EarthLink Policies and Agreements

EarthLink Consumer Privacy Policy

1. What does the EarthLink Consumer Privacy Policy cover?

This Privacy Policy covers (i) the use and retention of personally identifiable information ("PII") that EarthLink, LLC ("EarthLink") collects from our customers and visitors to the webpages on earthlink.net under the Residential tab, peoplepc.com and all of their subdomains (collectively, the "EarthLink Consumer Website") and (ii) your options with regard to that collection and use. The EarthLink Consumer Website and the services and products offered on or through the EarthLink Consumer Website are collectively referred to in this Privacy Policy as the "EarthLink Consumer Services".

EarthLink is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your PII and will not share, sell or license your PII except in very limited circumstances as described below. All PII collected by EarthLink including, but not limited to, via the Internet, via any EarthLink Consumer mobile application, via mail or over the telephone is protected by the terms of this Privacy Policy.

2. What is PII?

PII is any information that can be used to personally identify you, including, but not limited to:

  • Information you provide in connection with your purchase of or subscription to EarthLink Consumer Services including your name, mailing and/or shipping address, telephone number, email address, and credit card number.
  • Transaction and activity information about your EarthLink Consumer Services; your customer account and billing records; your interactions with our customer service and/or technical support representatives over the telephone, email or through online chat; and your contest entries.
  • Information obtained by EarthLink through its Refer a Friend Program.

3. How EarthLink uses your PII

EarthLink uses your PII to (i) provide your EarthLink Consumer Services to you, (ii) establish and manage your customer account and billing records, (iii) contact you about your customer account including your EarthLink Consumer Services and other products and services that we offer or that we offer in conjunction with an affiliate company, (iv) provide you with additional information that may be of interest to you such as news about EarthLink, (v) resolve billing problems, (vi) provide customized technical support, (vii) monitor your EarthLink Consumer Services, (viii) monitor and protect our network, (ix) protect against fraudulent, abusive, unauthorized or unlawful use of the EarthLink Consumer Services, (x) provide customized personal start pages, and (xi) administer surveys and contests.

If you apply online for a position at EarthLink, we will only use the information you provide for job recruitment and other customary human resources purposes.

EarthLink may supplement your PII with information received from publicly available sources, such as demographic information, to help us develop and improve the EarthLink Consumer Services and to send marketing offers to you that may be of interest to you.

4. How EarthLink protects the Security of PII

EarthLink has implemented an information security program that contains administrative, technical and physical controls that are designed to safeguard your PII and non-personally identifiable information. We use industry standards to secure PII when it is being collected and transmitted over the Internet as well as firewalls, security monitoring, encryption and intrusion detection software. Although we cannot guarantee that our information security program will prevent every unauthorized attempt to access, use or disclose your PII, we maintain security and incident response practices to handle incidents involving unauthorized access, use or disclosure of your PII.

Under our practices and policies, access to PII is authorized only for EarthLink employees and contractors who have a business need for such access, and records are retained in accordance with applicable laws and then securely destroyed. EarthLink employees and contractors are trained on the importance of protecting privacy and on the proper access to, use of and disclosure of PII.

As an extra precaution, you should not share your password with anyone. EarthLink will only ask you for your password as part of a customer service or technical support call or online chat, and only in cases where you request customer support to access your account information or you request customer service or technical support in connection with the EarthLink Consumer Services.

5. Sharing of PII in Limited Circumstances

EarthLink will not share, sell, or license your PII to third parties for their marketing purposes without your consent. EarthLink may disclose your PII in response to:

  • Subpoenas, court orders, search warrants or other valid legal process, or as otherwise authorized by law,
  • Circumstances where EarthLink has a good faith belief that a crime has been committed by an EarthLink customer or visitor,
  • An emergency that poses a safety threat to you or another person, or
  • Possible violations of the EarthLink Acceptable Use Policy or other EarthLink policies, available at earthlink.net/about/policies/.

When EarthLink uses third parties to perform business functions on our behalf, we require them through contracts to treat your PII confidentially and to only use your PII for the express purpose of providing the specific business functions for EarthLink. Examples of such third parties include, but are not limited to: (i) merchant banks for credit card authorizations, (ii) collection agencies, (iii) customer service companies, and (iv) market research companies.

Some EarthLink Consumer Services are offered to EarthLink customers in conjunction with a third-party vendor. To provide these services, the vendor may need to collect and retain your PII but the vendor will be required by contract with EarthLink to maintain the confidentiality of your PII.

If ownership of EarthLink changes, including as a result of a merger, acquisition, or the sale of its assets, your PII may be transferred or assigned as part of the transferred assets. If such a transfer results in a material change in the use of your PII, we will notify you about the material change.

6. Use of Cookies and Other Data Collection Technologies

EarthLink uses cookies and anonymous identifiers to collect certain non-personally identifiable information ("Non-PII") about you when you use the EarthLink Consumer Services. A cookie is a small text file that websites send to your computer, tablet, mobile device or other Internet-connected device to uniquely identify your browser or to store information or settings in your browser. An anonymous identifier is a random string of characters that is used for the same purposes as a cookie on platforms, including certain mobile devices, where cookie technology is not available.

This Non-PII does not identify you personally, but includes technical information such as your Internet Protocol or IP address, operating system, and browsing and linking activity while using the EarthLink Consumer Services. EarthLink uses cookies to authenticate you and save your settings on your personal start page so that we can provide you with customized and personalized content and services. EarthLink uses anonymous identifiers to monitor browsing and linking activity throughout the EarthLink Consumer Services.

EarthLink also uses advertising networks that customize and serve third party advertisements or other content on the EarthLink Consumer Website. The servers of these advertising networks place and access cookies and similar technologies in browsers to collect Non-PII information about your visits to the EarthLink Consumer Website. These kinds of tracking and analytics are done in the aggregate and are anonymous.

7. How to access and update your Registration and Billing Information

EarthLink provides you with access to your registration and billing information and the ability to update this information at myaccount.earthlink.net for EarthLink subscribers and myaccount.peoplepc.com for PeoplePC subscribers.

8. Your Opt In and Opt Out Choices

If you are an EarthLink subscriber, you may exercise your opt out option not to receive email marketing communications from EarthLink by (i) clicking the links under communications preferences on the bottom of these email marketing communications or (ii) visiting myaccount.earthlink.net. If you choose to opt out of email marketing communications, you will still receive EarthLink's eLink newsletter. You may opt out of receiving the eLink newsletter by clicking on the link at the bottom of the eLink newsletter or by going directly to myaccount.earthlink.net.

If you are a PeoplePC subscriber, you may exercise your opt out option not to receive any of our email marketing communications or PeoplePC Connections by (i) clicking the links on the bottom of these email communications or PeoplePC Connections or (ii) visiting myaccount.peoplepc.com.

You also may contact EarthLink Customer Service via telephone or live chat regarding your opt in or opt out choices. Your opt out choices will remain in effect until you change them. You cannot opt out of receiving administrative communications from EarthLink because they communicate information that affects your customer account.

All browsers are different, so visit the "help" section of your browser to learn about cookie preferences and other privacy settings that may be available. For example, you can manage cookie preferences set by EarthLink by adjusting the settings in your browser not to accept cookies. If your browser is set to reject cookies, EarthLink will not be able to provide you with personalized features on the EarthLink Consumer Website. The EarthLink Consumer Website does not honor do not track requests from browsers. If you would like more information about opting out of Internet-based advertising in general, you can go to www.networkadvertising.org/faq/.

9. What is Outside the Scope of this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy does not apply to information about you collected by third party websites that you may link to from the EarthLink Consumer Website or information collected by advertising networks on third party websites. Any information you provide to third party websites is subject to the third party websites' privacy policies and terms of service. We encourage you to read the third party websites' privacy policies and terms of service before using these third party websites. EarthLink is not responsible for the content, services, products or applications provided by or through third party websites.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to the PII of EarthLink Business' customers. The EarthLink Business privacy policy is located at earthlinkbusiness.com/about-us/legal/privacy-policy.xea.

If you post any comments to any of the public areas of the EarthLink Consumer Website such as blogs, forums or "Ask Email Guy," EarthLink's Facebook page, or EarthLink's Twitter account, your comments can be read or used by others and any PII that you post in such public areas could be used by others to contact you or for other purposes. You should exercise caution when deciding to disclose any information in these public areas. EarthLink is not responsible for any PII you choose to submit through the public areas of the EarthLink Consumer Website, third party websites or social networking services.

10. Protection of Children

Protecting children's privacy is especially important to us. You must be 18 years of age or older to order and receive the EarthLink Consumer Services. EarthLink does not knowingly ask for or collect PII from any person under the age of 18.

EarthLink recommends that children ask a parent for permission before sending any PII anywhere using the Internet. For further information about tips, techniques and resources about Internet safety, please visit www.GetNetWise.org or www.StaySafeOnline.org.

11. California Privacy Rights

California Civil Code Section 1798.83, also known as S.B. 27, allows our California customers to request certain information regarding our disclosures in the prior calendar year, if any, of PII to third parties for their own direct marketing purposes. If you are a California resident and want to make such a request, please contact us at earthlinkconsumerprivacy@corp.earthlink.com or EarthLink, LLC, Legal Department/Consumer Privacy, 1375 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309 and include your name and address. Please note that under California law, businesses are only required to respond to a customer request for this information once during any calendar year.

12. International Visitors

Your PII will be processed and maintained by us in compliance with this Privacy Policy and United States data protection and privacy laws and regulations. If you create an account to use an EarthLink Consumer Service and/or are using the EarthLink Consumer Website as a visitor from outside the United States, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and you consent to the transfer and processing of all your PII in accordance with this Privacy Policy and United States data protection and privacy laws, which many not offer an equivalent level of protection to the laws in the European Union or certain other countries.

13. Changes to this Privacy Policy

From time to time, EarthLink may update this Privacy Policy to reflect new or different privacy practices. You will be able to see that changes have been made by checking the effective date and endnotes at the end of this Privacy Policy that explain what has been revised.

In addition, if any of the revisions to this Privacy Policy will materially affect the way we use, disclose or retain previously-collected PII, we will notify you about the change by sending an email notice to the primary email address associated with your customer account.

14. How to Contact Us

Please contact us if you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or its implementation, at earthlinkconsumerprivacy@corp.earthlink.com or EarthLink, LLC, Legal Department/Consumer Privacy, 1375 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309.

Effective Date: February 14, 2014


This EarthLink Consumer Privacy Policy dated February 14, 2014 updates the previous version dated December 28, 2012 to clarify the use of cookies and to comply with California law but there are no material changes to EarthLink's privacy policies or procedures from the December 28, 2012 version.



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