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Privacy Policy

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Updated November 18, 2000
TheoQuest.com, hereinafter referred to as "TheoQuest.com," is committed to protecting your privacy online. You are important to us, so we take special care to maintain your trust. In order to fully understand your rights, we encourage you to read this Privacy Statement and to consult our Terms of Service. The following Privacy Statement is provided to help you understand how your personal information will be treated as you visit our Web site and use our services. This policy may change from time to time so please check back periodically.

When does TheoQuest.com collect my personally identifiable information?
TheoQuest.com gathers information from users and visitors primarily in four ways: 1) voluntary registration, 2) uploading content, 3) cookie technology, and 4) IP addresses. Wherever we collect personal information, we make an effort to include a link to this Privacy Statement on that page.

1) Registration. When you register as a user of TheoQuest.com, we collect information that helps us to identify you. The more information you provide, the better we are able to customize our services and your experience to suit your needs and preferences. At the initial registration screen we ask for your name, a user name, password, email address, and address and other information. Other specific services available through our site may have additional registration requirements and may require you to provide additional information. On occasion, we may also collect additional personal information if you choose to participate in our programs, submit your own content, or complete a survey form.

2) Uploading Content. Users may upload or post content onto TheoQuest.com's site to share this content with other users of our service. If any public content uploaded or posted by you contains any of your personal information, that information will become public once it is posted on the TheoQuest.com Web service.

3) Cookies. We use cookies as a fundamental part of the technology that allows TheoQuest.com to function. We also use them to store and track your preferences in order to provide you with a more personalized user experience. A cookie is a message that is sent to your browser from a Web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. Most Internet sites use cookies. You can set your browser preferences to reject all cookies (see below), but then you will not be able to use TheoQuest.com to its full potential. We also use cookies that contain no personal information at all. These cookies help us estimate our audience size and determine which areas of the TheoQuest.com Web site are the most popular. The privacy policy does not cover the use of cookies by advertisers (if any) on TheoQuest.com, and some of these advertisements may contain cookies. While TheoQuest.com has control of cookies on other parts of the Web site and service, the advertising company may collect cookies received with advertising, and TheoQuest.com does not have access to this information.

4. IP Address. An IP address is a number that is assigned to your computer automatically when you use the Internet. When you visit a particular Web page in the TheoQuest.com Web site, our servers log your IP address. We may log IP addresses for the purposes of systems administration or to gather and/or report information in aggregate form. We also use IP addresses to monitor user traffic patterns and site usage to help us further develop and improve our Web site and our services. We do not link your IP address to anything personally identifiable about you.

How is my personal information used?
Customized User Experience. TheoQuest.com gathers user information to provide you with a personalized user experience. For instance, your personal information enables us to provide you with access to your files and other information uploaded or stored by you on or through our service, as well as services we think will be of interest to you. We review our users' preferences, demographics, traffic patterns, and other information in the aggregate so that we can better understand who our users are and what features and services they want.

Advertising. Should TheoQuest.com decide at some time to include advertising on its site, tracking user preferences also helps us serve you with targeted advertising. Targeted advertisements are probably more interesting to you and are also more productive for our advertisers. For example, if an advertiser wants to offer users a series of celestial images, we can target an advertisement or offer to users on TheoQuest.com who have indicated their interest in astronomy by accessing or downloading celestial images from our site. Please note that we do not share your personally identifiable information with our advertisers. We act as the middleman between you and the advertisers that want to reach you.

Communication. TheoQuest.com will also use your email address, with your permission, to send you various forms of communication. For example, when someone shares a file with you, they may elect to have an email automatically sent to notify you (e.g., Thoughts of the Day). TheoQuest.com will notify its users of any important information related to the overall functioning of TheoQuest.com's programs. TheoQuest.com will also periodically send emails to inform users of new programs or projects funded by TheoQuest.com. Users may choose to opt-out of this feature by sending a request to opt-out to mailings@TheoQuest.com.

Other services. TheoQuest.com collects some information in specific applications or interactions within TheoQuest.com. These include:

* Suggestion Box. The information in the suggestion box is requested to assist us in identifying opportunities to improve TheoQuest.com programs and services. It also provides context for any type of feedback you may provide. In most instances, a TheoQuest.com staff member may contact you with thanks or answers to any questions you may pose, which is why the email address is required. This information is not used in any other manner.

* Survey. This information is gathered to help us improve our programs. The email address here is not required; please provide it only if you are interested in being contacted and in potentially serving as a reference. The survey information is only analyzed in aggregate and is not connected to any other individual information.

Who does TheoQuest.com share information with?
We may share user information in order to provide you with a more integrated and customized user experience within our site. In general, we will not disclose your personally identifiable information to third parties except to the extent necessary to provide you with a service you have explicitly requested (such as the Auto Login Service), or under circumstances required by law. We will disclose your personally identifiable information when we believe in good faith that any applicable law, regulation, or legal process requires it, or where we believe disclosure is necessary to protect or enforce our rights or the rights of another user. We also disclose aggregated user statistics in order to describe our services and reach to prospective partners, advertisers, and other third parties. However aggregate data is not traceable to you specifically.

Specific uses of personal information that vary from this Privacy Statement (if any) may be found in the privacy policies applicable to that particular service. To the extent that you are notified of uses of your personally identifiable information that are different from those described in this Privacy Statement during your enrollment in any particular service or promotion, the uses of which you are specifically notified will govern that service or promotion. Please be on the lookout for terms of service and privacy statements applicable to the services for which you sign-up or participate in. Please be aware, however, that we do not control the privacy policies of our advertisers (if any) and other third party sites to which we provide links. If you click-through a link and submit your information to a third party, you will be subject to their own privacy policies. We assume no responsibility or liability for these third party policies or the actions of non-affiliated third parties.

How does TheoQuest.com ensure the security of my personal information?
Your individual account(s) are protected by a user name and password. We strongly recommend that you memorize this information and not write it down anywhere. As an added level of protection for you, we do not have access to your password at TheoQuest.com. Only a few TheoQuest.com staff members have access to our servers, which are protected by passwords that are changed regularly. All employees are legally bound from sharing any sensitive material and regularly notified of this primary obligation.

Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, TheoQuest.com cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or from our online products or services, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems. This includes constant monitoring of our servers and regular security reviews.

What are my options to control the use of my personal information?
You may cancel your registration with TheoQuest.com and/or request the removal of your personal information from our usership records by sending and email to the TheoQuest.com staff. We will send a return email to confirm your request. After you respond, we will remove your information from our database. Residual information may remain in our archives and records, but this information will not be used for a commercial or other purposes. We reserve the right to maintain information on registered users who have violated our Terms of Service or who have had their access to TheoQuest.com blocked in order to detect repeat offenders.

What is TheoQuest.com's policy on allowing me to update, correct, or delete my personally identifiable information?
Your TheoQuest.com account can be amended, deleted, or deactivated but doing so may result in your not being able to access some portions of the TheoQuest.com service, including information you may have saved there. Please contact the TheoQuest.com staff for further instructions about deleting or deactivating your TheoQuest.com account. Residual information breaches are noted and analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Write to: members@theoquest.com to make your wishes known and/or activate this process.

What else should I know about my privacy?
You should be aware that if you voluntarily disclose personal information online in a public area, that information might be collected and used by others. We do not control the actions of our visitors or our users. If you disclose personal information in any content uploaded or posted by you, or in a chat session, bulletin board, or any other publicly accessible place on the TheoQuest.com site, you do so at your own risk and you understand that your submitted information may be collected and used by others to send you unsolicited messages, advertisements, or for other purposes.

Please note that we do not control the privacy policies of our merchant partners (if any), advertisers or other third party sites to which we provide banner ads and links. We assume no responsibility or liability for these third party policies or the actions of non-affiliated third parties.

Please remember that protection of your privacy begins with you. You are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of any password you use to register, and you should always exercise caution whenever disclosing information online. TheoQuest.com will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or in an unsolicited email. Also remember to sign out of your TheoQuest.com account and close your browser window when you have finished your work. This is to ensure that others cannot access your personal information and correspondence if you share a computer with someone else or are using a computer in a public place like a library or Internet cafe.

Acceptance of Privacy Statement
By using the TheoQuest.com site and services, you signify your acceptance of this Privacy Statement. If you do not agree or are not comfortable with any policy described in this Privacy Statement, your only remedy is to discontinue use of the TheoQuest.com site and services. We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Statement at any time. If we change our policy, we will post those changes on our site so that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances we disclose it. TheoQuest.com will request your permission before changing our policy on how we use your personal information. Your continued use of any portion of the TheoQuest.com site following notification or posting of other types of changes to the privacy policy will constitute your acceptance of those changes. This privacy policy was last updated on November 17, 2000.

Please direct any questions regarding this policy or our practices to privacypolicy@TheoQuest.com.
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