Your privacy is critically important to us. At Building Studies, we have a few fundamental principles:
- We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal information that we collect about you through the operation of our services.
- We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it.
- We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control the information provided by you.
- We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information.
Who We Are
Howdy! We are the folks behind Building Studies. The privacy of our visitors is of extreme importance to us. Our mission is to make the concepts of building construction easy and simple.
Information We Collect
We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so — for example, to provide our Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better. We collect this information in three ways: if and when you provide information to us, automatically through operating our Services, and from outside sources.
Information You Provide to Us
It’s probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us directly. Here are some examples:
- Basic account information: We ask for basic information from you like your name, email address, and password in order to set up your account on BuildingStudies.com.
- Transaction and Billing Information: If you buy something from us like a course or a book, you will provide additional personal and payment information that is required to process the transaction and your payment, such as your name, credit card information, and contact information.
- Communications With Us: You may also provide us with information when you respond to surveys, communicate with our user support team about a question, or post a question in our public forums.
Information We Collect Automatically
We also collect some information automatically:
- Log information: Like most online service providers, we collect information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available, including the browser type, IP address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information. We collect log information when you use our services on BuildingStudies.com and our subdomains like blog.buildingstudies.com.
- Usage information: We collect information about your usage of our Services. For example, we may track information like your email address, browser settings, name of your cellular network and mobile device manufacturer if accessing our site from a mobile phone. We use this information to, for example, provide our Services to you, as well as get insights on how people use our Services, so we can make our Services better.
- Location information: We may determine the approximate location of your device from your IP address. We collect and use this information to, for example, calculate how many people visit our Services from certain geographic regions. We may also collect information about your precise location via our mobile apps (for example, when you post a photograph with location information) if you allow us to do so through your mobile device operating system’s permissions.
How and Why We Use Information
Purposes for Using Information
We use information about you for the purposes listed below:
- To provide our Services. for example, to set up and maintain your account or process payments and orders.
- To ensure quality and improve our Services – for example, by monitoring and analyzing how users interact with our Services so we can create new features that we think our users will enjoy or make our Services easier to use.
- To place and manage ads in our advertising program. For example, to place ads on our own sites as part of our advertising program, and understand ad performance.
- To market our Services and measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our marketing. For example, by targeting our marketing messages to groups of our users (like those who have a particular plan with us or have been users for a certain length of time), advertising our Services, analyzing the results of our marketing campaigns (like how many people purchased a paid plan after receiving a marketing message), and understanding and forecasting user retention.
- To protect our Services, our users, and the public. For example, by detecting security incidents; detecting and protecting against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity; fighting spam; complying with our legal obligations; and protecting the rights and property of Building Studies and others, which may result in us, for example, declining a transaction or the use of our Services.
- To fix problems with our Services. For example, by monitoring, debugging, repairing, and preventing issues.
- To customize the user experience. For example, to personalize your experience by serving you relevant notifications and advertisements for our Services, recommending content through our Reader post suggestions, and providing new essays and stories through Longreads for your reading pleasure.
- To communicate with you. For example, by emailing you to ask for your feedback, share tips for getting the most out of our products, or keep you up to date on Building Studies; texting you to verify your payment, or calling you to share offers and promotions by Building Studies or others that we think will be of interest to you.
Legal Bases for Collecting and Using Information
A note here for those in the European Union about our legal grounds for processing information about you under EU data protection laws, which is that our use of your information is based on the grounds that:
(1) The use is necessary in order to fulfil our commitments to you under the applicable Terms of service or other agreements with you or is necessary to administer your account — for example, in order to enable access to our website on your device or charge you for a paid plan; or
(2) The use is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; or
(3) The use is necessary in order to protect your vital interests or those of another person; or
(4) We have a legitimate interest in using your information — for example, to provide and update our Services; to improve our Services so that we can offer you an even better user experience; to safeguard our Services; to communicate with you; to measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising; and to understand our user retention and attrition; to monitor and prevent any problems with our Services, and to personalize your experience; or
We do not sell our users’ private personal information.
We share information about you in limited circumstances, and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy. These are spelled out below, as well as in the section called Ads and Analytics Services Provided by Others:
- Third party vendors: We may share information about you with third-party vendors who need the information in order to provide their services to us, or to provide their services to you. This includes vendors that help us provide our Services to you (like payment providers that process your credit and debit card information, fraud prevention services that allow us to analyze fraudulent payment transactions, cloud storage services, postal and email delivery services that help us stay in touch with you, customer chat and email support services that help us communicate with you); those that assist us with our marketing efforts (e.g., by providing tools for identifying a specific marketing target group or improving our marketing campaigns); those that help us understand and enhance our Services (like analytics providers). For more information on these vendors, scroll down to the Third Party Processors section below.
- Legal and regulatory requirements: We may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental requests.
- To protect rights, property, and others: We may disclose information about you when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Building Studies, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if we have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, we may disclose information related to the emergency without delay.
- With your consent: We may share and disclose information with your consent or at your direction. For example, we may share your information with third parties when you authorize us to do so.
- Aggregated or de-identified information: We may share information that has been aggregated or de-identified, so that it can no longer reasonably be used to identify you. For instance, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our Services, or share a hashed version of your email address to facilitate customized ad campaigns on other platforms.
- Published support requests: If you send us a request for assistance (for example, via a support email or one of our other feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish that request in order to clarify or respond to your request, or to help us support other users.
Information that you choose to make public is — you guessed it — disclosed publicly. That means information like your public profile, posts, other content that you make public on our website, and your “Likes” and comments are all available to others. Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties. Please keep all of this in mind when deciding what you would like to share publicly.
How Long We Keep Information
We generally discard information about you when it’s no longer needed for the purposes for which we collect and use it — described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information — and we’re not legally required to keep it. For example, we keep the web server logs that record information about a visitor to one of Building Studies’s websites, like the visitor’s IP address, browser type, and operating system, for a period of time. We retain the logs for this period of time in order to, among other things, analyze traffic to Building Studies’s websites and investigate issues if something goes wrong on one of our websites.
While no online service is 100% secure, we work very hard to protect information about you against unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so. We monitor our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.
You have several choices available when it comes to information about you:
Limit the information that you provide: If you have an account with us, you can choose not to provide the optional account information, profile information, and transaction and billing information. Please keep in mind that if you do not provide this information, certain features of our Services — for example, Paid online courses— may not be accessible.
Opt-out of marketing communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from us. Just follow the instructions in those communications or let us know. If you opt out of promotional communications, we may still send you other communications, like those about your account and legal notices.
Set your browser to reject cookies: At this time, Building Studies does not respond to “do not track” signals across all of our Services. However, you can usually choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies before using Building Studies’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of Building Studies’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
Close your account: While we’d be very sad to see you go, you can close your account if you no longer want to use our Services, you can request your account to be closed by contacting us via email. Please keep in mind that we may continue to retain your information after closing your account, as described in How Long We Keep Information above — for example, when that information is reasonably needed to comply with (or demonstrate our compliance with) legal obligations such as law enforcement requests, or reasonably needed for our legitimate business interests.
If you are located in certain parts of the world, including California and countries that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (aka the “GDPR”), you may have certain rights regarding your personal information, like the right to request access to or deletion of your data.
European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
If you are located in a country that falls under the scope of the GDPR, data protection laws give you certain rights with respect to your personal data, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the rights to:
- Request access to your personal data;
- Request correction or deletion of your personal data;
- Object to our use and processing of your personal data;
- Request that we limit our use and processing of your personal data; and
- Request portability of your personal data.
EU individuals also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.
Contacting Us About These Rights
You can usually access, correct, or delete your personal data using your account settings and tools that we offer, but if you aren’t able to or you’d like to contact us about one of the other rights, scroll down to “How to Reach Us” to, well, find out how to reach us. When you contact us about one of your rights under this section, we’ll need to verify that you are the right person before we disclose or delete anything. For example, if you are a user, we will need you to contact us from the email address associated with your account. You can also designate an authorized agent to make a request on your behalf by giving us written authorization. We may still require you to verify your identity with us.
Ads and Analytics Services Provided by Others
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have 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 affiliate sites.
Third Party Processors
Third party processors are other services that Building Studies uses to function and operate as a business. Following are the links to the third party processors used by Building Studies:
Sendinblue email marketing service
Sendinblue is a marketing automation service and CRM which is used by Building Studies to facilitate our email newsletters and mailing lists. Information like your email address, name, location, customer history, and interest tags will be stored in Sendinblue upon purchase or when subscribing to our mailing lists.
Google Analytics is a data gathering and reporting service which is utilized to help us understand how our websites are being used so we can improve our user experiences. Google Analytics will set cookies in your browser and read preexisting cookies.
Information about what data is collected by Google and how Google uses that data can be found at https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/.
How to Reach Us
EFFECTIVE AS OF SEPTEMBER 20, 2020.