long as reasonably necessary to fulfill the defined purpose, for purposes of the security of our users and/or our Webkinz Service, and/or as required by law. With that in mind, we typically archive user accounts that remain inactive for eighteen (18) months and will delete such archived account after seven (7) years, unless otherwise required by law. At any time during the seven year term, you may request reactivation of the archived account, by contacting Customer Service. In addition, you may request deletion of your child’s account at any time, via your Parent’s Account.

However, no data transmission over the Internet, mobile networks, wireless transmission or electronic storage of information can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Please note that we cannot ensure the security of any information you transmit to us, and you use the Webkinz Service, and provide us with your information, at your own risk.

 

Account Security Best Practices
We encourage all players to follow these rules to best ensure that their account is safe:

 

  • Use a password that is at least 8 characters long and includes both letters and numbers.
  • Change your password regularly, at least once every six months.
  • Never share your password with anyone, including friends.

 

Ganz may, from time to time, require that all players update their password. When these events happen, you will be given a change password form when trying to log in.

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6. How Do I Change My Information and Communications Preferences?

You are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the information you submit to us, such as your contact information provided as part of registration. The Webkinz Service may allow you to review, correct or update Personal Information, and you may provide registration updates and changes, using Parent Account tools that may be available from time-to-time, or by contacting us as set forth below. If so, we will make good faith efforts to make requested changes in our then active databases as soon as reasonably practicable. With respect to our mobile and other applications (i.e., when we are the application publisher), you can prospectively stop all collection of information by the application by uninstalling the app. You may use the standard uninstall process as may be available as part of your applicable Device or potentially via the appropriate app marketplace. Please note that it is not always possible to completely remove or delete all of your information from our databases and that residual data may remain on backup media or for other reasons. When you edit or request deletion of your Personal Information, information may persist internally for Company’s administrative purposes to the extent required or permitted by applicable law.

Subject to the forgoing, you have the following choices regarding Personal Information collected by us in connection with the Webkinz Service:

  • If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, or need to contact us with respect to a privacy concern or Personal Information we have on file about you and/or your child, or want to request deletion of the account, please write to: Privacy Officer, Ganz, One Pearce Road, Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 3T2, Canada, or submit your inquiry via facsimile: 905-851-7427 or by email at privacyofficer@ganz.com. (Children should have their parents submit questions or comments on their behalf.) Personal information provided by email may not be secure, and you assume the risks associated with your email transmission or our reply. Ganz may require that you identify yourself to our satisfaction. In the event that you are unable to identify yourself or your legal rights to obtain Personal Information we have about you and/ or your child, Ganz may, consistent with applicable law, decline to provide the information. In addition, you may request deletion of your child’s account via your Parent’s Account. Please keep in mind that a request to delete records may lead to a termination of an account, membership or other Webkinz Service.
  • You may request removal of any content or information posted by you or your child on the Webkinz Service. Please note that even though we may remove such posting, such removal does not ensure complete or comprehensive removal of the content or information posted on the Webkinz Service. While you may contact Customer Service through a link provided on the Webkinz Service, or otherwise contact us as set forth in Section 4, to request removal of content posted by you or your children, Ganz carries no responsibility for the information you or your child choose to disclose while chatting or through user profiles, nor anyone accessing your or your child’s account through the use of your or your child’s passwords or otherwise.
  • You may choose not to receive certain email from us, even after granting permission initially, by unsubscribing. Instructions on how to unsubscribe are included in each email sent by us.

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7. What About Changes to the Privacy Policy?

We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Policy and our User Agreement at any time and from time to time. If there is a material change to our data practices that affects our use or sharing of your Personal Information collected by us in connection with the Webkinz Service, you will be notified of such change, by a conspicuous posting on the Webkinz Service or otherwise. You may also be prompted to elect whether or not you agree to the change, if required by applicable law. Note that you may be unable to utilize the Webkinz Service if you choose not to agree to a modification to this Privacy Policy. Your acceptance of a revised Privacy Policy, which may be communicated by continuing to use of the Webkinz Service and/or clicking “I agree”, following the effective date of any changes to the Privacy Policy, shall mean that you have accepted the changes.

To the extent any provision of this Privacy Policy is found by a competent tribunal to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be severed to the extent necessary for the remainder to be valid and enforceable.

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8. This Privacy Policy contains special provisions for users residing in California. If these are applicable to you, please review them carefully.

Under California Civil Code Section 1798.83 (also known as S.B. 27 or the “Shine the Light” law), California residents have certain right to request certain information regarding a company’s disclosure of certain types of personal information to third parties for the third-parties' direct marketing purposes, if the consumer was not given a choice regarding the sharing of that information for those purposes. As explained above, we do not share Personal Information with third parties for the third-parties' direct marketing purposes. Also, California minors, along with other Webkinz Service users, have certain rights to request removal from public view of certain content they have posted. See Section 4, the Children’s Privacy and Safety section above, for more information.

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9. This Privacy Policy contains special provisions for users residing in Canada. If these are applicable to you, please review them carefully.

Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, individuals have a right of access to personal information in the custody or control of an organization and an account of its use. If you are or your child is a resident of Canada, you can request this information by contacting the GANZ privacy officer as described in Section 6.

EUROPEAN UNION PLAYERS: In addition to the policy above, EU players may also choose to delete their accounts at any time. To delete your Webkinz.com account please complete the following steps:

1)      Log into your Webkinz account at Webkinz.com.

2)      Click on the Options menu in the top right of the interface.

3)      Click on the Delete Account option.

4)      You will be prompted to confirm your decision.

5)      If you agree to this decision, you will be logged out and your account deleted.

6)      NOTE: This decision is permanent. It cannot be reversed once completed.

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