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Privacy Policy

The content of this page is an official policy approved by AAII. This policy may not be circumvented, eroded, or ignored on local Stock Investor Support Wiki pages or other AAII Web sites.

General Scope

Our goal at AAII is to offer you the best investor education in a simple and secure manner over the Internet. From time to time it is necessary to gather member information in order to provide an investor-friendly service. To improve our Web site, we regularly track usage through log analysis to understand how our members, in aggregate, are using the site.

We request your E-mail address as part of the registration process for AAII.com. We use this information to contact members and guest users regarding updates to the site and to personalize the service. Your E-mail address is secure and will never be released to any third party.

The information we collect through log analysis is not specific to any one user and remains confidential. This information is used to determine popular areas of the site by measuring clicks and the length of time a member spends on a page. We keep track of this data for determining trends and statistics internally.

AAII.com uses cookies to remember your login settings. This allows you to wander through the site and certain member security points without any disturbance. Our site is set to keep you logged in for 60 minutes. This means that during a single browser session you can wander to any other site and come back to AAII.com and remain logged in. If after 60 minutes you hit a security point in AAII.com you'll have to re-enter your login information. We are in no way extracting personal information through the use of cookies. For more information on cookies, click here.

AAII does maintain a subscriber list and we do on occasion make portions of this list available to carefully screened companies that offer personal finance products and services that we believe may be of interest the members of AAII. If you do not want to be receive these offers, please let us know by contacting member services at AAII by phone at (800) 428-2244 or send an E-mail to members@aaii.com.

The Stock Investor Support Wiki is collaboratively developed by its users using the CanvasWiki software. Anyone with Internet access (and not otherwise restricted from doing so) may edit the publicly editable pages of this site only by logging in as a registered user. By doing this, editors create a published document, and a public record of every word added, subtracted, or changed. This is a public act, and editors are identified publicly as the author of such changes. All contributions made to the Stock Investor Support Wiki, and all publicly available information about those contributions, are irrevocably licensed and may be freely copied, quoted, reused and adapted by third parties with few restrictions.

User accounts and authorship

AAII requires editors to register with a project. Therefore, registered users can edit only after logging in with a username, in which case they will be identified by network IP address. Registered users are identified by their chosen username. Users select a password, which is confidential and used to verify the integrity of their account. Except insofar as it may be required by law, no person should disclose, or knowingly expose, either user passwords and/or cookies generated to identify a user. It may be possible for a username to be changed, but AAII and the Stock Investor Support Wiki do not guarantee that a username will be changed on request.

Purpose of the collection of private information

AAII limits the collection of personally identifiable user data to purposes which serve the well-being of its projects, including but not limited to the following:

  • To enhance the public accountability of the Stock Investor Pro Support Wiki. AAII recognizes that any system that is open enough to allow the greatest possible participation of the general public will also be vulnerable to certain kinds of abuse and counterproductive behavior. AAII and the Stock Investor Support Wiki have established a number of mechanisms to prevent or remedy abusive activities. For example, when investigating abuse on this wiki, including the suspected use of malicious “sockpuppets” (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruptive behavior, the IP addresses of users (derived either from those logs or from records in the database) may be used to identify the source(s) of the abusive behavior.
  • To provide site statistics. The Foundation statistically samples raw log data from users' visits. These logs are used to produce the site statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public.
  • To solve technical problems. Log data may be examined by developers in the course of solving technical problems and in tracking down badly-behaved web spiders that overwhelm the site.

Details of data retention

General expectations

IP and other technical information

When a visitor requests or reads a page, or sends E-mail to an AAII server, no more information is collected than is typically collected by web sites. AAII may keep raw logs of such transactions, but these will not be published or used to track legitimate users.

When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. This information is automatically deleted after a set period.

Cookies

The Stock Investor Support Wiki set a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a wiki page is visited. Readers who do not intend to log in or edit may deny this cookie; it will be deleted at the end of the browser's session. More cookies may be set when one logs in to maintain logged-in status. If one saves a user name or password in one's browser, that information will be saved for up to 30 days, and this information will be resent to the server on every visit to the same page. Contributors using a public machine who do not wish to show their username to future users of the machine should clear these cookies after use.

Page history

Edits or other contributions to the wiki are generally retained forever. Removing text from a page does not permanently delete it. Normally, anyone can look at a previous version of an article or page and see what was there. Even if an article is "deleted", a user entrusted with higher level of access may still see what was removed from public view. Information can be permanently deleted by individuals with access to AAII servers, but aside from the rare circumstance when AAII is required to delete editing-history material in response to a court order or equivalent legal process, there is no guarantee any permanent deletion will happen.

User contributions

User contributions are also aggregated and publicly available. User contributions are aggregated according to their registration and login status. Data on user contributions, such as the times at which users edited and the number of edits they have made, are publicly available via user contributions lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users.

Reading projects

No more information on users and other visitors reading pages is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites. Aside from the above raw log data collected for general purposes, page visits do not expose a visitor's identity publicly. Sampled raw log data may include the IP address of any user, but it is not reproduced publicly.

Editing projects

  • Edits to wiki pages are identified with the username or network IP address of the editor and editing history is aggregated by author in a contribution list. Such information will be available permanently on the projects.
  • Logged in registered users: Logged in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the wiki servers for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administrators.
  • IP address information, and its connection to any usernames that share it, may be released under certain circumstances (see below).
  • Editors using a company mail server from home or telecommuting over a DSL or cable Internet connection are likely to be easy to identify by their IP address; in which case it may be easy to cross-identify all contributions to various pages made by that IP. Using a username is a better way of preserving privacy in this situation.
  • Via email: The E-mail address put into one's user preferences may be used by AAII for communication. Users whose accounts do not have a valid E-mail address will not be able to reset their password if it is lost. In such a situation, however, users may be able to contact the AAII Webmaster to enter a new E-mail address. A user can remove the account's E-mail address from his preferences at any time to prevent it from being used. Private correspondence between users may be saved at those users' discretion and is not subject to AAII Foundation policy.

Access to and release of personally identifiable information

  • Access: The Stock Investor Support Wiki is primarily run by AAII editors, with assistance by volunteer contributors. Some dedicated users may be chosen by AAII administrators to be given privileged access. Other users who may have access to private identifiable information include, but are not limited to, AAII employees, trustees, appointees, and contractors and agents employed by the Foundation, and developers and others with high levels of server access.

Sharing information with other privileged users is not considered "distribution."

  • Release: Policy on Release of Data: It is the policy of AAII that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database, or through other non-publicly-available methods, may be released by AAII volunteers or staff, in any of the following situations:

1. In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement; 2. With permission of the affected user; 3. When necessary for investigation of abuse complaints; 4. Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues; 5. Where the user has been vandalizing articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to a service provider, carrier, or other third-party entity to assist in the targeting of IP blocks, or to assist in the formulation of a complaint to relevant Internet Service Providers (ISPs); or 6. Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of AAII, the Stock Investor Support Wiki, its users or the public.

Except as described above, AAII policy does not permit distribution of personally identifiable information under any circumstances.

  • Third-party access and notifying registered users when receiving legal process: As a general principle, the access to, and retention of, personally identifiable data in all wiki pages should be minimal and should be used only internally to serve the well-being of the wiki. Occasionally, however, AAII may receive a subpoena or other compulsory request from a law-enforcement agency or a court or equivalent government body that requests the disclosure of information about a registered user, and may be compelled by law to comply with the request. In the event of such a legally compulsory request, AAII will attempt to notify the affected user within three business days after the arrival of such subpoena by sending a notice by E-mail to the E-mail address (if any) that the affected user has listed in his or her user preferences.

AAII cannot advise a user receiving such a notification regarding the law or an appropriate response to a subpoena. AAII does note, however, that such users may have the legal right to resist or limit that information in court by filing a motion to quash the subpoena. Users who wish to oppose a subpoena or other compulsory request should seek legal advice concerning applicable rights and procedures that may be available.

If AAII receives a court-filed motion to quash or otherwise limit the subpoena as a result of action by a user or their lawyer, AAII will not disclose the requested information until it receives an order from the court to do so.

When an affected registered user does not provide a valid E-mail address, AAII will not be able to notify the affected user in private E-mail messages when it receives requests from law enforcement to disclose personally identifiable information about the user.

Disclaimer

AAII believes that maintaining and preserving the privacy of user data is an important value. This Privacy Policy, together with other policies, resolutions, and actions by AAII, represents a committed effort to safeguard the security of the limited user information that is collected and retained on our servers. Nevertheless, AAII cannot guarantee that user information will remain private. We acknowledge that, in spite of our committed effort to protect private user information, determined individuals may still develop data-mining and other methods to uncover such information and disclose it. For this reason, AAII can make no guarantee against unauthorized access to information provided in the course of participating in the Stock Investor Support Wiki or related communities.