Effective Date: February 2, 2015
- Who is Ask.fm?
- How We Collect Your Information
- Being Anonymous
- How We Use Your Information
- Sharing Your Information
- Online Analytics and Tailored Advertising
- Your Choices and Blocking Other Users
- International Users
- How We Protect Your Information
- De-Activating Your Profile and/or Leaving Ask.fm
- Your EU Data Protection Rights
- Third Party Links and Services
- California Privacy Rights
- Changes to this Policy
- Contact Us/Make a Report
Ask.fm is currently operated by Ask.fm Europe, Ltd., an Irish limited liability company (the “Company”). The Company’s registration number is 551873 and its registered office is at 6th Floor South Bank House, Barrow Street, Dublin 4, Ireland.
The personal information provided to or collected by our Services is controlled by the Company in accordance with Irish and EU law.
How we collect, process and store information depends in part on how you use the Services. You may register to use the Services (“Registered User”). You can use some of the Services without creating an account (“Guest User”) or providing any information other than information that is automatically collected as explained below. The different categories of information we collect from you are described below.
Information We Collect From You
Information about you. We may collect information from you during your use of the Services, including your name, username, password, email address, postal address, phone number, mobile phone number, payment information, gender, birth year, and other information you provide or post on our Services or allow us to access when you do certain things, such as:
- Sign up and complete our registration form;
- Create or edit your user profile;
- Login to the Services;
- Submit questions or answer questions;
- Contact our customer support team or use our reporting mechanisms;
- Enter a sweepstakes or contest or register for a promotion;
- Participate in voting or polling activities;
- Request certain features (e.g., newsletters, updates, or other products);
- Connect with the Services or otherwise allow us to access certain information about you via a social media service; or
- Post user-generated content to or on our Services.
Information about your friends. You can choose to invite your friends to join Ask.fm so that you can stay in touch with them on the Services. To make it easier to search and find friends and people you know on Ask.fm, users may search for other members using first and last name, email address, and location.
We may automatically collect certain information about the computer or devices (including mobile devices) you use to access the Services, and about your use of the Services, even if you use the Services as a Guest User or post on an anonymous basis.
Device/Usage Information. We may collect information such as (a) IP addresses, unique device identifiers (e.g. IDFA or other device IDs on Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch), and other information about your mobile phone or other mobile device(s) browser types, browser language, operating system, the state or country from which you accessed the Services; and (b) information related to the ways in which you interact with the Services, such as: referring and exit pages and URLs, platform type, the number of clicks, domain names, landing pages, pages viewed and the order of those pages, the amount of time spent on particular pages, the date and time you used the Services, error logs, and other similar information. As described further below, we may use third party analytics providers and technologies, including cookies and similar tools, to assist us in understanding how our Services are used. Such tools may collect and use your data, after we have depersonalized it, with other Ask.fm users’ data.
Location Information. We may collect general information (e.g. IP address, zip code) about your location, and may use that information to customize the Services with location-based information, advertising, and features. You consent to this collection and processing of location information.
Cookies and other electronic technologies. When you use the Services, we use persistent and session cookies and other similar technologies to: (a) store your username and password; (b) analyze the usage of our sites and Services by collecting the information discussed above; (c) customize the Services to your preferences; and (d) display advertising on the Services. We may also use other Internet technologies, such as web beacons or pixel tags and other similar technologies, to deliver or communicate with cookies and analyze your use of the Services. We also may include Web beacons in e-mail messages or newsletters to determine whether the message has been opened and for other analytics.
Information from Third Parties
We may also obtain information about you if it is contained in user-generated content that other users post to or on our Services. For example, one of your friends could post something about you in a question they ask you, or in an answer they post.
We may obtain additional information about you from affiliates and may combine that information with information which we collect from or about you and information derived from any other product or service we or our affiliates provide.
Anonymous or De-Identified Data
The fact that you can send messages without other people knowing who you are is part of what makes Ask.fm unique and so much fun. It means that you can ask things that you might be too embarrassed or shy to say if anyone knew it was you. People may often be more honest when they are anonymous, whether they’re asking a question anonymously, or answering a question where they don’t know who has asked it.
You have the ability to decide whether to ask a question anonymously or on a named basis each time you submit a question to another user. However, this also means that when you receive questions or comments, you may not know who they come from either!
Remember, if you are a Registered User, that even if you ask a question anonymously, our Service will still have a record of the fact that you asked the question (even if we keep this private). If you are a Guest User, we may not know who you are.
Some people don’t like receiving things from people if they don’t know who they are. So we provide all users with the ability to choose not to receive questions from anonymous users on the “Settings” page on the website and mobile application.
We use the information we receive from and about you for the following purposes:
- To provide the Services;
- To process and respond to your inquiries;
- To send you information about your relationship or transactions with us;
- To contact you if you have filed a complaint or report, or if someone has made any claim or report against you;
- To make suggestions to you and other Registered users, such as suggesting Registered users’ profiles to follow;
- To notify you about new features of the Services, special events, or products, services, and special offers, or to send you questions of the day;
- To moderate content and to keep the Services safe and secure and address any security issues;
- To generate advertising and promotional materials for our Services;
- To understand and assess the effectiveness of advertisements on the Services;
- To process payment for virtual goods;
- To administer sweepstakes and contests;
- To generate and review reports and data about our user base and Service usage patterns;
- To analyze the accuracy, effectiveness, usability, or popularity of the Services;
- To improve the content and features of the Services;
- To allow us to personalize the content and advertising that you see on the Services;
- To safeguard Ask.fm’s and others’ rights or property;
- To administer and troubleshoot the Services.
Your Profile Information
If you are a Registered User, anyone who uses the Services is able to see your user name and any information posted on your profile, including photos. Any questions that you receive in your inbox cannot be seen by anyone else until you reply to them. If you do reply, then the question and your answer will be posted on your profile, where they can be seen by anyone who uses the Services and views your profile. While you have the ability to delete posted questions and answers on your profile at any time by clicking the “x” next to the question/answer, you should be careful to only include information in your profile, including in any questions and answers, that you would not mind making public. If a Registered User “likes” a question or answer on your profile, the fact that the Registered User “liked” the content will be automatically visible.
Your profile information will also be searchable via public search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo). Your answers to questions may also be posted in the public “Stream” on the Services unless you choose to opt out through the “Privacy” tab under “Settings” on the site.
In general, please be careful and responsible whenever you are online. Should you choose to voluntarily disclose information through the Services, such as by submitting a question to another user or by answering a question to be posted on your profile, that information can be viewed publicly and people can copy content that is posted on the Internet. It could also be collected and used by third parties without our or your knowledge which may result in unsolicited messages from other individuals or third parties. You should not share personal information that might allow others to contact or locate you or other users and you should think before you post.
Sharing Your Information with Third Parties
- To assist in providing the Services;
- To provide you with services or products that you have requested;
- With companies that perform services on our behalf (including both third parties and our affiliates), such as advertising providers, payment processors, providers of technical infrastructure (such as servers) or engineering or other support, order fulfillment companies, moderation companies, and e-mail service providers;
- With our affiliates for the collective benefit of our affiliates’ businesses and for operational purposes;
- In order to respond to the claims of violation of the rights of third parties and/or to protect the rights, property and safety of Ask.fm, our employees, Registered and Guest Users, or the public. This may involve the sharing of your information with law enforcement, government agencies, courts, and/or other organizations;
- As we continue to develop our business, we may sell, buy, merge or partner with other companies or businesses, or sell some or all of our assets. In such transactions, user information may be among the transferred assets;
- We may share your information in any other circumstances where we have your consent or are otherwise permitted to share it by law.
To help us better understand your use of the Services, we may use third-party web analytics on our Services, such as Google Analytics. These service providers use the sort of technology described in the “Automatically-Collected Information” Section above. The information collected by this technology will be disclosed to or collected directly by these service providers, who use the information to evaluate Ask.fm users’ use of the Services. We also use Google Analytics as described in the following section. To prevent Google Analytics from collecting or using your information, you may install the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-on.
When accessing the Services from a mobile application you may also receive tailored in-application advertisements. Each operating system: iOS, Android and Windows Phone provides its own instructions on how to prevent the delivery of tailored in-application advertisements. You may review the support materials and/or the privacy settings for the respective operating systems in order to opt-out of tailored in-application advertisements. For any other devices and/or operating systems, please visit the privacy settings for the applicable device or operating system or contact the applicable platform operator.
Do Not Track Disclosure
We are committed to providing you with meaningful choices about the information collected on our Services for third party purposes, and that is why we provide the above links to the NAI “Consumer Opt-out”, DAA opt-out, and Google opt-out. However, we do not currently recognize or respond to browser-initiated Do Not Track signals, as the Internet industry is still working on Do Not Track standards, implementations and solutions.
You have a variety of choices regarding the collection, use and sharing of your personal information through the Services, including the ability to prevent other users from submitting questions to you.
- The “Privacy” tab of the Settings page allows you to: (1) switch off receiving anonymous questions; and (2) hide your answers from appearing in the “Stream”.
- You can opt out of receiving certain e-mail notifications from us, including emails advertising Ask.fm products and services, by clicking the “Notifications” tab of the Settings page on the mobile app and through the “Privacy” tab of the Settings page on the site.
- Blocking other users. You have the ability to add any user to your “blacklist” at any time by clicking on the “block” button on that user’s profile. This will prevent the user from asking you a question.
While Ask.fm is provided from Ireland it is a global website that operates and provides Services in various countries around the world. By giving us any personal information, or by using the applications available on the Services, you agree to the transfer, storage and processing of your personal information in our facilities, in various countries around the globe, including the United States. These countries may have privacy laws that differ from the laws in your country or the laws of Ireland. When we transfer your information globally we will take legally necessary steps to protect your information.
We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access to your information and to maintain data security. These safeguards take into account the sensitivity of the information that we collect, process and store and the current state of technology.
De-activating Your Profile
You can deactivate your profile by signing in to the Services with your password and opting to deactivate your profile. This option is available from your Settings page.
By deactivating your account, it will no longer be visible to other users of the Services. Your profile information will be retained in case you later decide to restore your account. Many members deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons and in doing so expect us to maintain their information until they return to Ask.fm. You should ordinarily be able to restore your account and the whole of your profile within 12 months of deactivating it but we cannot guarantee that this will always be the case.
Should you chose to leave Ask.fm, you may do so by selecting the “I want to leave Ask.fm” tab on the Contact Us page. Once received, we will process your request to leave as soon as practicable. Once processed, your profile data will be removed from the Services and your questions to friends will be converted to anonymous questions (in other words, questions you have asked will remain visible but will appear to be from an anonymous user). You will be able to reactivate your account by logging back in for a period of 30 days after your request to leave Ask.fm is processed. At the end of that period your account will be deleted and all “likes” which you have added to questions will be removed. We will delete your data as soon as reasonably practicable, but in certain cases limited types of data, including log files and backups, may take up to 90 days to be fully deleted.
Warning: After you have deactivated your account or left Ask.fm, questions you have previously transmitted through the Services may still appear on the Services, but will be anonymized and no longer associated with you directly (in other words, a question you asked on your friend’s profile will still be visible, but will not include your user name). Please also note that even after you remove information from your profile or deactivate your account, copies of such content may still be visible and/or accessed on the Internet to the extent such information has been previously shared with others, or to the extent such information has been shared with, indexed by or cached by search engines. Similarly, if you have given third party applications or websites (e.g., social networks) access to your personal information they may keep that information. We cannot control this, nor do we accept any responsibility or liability for this.
Changing Your Profile
Because you control your profile, you can see the personal information you’ve provided to us by accessing your “Profile” page, which gives you the option to correct or update your information at any time by just logging into the Services. Once you register, you will be able to change most of your personal information, including: your name; your country; your contact email address; your profile picture; and your password. You will not be able to change your birth date. You will also have the option to delete questions and answers posted to your profile at any time.
You have a right to request a copy of the information we hold about you. Such a request must be in writing. You can do this via our contact form: Feedback. We will contact you to let you know what else we need from you before we send you a copy of your personal information. We reserve the right to charge the statutory fee (currently €6.35) to process such a request.
The Services are not intended for use by children under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect (or knowingly allow any third party to collect) personal information from persons under the age of 13. If we become aware that personal information has been collected from a person under the age of 13, we will delete this information and terminate the person’s account as quickly as possible. If you believe that we may have personal information from or about a child under the age of 13, please contact us using the contact information below.
California law permits users who are California residents to request and obtain from us once a year, free of charge, a list of the third parties to whom we have disclosed their personal information (if any) for their direct marketing purposes in the prior calendar year, as well as the type of personal information disclosed to those parties. If you are a California resident and would like to request this information, please submit your request by clicking here.