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This website's privacy
and content statement

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Overview:

bulletWe do not access identifiable information about visitors of our web site. (Identifiable information is any data that tells us something about an individual, or would allow us to contact a person.) The only exception to this policy are persons who donate to our group or purchase a CD of our site via PayPal, a credit card or a charge on their phone number. For those persons, we receive an Email from Ibill, Paypal and InternetSecure which confirms the donation and contains identifying information of the donor We delete these Emails.
bulletWe do send out newsletters.
bulletWe do not share personal information with other organizations.
bulletOur web site does not use "cookies." This is a method of storing information about visitors to our site.
bulletWe do access non-identifying aggregate data that describe our visitors as a group. This includes information which our statistical program collects about the browsers and operating systems used by our visitors.
bulletAll OCRT staff are bound by our privacy and security policies.
bulletWe have little or no knowledge of the data other Internet sites collect -- those which are reachable from our web site via hyperlinks.

This statement also applies to domains ReligiousTolerance.com, ReligiousTolerance.ca and ReligiousDiversity.info which automatically redirect readers to ReligiousTolerance.org 

Why a privacy statement?

Surveys have indicated that almost all users of the Internet are concerned about their personal privacy while surfing the web. 1 One way of addressing these concerns is for individual web sites to publish their privacy policy. Unfortunately, many have not yet done so.

The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to our readers' privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this website: ReligiousTolerance.org. We have also added some material on our site's contents and external links. 

If you have any concerns, please Email us.

Information that we can access:

bulletCIHost: This is the Texas company that hosts our web site. Like essentially all other web hosting services, they collect information such as IP addresses, time of access, essay URL, etc. from all of the visitors to the web sites on their computers. These data are stored in daily log files in our directory. We are unable to read these files; they cannot be viewed in any programs that we have available. However, we do indirectly access these data once a week. We analyze the files using the Wusage program. This program supplies us with a statistical report indicating the total number of hits, the distribution of hits as a function of hour of day and day of week, and the numbers of hits that each of our essays received. The statistical report prepared by this program contains no identifying personal information; it tells us absolutely nothing about individual visitors to our web site.

Information concerning Google AdSense for content ads:

Almost all of our web site's pages contain a Google Adsense ad at the bottom left, just under the navigation links. Some of our pages contain a Google ad mixed in with the text. These ads are matched to the content of the page on which they appear.

In supplying these ads:

bulletGoogle is a third party vendor that supplies us with content-related text ads. We have no control over the content of these ads.
bulletTheir system places "cookies" on your computer. These are tiny, harmless files that contain information on the type of sites that you have visited. For example, if you have visited a lot of sports-related sites, the cookie may show that you are a sports enthusiast. The information does not include any personal identifying information like your name, address, city, state, country, email address, or telephone number.
bulletGoogle uses these cookies to customize their delivery of relevant information to you.
bulletAccording to Google, you:
"... may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

More about cookies:

bulletI just viewed a list of cookies that have accumulated on my own computer. They total about 500 in number, including cookies from Answers.com, ABC.com, AFA.net, AltaVista.com. ... ReligionLink.org, ReligionNews.com, Reuters.com ... YouTube.com.
bulletMicrosoft has a "Description of Cookies" at: http://support.microsoft.com
bulletIf you use the Mozilla FireFox browser, you can remove individual cookies, remove all cookies, and/or reject the storage of future cookies by selecting Options on the Tools pull down menu.
bulletIf you use Microsoft Internet Explorer, see http://support.microsoft.com/ for information on how to delete cookie files manually or automatically.

What information do we share?

The only information that we share is on our web site for all to see:

bulletOur essay on site statistics describes overall traffic on our web site. This information is posted for anyone to read. It only shows averages and totals and does not identify individuals in any way.
bulletOur site surveys also contain aggregate, non-identifying information about our readers.

External links from our web site:

bullet All external links: We have no influence over them, and thus cannot be responsible for, the privacy practices or the content of other Web sites to which our essays and menus link.
bulletHate sites: This site contains thousands of links to other sites. Almost all of them are benign. However, a very few of the sites that we link to contain material that exhibits extreme religious hatred. We link to them as examples of unethical and despicable web sites. 
bulletDefunct sites: The Internet is a very dynamic medium. New web sites are being created and existing sites are being taken offline. Occasionally, a pornographic group will obtain the URL of a defunct web site and link it to their pornographic site, without our awareness.
bulletInternet Secure: We appeal for donations on our "help us" page. This is linked to InternetSecure.com, a company that accepts credit card data and passes it on to credit card companies. Internet Secure provides an accounting package that enables us to find out the amount of each donation, the Email address, and the name of each person donating. For reasons of privacy, we do not read or otherwise use any of this information other than the amounts donated, except at rare intervals:
bulletWhen we thank the donor for their donation.
bulletWhen we send them a thank-you note
bulletWhen we are asked to cancel a recurring billing or refund a donation.

Incoming E-mails:

Any E-mails that we receive which describe a personal problem are answered as quickly as possible, and then deleted.

Unfortunately, our incoming traffic is so high that we cannot answer all E-mails. In particular, we cannot enter into continuing discussions. We would like to, but time does not permit.

About one out of every thousand E-mails contains a thought provoking theological comment or question that we discuss on our web site. These are questions like "Who is a Christian?" "What religion should I follow?" "Can therapy change gays?" etc. We paraphrase the incoming E-mail and remove any identifying information before posting one or more excerpts from the E-mail it to our web site. For example, we might identify the Email as coming from a teacher, but we would not reveal the person's name, age, gender, city or state.

Child visitors:

A poll of our readers has indicated that 0.2% are under 13 years of age. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act became effective in the U.S. on 2000-APR-21. 2 It requires compliance from commercial web sites which:

bulletAre a commercial web site or online service directed to children under 13 years of age, and which collect personal information, or
bulletAre a web site directed at a general audience and which have actual knowledge that data is being collected from children.

We do not believe that our site qualifies under either of these criteria.

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Public Forums:

This site makes a message board available to its users. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information in the sense that anyone, anywhere in the world has access to it. You should exercise caution when deciding to disclose any personal information. 

Security:

This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. Our web site is under continual attack by abusive hackers who attempt to modify or delete our essays and menus. So far, all of the modifications have occurred to our essays on abortion,  homosexuality, and the Mormon movement. One hacker was a little more imaginative. They  briefly added an audio file to our home page -- a song about vampires. 

Contacting this Web Site:

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Web site, you can contact:

Bruce Robinson, coordinator
Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
PO Box 27026
Kingston ON, Canada
K7M 8A3

Email: ocrtfeedback@gmail.com

Fax: 613.547.9015

Voice: 613.547.6600 Our office is staffed at irregular times. We are in the Eastern time zone of North America.

Reference:

  1. "Protecting Online Privacy," at: http://www.witchvox.com/fritz/privacynotes.html 
  2. "How to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule," at: http://www.ftc.gov/ 

Originally written: 1999-NOV-25
Latest update: 2009-MAR-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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