Privacy Policy

Effective January 14, 2022

This notice discloses the privacy practices for Houston Local Information Initiative (“we” or “us” or “our” or “Houston Local News”), and applies solely to information collected by this Site, www.localnewsforhouston.org (“Site”) (“Privacy Policy”). We are a strong supporter of individual privacy and we do everything we can to safeguard information about our visitors. This Privacy Policy explains what information we collect, why we collect particular information and how we work to protect your personal privacy.

In order to fully understand your rights, we encourage you to read this Privacy Policy. We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time simply by updating this page. Any such change will be effective immediately upon posting, unless otherwise stated. If we make material changes to the way we collect or process personal data, we will let you know by email or by updating this Privacy Policy page. Note however that you are responsible for ensuring we have your up-to-date, active and deliverable email address and periodically visiting this Privacy Policy page to check for any changes.

To demonstrate our commitment to your privacy, this Privacy Policy notifies you of:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected through the Site;
  2. How such information is used;
  3. With whom your information may be shared;
  4. What security procedures are in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information under our control; and
  5. Your rights and choices regarding your information.

What Personal Information We Collect from Our Site Visitors

When contacting us, signing up for our newsletter or otherwise sharing information through our Site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address, payment information (for donations), or other relevant details, which we collect to help you with your experience. We may also collect information you have shared, such as general feedback, testimonials, comments, or questions and requests submitted through our Contact Us page or other means.


How We Collect Information

We collect information from you whenever you submit information to us, including subscribing to our newsletter, providing your contact information such as email address, responding to a marketing communication, making a donation or otherwise interacting with us or entering information on our Site. We also collect certain information automatically, such as IP addresses, when you visit our Site. See Internet Protocol (IP) Address below.


Why We Collect Information and How We Use It

We only use your information in accordance with the law. This gives us the authority to use your data in relation to your participation in our organization, and/or using our Site. We use the collected data for various purposes, including:

  • To fulfill the reason you provided the information. For example, if you share your information to inquire about programs, journalism efforts or local news coverage by us, we will use that personal information to respond to your inquiry.
  • To process your donation.
  • To improve, personalize and develop our Site to deliver the type of content or service offerings in which you are most interested.
  • To monitor usage of our Site and make improvements in order to better serve you.
  • To detect, prevent, and address technical issues.
  • To provide you with support and to respond to your questions, comments or other feedback, including to investigate and address your concerns and following up with you after correspondence.
  • To send you periodic emails regarding other programs and services which may be of interest to you (which you may unsubscribe to at any time).
  • To comply with a legal obligation.
  • For any other purpose described to you when collecting your personal information or with your consent.

Authorized Release of Information

While we endeavor to provide the highest level of protection of your information, we may be legally required to disclose information in certain circumstances without your consent, such as pursuant to a subpoena or other judicial or administrative order. We comply with all applicable legal requirements.


How We Protect Your Information

We take commercially reasonable steps to protect your information from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. Please understand, however, that no security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our databases, nor can we guarantee that the information that you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted to and from us over the Internet. In particular, email may not be secure, and you should, therefore, take special care in deciding what information you send to us via email.

To help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect.

Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.

Our Site is scanned by our third-party hosting provider on a regular basis for security holes and known vulnerabilities in order to make your visit to our Site as safe as possible.


Use of Cookies

A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a website’s servers and stored on your computer. We may use cookies on this Site for essential purposes, including enabling you to navigate our Site and use its features, such as accessing any secure areas. We may also use cookies on this Site to gather statistics on how visitors use our Site. This allows us to gain insight so that we may make improvements to its usability. Some of our third party providers may also use cookies. We urge you to review their privacy policies and practices.


Internet Protocol (IP) Address

We collect an Internet Protocol (IP) address from all visitors to our Site. An IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you use the Internet. We use IP addresses to help diagnose problems with our server, administer our Site, analyze trends, gather broad demographic information for aggregate use to help us to improve the Site, and deliver customized, personalized content. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information

As with almost all Sites, temporary log files are kept which identify some information about our visitors, including the IP addresses of machines that access the Site. Our web logs are not available to the public. These logs allow Site administrators to see how many people visit, how many pages have been accessed, which pages are accessed most frequently, and which links are leading people to the Site.

Standard logs (including ours) also track which pages are visited by each IP address. This information is important for us to have because it allows us to catch "denial of service" attacks (for example, individual computers accessing hundreds of thousands of pages per day). We take great care to make sure this information cannot be used to compromise the privacy and security of our visitors.


Third Party Disclosure

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer your personally identifiable information to outside parties.

We do use a number of third party providers to host our Site and constituent database, process program registrations, and manage our communications. We may share information from or about you with these third party providers so that they can perform their services or complete your requests. All shared data is transferred and stored securely, in accordance with the privacy policies of each provider. We endeavor to work with providers with privacy standards that match our own, but in some cases, third party providers collect more information on you than we do, and we encourage you to review their privacy policies.


Links to Third Party Sites/Services

We may occasionally, at our discretion, include or offer other third party products or services on our Site. These sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We take no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our Site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

Right to Know and Data Portability

You have the right to request that we disclose certain information to you about our collection and use of your personal information over the past 12 months (the "right to know"). Once we receive your request and confirm your identity (see Exercising Your Rights to Know or Delete), 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 or commercial purpose for collecting or selling that personal information.
  • The categories of third parties with whom we share that personal information.
  • If we sold or disclosed your personal information for a business purpose, two separate lists disclosing:
  1. sales, identifying the personal information categories that each category of recipient purchased; and
  2. disclosures for a business purpose, identifying the personal information categories that each category of recipient obtained.
  • The specific pieces of personal information we collected about you (also called a data portability request).

We do not provide a right to know or data portability disclosure for Business-to-business (B2B) personal information.


Right to Delete

You have the right to request that we delete any of your personal information that we collected from you and retained, subject to certain exceptions (the "right to delete"). Once we receive your request and confirm your identity (see Exercising Your Rights to Know or Delete), we will review your request to see if an exception allowing us to retain the information applies. We may deny your deletion request if retaining the information is necessary for us or our service provider(s) to:

  1. Complete the transaction for which we collected the personal information, provide a 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.
  2. Detect security incidents, protect against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity, or prosecute those responsible for such activities.
  3. Exercise free speech, ensure the right of another consumer to exercise their free speech rights, or exercise another right provided for by law.
  4. 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.
  5. Enable solely internal uses that are reasonably aligned with consumer expectations based on your relationship with us.
  6. Comply with a legal obligation.
  7. Make other internal and lawful uses of that information that are compatible with the context in which you provided it.

We will delete or deidentify personal information not subject to one of these exceptions from our records and will direct our service providers to take similar action.

We do not provide these deletion rights for B2B personal information.


Exercising Your Rights to Know or Delete

To exercise your rights to know or delete described above, please submit a request via email to houston@theajp.org or through our Contact Us page. Only you, or someone legally authorized to act on your behalf, may make a request to know or delete related to your personal information. You may only submit a request to know twice within a 12-month period. Your request to know or delete must:

  • Provide sufficient information that allows us to reasonably verify you are the person about whom we collected personal information and
  • Describe your request with sufficient detail that allows us to properly understand, evaluate, and respond to it.

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.


How does our Site handle Do Not Track signals?

We honor Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place.


COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)

We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old. Should you become aware of anyone under the age of 13 years using our Site, please let us know.


CAN-SPAM Act

The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act of 2003 (“CAN-SPAM Act”) is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

We collect your email address in order to:

  • Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions.
  • Send information and updates pertaining to our programs and services.
  • Market to our mailing list or continue to send emails to our program participants and/or interested participants after you have provided us your information.

To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:

  • Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses.
  • Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way.
  • Include the physical address of our business or Site headquarters.
  • Monitor third party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
  • Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly.
  • Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email.

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you may click on the “UNSUBCRIBE” link or button.


How to Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, the ways in which Houston Local News collects and uses your information described here, your choices and rights regarding such use, or wish to exercise your rights under the law, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at houston@theajp.org or through our Contact Us page. Please reference “Privacy” in the subject line.