RightNet's Policies on Privacy
This statment covers our policies for both web accesses and mail list participation. RightNet believes the internet is a wonderful resource for personal empowerment because of the rapid access to a wide range of extremely current information.
However, it can also be used to collect more relatively personal information, sometimes identifiable down to you as an individual (or at least to the user(s) of your individual browser or mail client.) There is tremendous economic advantage in being able to make these identifications which is driving a whole sub-industry on the internet.
In recognition of this the recognized Internet Standards groups are working on ways to assist internet users in maintaining an appropriate level of personal privacy. Noteable among these is the P3P initiative of the W3C Form (geek talk for the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project of the World Wide Web Consortium).
In October 1998, the Internet Developer / Technology Group, sponsored by RightNet, Inc, heard Lorrie Faith Craner, the project leader for the P3P initiative speak on policies and technologies proposed to protect individual privacy. You can review her talk at http://www.inetdevgrp.org/19981015. Briefly the initiative is proposing that a network negotiation take place between your client software and the server software prior to your obtaining information from any web site as to what information will be collected about you and how it will be used. But all this is in the future and the data collection is going on now.
Because it is important to you to know how information is being used, RightNet is stating its Privacy Policies:
- For normal business activity, RightNet does not set cookies or use cgi-scripts to analyze log data. However from time to time these tools may be turned on to test how certain functions behave. If you should encounter a cookie request or similar event most likely you became a test subject in a development effort. The data is not being used to track you as an individual, but rather to test a technology.
- RightNet does not provide any specific individual data collected in any way at this site to any organization outside of RightNet itself.
- We are not polling your browser to determine which web page you last viewed. This is sometimes used by sites to determine which other sites are most useful in providing references or links to their site. RightNet may consider doing this in the future.
- RightNet does keep the standard web log records. The log identifies the domain or IP number that requests each file from the web server. It does not include any information identifying the name or login of the person at the domain or IP number making he request.
- RightNet may collect some additional information for those who respond to the web surveys we conduct. The purpose of collecting this is to prevent "stuffing the ballot box" by some respondents. The information is not used to associate individuals with particular responses except to eliminate duplicate or multiple responses where that is not prescribed.
- RightNet is host for several mail lists. RightNet does not resell any mail lists. We take all practical protections to prevent our lists from being used for SPAM and we protect the privacy of all list subscribers. Only list owners and RightNet itself can obtain or will be given access to the subscriber mail addresses. If you subscribe to a mail list at RightNet:
- All lists at RightNet send individual copies to each list subscriber. The list processing software will never disclose your address along with others which invites "e-mail address mining" to get addresses for resale to spammers. You may occasionally see several e-mail addresses in a post from RightNet. This occures when the original e-mail poster puts the RightNet mail list address in with a list of other addressees. It was done by the originator, not by RightNet email service. RightNet encourages the use of professional mail list management software that does not disclose list members in the mail that is distributed. Messages with many addressees attract spammers and producers of mail lists for spammers.
- RightNet is firmly in oppositon to SPAM and only supports mail servers that descriminate regarding third-party-relays.
- Your email address will never be sold or given to another organization by RightNet. We expect that any volunteer List Owners, who are the only other party with knowledge of list members, will abide by the same policy.
- For your protection, the list names are not generally available, even to other list subscribers.
- Your e-mail address will be shown on posts that you make. RightNet believes in protecting your privacy, but it also believes we must be individually accountable for statements we make or forward to a list.
- All mail posted to any mail list is archived for at least one year.
- Only list subscribers may post to lists at RightNet. On unmoderated lists these posts are redistributed almost immediately. There are no open post lists to reduce the SPAM possiblity. However it is not uncommon for non-subscribers to attempt to post to a list at RightNet. A copy of the attempt is forwared to the list owners and they may individually decide to approve the post for distribution to the list.
- Additionally some lists may be moderated. In this instance the list owner must individually approve any post before it is distributed.
- A few of the lists only allow the list-owner to post messages. If you reply to one of these lists, your message is only forwarded to the list owner.
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